Myanmar’s Township Administrative Authorities in Buthidaung Township demolished a mosque and a religious school being repaired after they had been damaged by the Cyclone ‘Komen’ last Thursday.
The President Thein Sein gave instructions to repair any sanctuary structures damaged by the cyclone during his visit to the township post the natural disaster. However, U Than Shwe, the township administrator of Buthidaung, has ordered the Islamic sanctuary committees to stop repairing the sanctuary structures or pay him humongous amount of bribes for the repairs. [Please Read the Earlier Report: Township Administrator Threaten Sanctuary Committees in Buthidaung]
The administrator U Than Shwe, a Rakhine extremist, has threatened some sanctuary committees in the township and extorted Kyat 1 Million to 2 Million for repairing mosques and other sanctuary structures. He then demanded Kyat 10 Million each from the Sanctuary Committees in ‘Alay Chaung (Ali Yong)’ village and ‘Attwin Nget Thay’ village respectively. None of the committees was able to pay such humongous amount of ransom money.
Hence, last Wednesday, he summoned the committee members of Alay Chaung’ village to his office and ordered them to demolish the mosque erected. However, the committee members responded “we won’t be able to demolish a Mosque once it is erected. It is not permitted in the religion of Islam.”
The next day, U Than Shwe ordered the administrator of Alay Chaung village to hire workers to demolish the mosque. And then, the mosque was subsequently demolished.
“The mosque was fully destroyed during the cyclone. Hence, it was being rebuilt and re-erected. It was not fully built but only the roof was covered with Tin. The tin roof was taken down by the hired workers,” said a villager in Alay Chaung.
Similarly, the administrator of ‘Kin Taung’ village, upon the instruction of U Than Shwe, demolished the roof of the Tafiz Religious School which was under re-construction after it had been damaged by the storm. The reason behind the demolition is that the School Committee has refused Kyat 10 Million bribes for the repair works.
Restriction on Freedom of Religion and Belief is one of the many fundamental human rights violations being committed against Rohingyas by the Myanmar’s ultranationalist governments throughout decades.