Thursday, 10 December 2015

Myanmar’s armed forces have been brutally exercising force on the Rohingya people in Buthidaung Township since late November, the locals report. 

The brutal use of force stemmed from an incident of theft of Rohingya-owned livestock by two *Rakhine (Magh) Dinets at ‘Lun Chaung’ village in northern Buthidaung on November 27. The theft subsequently led to a minor conflict between the local Rohingyas and the Rakhine Dinets.

However, the Border Guard Police (BGP) taking the side of the Rakhine extremists have blown the incident out of proportion. They have been harassing, beating and arbitrarily arresting the Rohingyas although the theft had been committed by the Rakhine Dinets.

The brutal exercise have gone so extreme that the Rohingyas now fear to live in their own homes and have to stay outside to escape the arbitrary arrests. The whole account of the on-going oppression of the people has been reported as follows.

“Mr. Habibur Rahman is a local of ‘Lun Chaung’ village in northern Buthidaung. It was around 7:00AM on November 27 his domestic ducks were foraging in the ‘San Chaung’ river between ‘Lun Chaung’ river and ‘Ngachin Tauk’ village.

Meanwhile, two Rakhine Dinet youths arrived in the river and caught two ducks from the river. As they were stealing them away, two young daughters of Habibur Rahman looking after the ducks saw them. And the Rakhine thieves whacked the two girls as they tried to snatch the ducks back from their (the thieves’) hands. So, one girl injuries on her head and blood began to spill out, another got injury in her hand. The thieves also beat the two children accompanied the girl.

As the girls cried out for help, their younger brother and one of their elder cousins, Azizur Rahman Rashidullah rushed to the place for their rescue. And there was a brawl between the two (Rakhine Dinet) thieves and the Rohingya boys trying to defend their sisters. And there was a bus carrying ‘Dinet’ passengers aboard. They stopped their bus, came towards the place of the brawl and beat the Rohingya boys with the iron rods. And so, the other Rohingya villagers advanced to save the Rohingya boys and hence, the Rakhine Dinets beating the boys had to back off.

However, the two Rohingya boys received severe injuries from the attacks by the Dinets. One of the Dinets also got injury on his head. Afterwards, the Rakhine Dinets from ‘Ngachin Tauk’ and ‘Laung Chaung’ marched in crowd and indiscriminately attacked any Rohingya they encountered. As the Rohingya defended, the situation became tensed between the groups.

But U Khin Zaw Tun @Zaw Zaw, the admininstrator of ‘Laung Chaung,’ and U Kyaw Sein Hla, the administrator of ‘Ngachin Tauk’ village, (both of whom are also Rakhine Dinets) exaggerated the situation and reported to the higher authorities as though a big Riot broke out and the Rohingays were mass-murdering Rakhines. Therefore, at 10:00AM, a joint group of authorities and armed forces comprising the Border Guard Police (BGP) Commander in ‘Taung Bazaar’ village and his squad, Tactical Operation Commander and G1 from Buthidaung MOC (Military Operation Command), the Township Administrator of Buthidaung and Buthidaung Township Police Commander (U Aung Baa Le) arrived at the place of the incident.

After investigating how the situation had become tensed, the BGP Commander and the G1 of the MOC concluded that it was the fault of the Rakhine Dinets who went to steal the properties of different people by going to their villages. Hence, it was not the fault of the (Rohingya) Muslims. And therefore, it was not a racial or religious conflict. After that, they asked the police to solve the problem calling it a police case and all the higher authorities left respectively.

Nevertheless, the Border Guard Police (BGP) besieged the Rohingya hamlets in ‘Laung Chaung’ and ‘Ngachin Tauk’ village tracts until 9:30PM of the day. And the BGP arrested the two Rohingya boys injured while attempting to defend the two girls from the Rakhine Dinets and took them to their station. On the other hand, the Rakhine Dinets submitted a list of seven Rohingyas including the two arrested claiming that they (the seven Rohingyas) attacked them. The BGP summoned the remaining five Rohingyas to their station. But they haven’t made to the station as they were not involved in the brawl.

Since then, the two Rakhine Dinets village administrators and the lower-level BGP officials have been jointly raiding Rohingya villages daily. They accuse rich Rohingyas from the villages accusing them of involving in the brawl and extorting money from them. Moreover, the extremist Rakhine Dinets — the two said Rakhine Dinet administrators of ‘Laung Chaung’ and ‘Ngachin Tauk’ villages; two other Dinets, sons of U Shingaw from ‘Laung Chaung’ village; and sons of Dinet U Naing Kyar and his brother, Aung Kyaw Lin, from ‘Ngachin Tauk’ village – together with the BGP have been threatening to destroy the Rohingya community there.

They are saying ‘we will destroy you all *Kulars this time taking advantage of this chance.’

On December 5 morning, the BGP; and U Zaw Zaw, the administrator of ‘Ngachin Tauk’ village and his team arrested six innocent Rohingya women from the village. They were forcibly taken to the administrator’s residence and detained them there for the whole day with their hands tied. In the evening, the BGP and the administrator released them having forced them to give a wrong confession that the conflict was started by the Rohingyas.

They are:

  • the wife of Mohammed Sayeed Abdul Rahman
  • the wife of Rafique Fazil
  • the wife of Arafat Hamid
  • the wife of Hamid Habi
  • the wife of Khala
  • Daw Tunnya Bi Sultan Ahmed

Again on December 6, four Rohingya youths were arrested and tortured inhumanely. The BGP released them having extorted Kyat 200,000 from each of them. Besides, the above-mentioned six women were arrested yet again on December 6 morning and taken to the BGP station in ‘Taung Bazaar’ where they were forced to give the same wrong confession that Rohingyas started the conflict. And they were released in the evening.

Around 9:00PM of the day, the above-mentioned BGP group and the village administrator raided ‘Laung Chaung’ village. There, they inhumanely kicked the wife of Azizur Rahman. The wife of Kamal Hussein, who’s pregnant, was also kicked and detained at the residence of the 100-household head. And they beat and arrested further 6 Rohingya youths at night on the same day (December 6).

Yesterday morning (on December 7) morning, they arrested further two Rohingyas who were reaping paddy in their field. The BGP released the total 8 people arrested in the evening having extorted Kyat 150,000 from each of them. The wife of Kamal Hussein was released along with them after squeezing Kyat 50,000 from her.

The BGP Commander spoke the truth on the day of the incident (on November 27) that it was the fault of Rakhine Dinets. Yet, he and his police staffs are arbitrarily arresting people since he is now lust for money from the Rohingya people.

The atrocitious acts are going on against our people. No one is stopping the barbaric BGP and the Rakhine extremists.

We can’t sleep at home. People are going into hiding to escape the persecutions.

Burmese Police officer has been attempting to cripple the livelihoods of the marginalized, isolated and poor Rohingya community in Pauktaw Township since his transfer to the place, according to the local reports.

The Lieutenant police officer named U Tun Thar has been posted in ‘Anna Raing (Anauk Ywe)’ station nearby the camps of internally displaced people (IDP) reportedly by the district police.

Since the violence began against the Rohingya in June 2012, the locals as well as IDPs in ‘Anna Raing’ have been surviving only by fishing in the river and sea and humanitarian help occasionally. However, as the new police officer arrived, he has started to beat the Rohingya fishermen and been listing down all the boat-owners in order to extort money from them.

“When we come out with boats, he abuses and beats us. He is preventing us from going out for fishing. He’s oppressing us a lot.
He has been posted here by the District Police. He’s very cruel. Our fishermen can’t move around. Consequently, many people are facing difficulties to make their daily ends meet. Few are even starving,” said a local in Pauktaw Township.

“We appeal to the higher authority of Myanmar to take proper and effective action against this police officer. We want him to be transferred away from here,” he added.

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Maung daw, Arakan state, Myanmar (Burma)
I am an independent man who voted to humanitarian aid.