Maungdaw, Arakan State: The Burma’s border security force (Nasaka) ordered to the local Village Administration officers to collect fund from Rohingya villages for upcoming Buddhist water-festival in April in Maungdaw Township on April 6, according to one of the village Administrators who preferred not to be named, “The Village Administration officer of Maung Nama village tract of Maungdaw Township was ordered by the Nasaka Headquarters of Kawar Bill (Kyigan Pyin) to collect money from Maung Nama Village tract for the upcoming Buddhist water-festival in April ( Burmese New year).”
Maung Nama village tract has three Villages—- Maung Nama Gyi, Maung Nama Ngay and Maung Nama Aley (middle). The tree villages have to pay Kyat 450,000 to the Nasaka Headquarters. The water-festival will fall on April 13 to 16, according to Buddhist calendar. The Nasaka also threatened to the Villagers that who does not comply with the order, he/she will be punished according to the law, said a local trader who denied to be named.
As a result, one village has to pay Kyat 150,000 to the Nasaka Headquarters before coming water-festival, the trade more added.
This money will use for the Aung Min Gala Natala village, which is established nearby Nasaka Headquarters. The villagers of Natala village have to borrow taxis and motor bikes to celebrate the water-festival.
The Natala village is mixed of Rakhines from Akyab (Sittwe), from Maungdaw rural areas and Rakhines from Bangladesh. There is a Nasaka camp nearby Aung Min Gala Natala village, and the Commander of the camp had married one Rakhine girl of this Natala village. So, the Natala villagers are powerful to do anything against the Rohingya villagers, said a local businessman.
It is not necessary to collect money from the Rohingya villagers to celebrate Buddhist water-festival; it is a deliberate action against the Rohingya community. The Nasaka is trying to collect the money while the Rohingya villagers are facing financial crisis due to movement restriction and also they have no jobs and money to provide to the Nasaka, said a village elder Karim, (it is not real name) from the locality.