Sunday, 14 February 2016

Kuala Lumpur – A Rakhine (Magh) staff working as an Interpreter at an ACTS (A Call-To-Serve) Free Medical Clinic at Batu Arang in Rawang city of Selangor state has been racially discriminating against Rohingya Refugee patients and misinterpreting their statements.

The interpreter going by the name ‘Ms. Loreal’ is a Rakhine woman pretending as a Chin Ethnic Refugee and has been working at the clinic for three years. They are said to be a member of a Rakhine group with four to five members targeting Rohingya refugees visiting to the Clinic and sometimes on the referrals of UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).

“There are some Rohingya refugees referred to the clinic by the UNHCR. There are some that visit the clinic on their own. However, the interpreting Rakhine woman misinterprets the patients say which renders them without having proper medical services. But she does help her own Rakhine people to have maximum medical services at the clinic.

Sometimes, there are some International Visitors that visit the clinic to observe the situations. But the Rakhine woman always misinterprets and distorts what the patients.

When they ask the Rohingya patients questions like ‘what your ethnic identity is, where you are from or why you came here,’ they answer like ‘Rohingya, from Arakan state of Myanmar or because of the violence’ respectively. However, the woman always misinterprets their answers into English something like ‘Bengali, from Bangladesh or illegally entered Myanmar and lived there or left the country because of economic reasons etc.’

This is nothing but politicizing and racializing the free humanitarian services provided the medical clinic. This is nothing but working against the ethical standards of the clinic where she and her COs has been working for so long,” says a victim who recently visited the clinic in Batu Arang, Rawang, Selangor.

However, the visiting Rohingya refugee patients have very good words to say for the doctors in the clinic and the Director of the ACTS, Rosemary Chong.

“The doctors in the clinic treat us very well. And Ma’am Rosemary is also very kind. Sometimes, she gives advices her stuffs not to treat the Rohingya refugees badly saying that because of the Rohingya refugees, the locals treat other refugees very well.

So, we have nothing bad to say against the free medical services but against those staffs with bad working behaviors and ethical standards. We want our voices heard by the world through this media platform,” he continued.

The clinic in the report is called ‘ACTS PERCH 1’ located nearby a Police Station at: D1530, Jalan Simpah Utara, Batu Arang, 48100 Rawang, State of Selangor DE.

Similar misconducts against the visiting refugee patients or their caretakers by the Receptionists/Interpreting Staffs of ACTS’ Brickfields KL Branch have also been reported.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Myanmar (Burmese) Border Guard Police locally known as BGP raped two Rohingya women in northern Maungdaw at 8:30 PM last Friday.

It has been learnt that a gang of four BGP including a Corporal– from the camp at ‘Zaydi Pyin hamlet of Londoong village tract’ – raided at ‘Pan Myaung hamlet of Ngasa Kyu village tract on February 5 evening. Meanwhile, they, in two separate groups, raided two homes belong to two Rohingyas, Sayed Alam Abul Kalam and Sayed Ahmed, respectively, where they (BGP) gang-raped the women.

“Sayed Alam has been married with a woman, Shamshidah (daughter of) Gura Meah, 25, for two years. However, they haven’t had any children yet. So, they are the only two members in their family.

As the BGP entered their home, they, without a proof, alleged Sayed Alam of using Bangala Phone and asked him to give to them. He said he neither possesses a Bangala Phone nor knows how to use a mobile phone. Soon after, the BGP handcuffed and tied his hands and legs with ropes.

And the BGP began to beat his wife and gang-raped her again and again,” said a local villager on the condition of anonymity.

“Similarly, another gang of BGP entered Sayed Ahmed’s home. As soon as they entered his home, they alleged Sayed Ahmed with a similar allegation of using Bangala. When Sayed Ahmed refused the allegations, they handcuffed and tied every family member with ropes and dragged them out of their homes.

And the BGP raped his 28-year-old widow, Daw Aminah Khatun, several times. When she started shouting out for help, her villagers came to rescue and the BGP left the place having untied and released the family members.

However, the villagers didn’t chase the BGP staffs and do anything lest there should be unrests. Instead, they went to the village administrations and lodged complaints,” he continued.

The village administrator of ‘Ngasa Kyu’, U Salim, went to Major Kyaw Tay Zar, the Commander of BGP Area (5) in ‘Ngakura’ village along with the raped-victims and the eyewitnesses to lodge reports. The BGP Commander investigated the victims till night.

“The commander Major Kyaw Tay Zar is a newly-posed officer in the region. He, in the Commandment Area 3 where he was earlier posted, was known as a fair and just official and also known for keeping his sub-ordinates and pile-troops disciplined.

Therefore, this time as well, the locals expect him to give the justice to the raped victims,” said a villager.

However, the rape victims are in serious health conditions due to the gang-rapes and injuries received meanwhile.

The BGP at the ‘Zaydi Pyin’ Post has been notorious for oppressing local Rohingya passers-by and bodily harassing women.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Buthidaung – The administrator of ‘Pharung Chaung’ village in Buthidaung Township arbitrarily beat and humiliated a Rohingya youth in public on Sunday.

The village administrator was also said to have extorted money from the victim identified to be Mohammed Taher Sultan, 25, hails from ‘Dudan 1’ hamlet of Pharung Chaung’ village tract.

“The victim belongs to a poor family and sells bamboo in the stall set up in front of his home which opposite to a Rakhine residence at the other side of the road.

On January 11, the village administrator, a Rakhine extremist named Maung Than Htay, extorted Kyat 20,000 from him alleging him of illegally selling bamboos by the road. On January 31, he again demanded ransom from the victim on pretext of a complaint lodged against him by a Rakhine neighbour.

Since the victim refused to pay him (the administrator) ransom money again, he starting beating him up in public and also tore of his (the victim’s) clothes,” said an eyewitness.

The administrator of ‘Pharung Chaung’ village, Maun Than Htay, is a Rakhine (Magh) Buddhist extremist notorious for oppressing the local Rohingyas who form the majority in the village.

Maungdaw – The fire, believed to have started from the kitchen accidentally ignited, razed at least 26 homes at ‘Taman Thar’ village in northern Maungdaw around 12:45 PM yesterday.

The 26 houses razed hosted 41 (Rohingya) families and were said to be linked-houses. The fire that flamed for 2 hours displaced 208 people internally, where 83 were men and 125 were women. Furthermore, it also destroyed the paddy (rice) stored in the houses and damaged all the household properties

“The fire reportedly flamed bigger due to the strong winds. While the villagers were trying to extinguish the fire, the Military and the Border Guard Police (BGP) from the camps in the (Taman Thar) village also arrived and extended their hands to the villagers.

While extinguishing the fire, some villages got injuries.

The Military and the BGP listed the number of the homes destroyed in the fire and encouraged the people affected not to be saddened due to the incident. The BGP donated 2100 bamboos to set up temporary tents for the displaced people. They also promised to provide the villagers with rations.

International NGOs like Malteser arrived at the village and gave treatments to the people injured. The UNHCR Staffs listed the number of the people displaced by the fire. The officers from MSF (AZG) said that they would give medical treatments to the people once they get permission from the authorities,” said a local Rohingya in the village.

It seems since ‘Taman Thar’ village is 32 miles far to the northern from the downtown of Maungdaw, the Fire Brigade could to come to the village to extinguish the fire.

Reports said that there was no single member in the home when the fire broke out from its kitchen. All family members went out to their farms after having lunch.

The head of the household (from which fire began) has gone into hiding since then.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Rohingya community become surprised after seeing the religious places gates had opened in the morning of the January 29 in Maungdaw, according to Halim. A human rights watchdog from Maungdaw.

The religious places – Maungdaw central Mosque (Jumma Mosque) in Maungdaw town, Maungdaw religious center (Marrcause) and Mosques from different areas under the Maungdaw municipal, Halim more said.

The Maungdaw district administration office and township administration office ordered to villages/ wards admin officers to open the gates of religious places. The gates are only outer one, not entry gates of religious places, said a caretaker of religious places who denied to be named.

“The villages/wards admin officer came to the care taker office, and told to open the gates of outside boundary only and didn’t give any reason about the opening of the gates,” The caretaker said. “The officer also said it is the order of high level officer from Maungdaw.”

Rohingya community from Maungdaw town are looking the opened gates, but no enter to the compound as they had no cleared information about the opening the gates, Ashique, a student from Maungdaw.

The gates were seen closed the next day morning (January 30).

The authority had closed and barred to enter in the religious places for praying after 2012 clash between Rohingya and Rakhine. The authority only barred and closed the Muslim religious palaces only.

High level officers led by Maungdaw deputy township administration officer – U Myint Thein and other five department officers threaten Rohingya villagers in a meeting held in Maungnama village tract on January 23 at 11:00 AM, said Mer Ali from the village said. 

The officers invited all the villagers under the Maungnama village tract to join the meeting held in the affiliated middle school of village, Mer Ali more said.

In the meeting, U Myint Thein, the deputy Maungdaw township administration officer, Naing Win Thein, officer of fishery department, Hla Htun Pryu, Township land survey officer, U Shwe Zan, township planning officer, U Tin Oo, Municipal officer and fire bridge officer, said an officer from Maungdaw who denied to be named.

The deputy township administration officer said at the meeting, anyone who built their home without permission from township administration office, planning office and Municipal office, must report to the concerned offices. Otherwise, they will be find and send to jail, the officer more added.

Similarly, the fishery department officer Naing Win Thein warned to Rohingya shrimp dam owners to pay all the taxes, or will face trail in the court, said Anwer, a fishery dam owner. “We have paid as per law the taxes, why again the officer asking taxes again.”

The officers are asking money for house hold repair, building and shrimp dams through the village admin officers before new government establish, said Jalil, an elder from Maungdaw.

In the meeting the officer of the fire bridge informed to the villagers, the department will allow the village to set on fire for cooking from 6:00 am to 11: 00 am and 6:00 pm to 9:00pm, according to Nawsima Khatun, a woman from the village.

At last, the Land Survey Office officer said that the villagers are not allowed to build houses on arable land. If the villagers want to build houses on other lands (farmlands), need to submit an application to the concerned department. If permission granted, will be able to build house, otherwise not, said Kalam, an elder from the locality said.

However, the meeting was ended at 12:00 noon.

The Myanmar (Burmese) anti-human trafficking police has been threatening the Rohingya boat-victims in Maungdaw Township for ransom for a few months.

The victims now released by the authorities and the Maungdaw court were arrested after their boat was captured by the Myanmar Navy in Bay of Bengal off Myanmar coast in May 2015.

On 21st May 2015, the Navy captured their boat with more than 200 people on board trying to flee to Malaysia. After capturing the boat, the navy informed the Maungdaw authorities and handed the people over to them.

The authorities took the boat-people on the land via the ‘Ang Ngu Maw’ jetty in southern-most Maungdaw on May 22. Of them, the authorities took away a few people (who were also Rohingyas) along with them secretly from public eyes and left 228 people behind.

From 228 people, 20 people were again separately sent to Maungdaw Police station. Of the 20 people, 8 were boat-workers from ‘Irrawaddy’ division who were later imprisoned to 8 years each for people smuggling.

From the remaining 208 people, 8 were the local Rohingyas of Kyauktaw Township and hence sent to their native township.

The Maungdaw authorities set up IDP camps at ‘Taungpyo Letwai’ sub-township in northern Maungdaw Township for the remaining 200 people and kept there for some weeks. From the 200 people, after investigations, the people identified to be the locals (Rohingyas) of Maungdaw were also released respectively.

And the authorities kept the Bangladeshi Nationals in the IDP camps for some more days with the help of UNHCR and later transferred them to Bangladesh.

Of the boat-victims of Maungdaw, four people (names withheld for security reasons) hail from ‘Kyikan Pyin (Khawar Bil)’ village have been constantly under threats of the Anti-Human Trafficking Police looking for chances to torture the victims for ransom.

“The anti-human trafficking police have summoned the victims several times through the village administration on pretext that they (the victims need to be investigated/on trial in Maungdaw. However, they didn’t meet the police for the fear of getting tortured.

On January 20, U Tin Hla, the Clerk of Crime Records Department at the Border Guard Police (BGP) in the Headquarter in Kyikan Pyin village also summoned them. However, they didn’t go and meet the police because they feared that they will face arbitrary detentions if they couldn’t fulfil the police demands for ransom.

This is just nothing but that the police are trying to torture them for ransom money. If the court requires them to be trial, why would the court acquit/release them at first,” said an elderly Rohingya in Maungdaw.

About Me

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