Rohingya villagers in panic in northern Arakan State

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Rohingyas villagers in northern Arakan State are now passing days and nights in panic for giving pressure by the Burma border security force (Nasaka) to participate in computerized signatures and photographs after writing “Bengali” in place of “Rohingya” in the column of national race, said a politician from Maungdaw
LT.Col Aung Naing Oo, the director general, Nasaka has been giving acute pressure to the Rohingya people in northern Arakan since May 9, to write down or to say “Bengali” instead of “Rohingya” in the column of National race, said a local leader preferring not to be named.
“Since May 9, the Nasaka director, himself with security force went to the neighboring villages of Nasaka Headquarters of Kawar Bill (Gyikang Pyin) of Maungdaw Township and has been giving dire pressure to the villagers to write Bengali in place of Rohingya.”

The Nasaka director has been arresting people and tortures and some of them are detained in the Nasaka camp for not complying with the order of Nasaka director. After the report of so-called Arakan conflict inquiry commission, he asked the villagers to learn Burmese and to write “Bengali” in place of “Rohingya” in the Form which has been computerized along with the photographs and signatures, an ex-teacher of Maungdaw Township said preferring not to be named.

Today, the Nasaka director went to Kawar Bill village and entered the house of Master Fayaz Ahmed (65),  and destroyed all his households’ things including cooking pots and cupboards while the house owner along with family members were fleeing from the house to avoid arrest. Villagers can’t sleep in houses at night for fear of arrest by the Nasaka and fleeing to other villages. The villagers of this village are blocked by the Nasaka personnel to go to other villages and the villagers are arrested by the Nasaka while they are met by the Nasaka on the road, a local youth from the village said.

“The Nasaka also entered Rohingyas’ home where they looted valuable goods – money, jewelry and household goods-and attempted to rape while the Nasaka found females in the house alone. Most of males are fleeing from village to avoid to participate to sign in computerized program for Rohingya to Bengali and fear of arrest.”

In similar way, the villagers of Buthidaung Township are also facing difficulties by the cause of forcing the villagers to write or to say ‘Bengali’ in place of ‘Rohingya’.

Besides, last Friday, in the morning, the Commander of the Nasaka area No.8 of Maungdaw south summoned Rohingya villigers, local elders, village admin officers and religious leaders and held a meeting in the school of Gora Khali village, said a village admin officer on condition of anonymity.

In the meeting, the Nasaka Commander said that all the villagers must be participated in the surveys which are carried out by the Nasaka and immigrations. If anyone does not participate in the survey, he will be punished according to the law.

During the meeting, an elder from the village asked a question to the Nasaka officer that “We all are ready to participate in the surveys, if the authority writes “Rohingya” instead of Bengali in the Form.

In reply, the officer told that “Here is no Rohingya, all are Bengalis. If anybody doesn’t follow the order of the government, he/she will be punished according to the law. “If you live in Burma, you must obey the law and order of Burma,” according to sources.

An elder said on condition of anonymity, “We have been living in Burma since long, long ago as Rohingyas, but, now, the Burmese government forcibly makes us “Bengalis” in our motherland.” Is it not a human rights violation!

Following reports of the incident in IDP in Akyab with Immigration and Rohingyas, the UN Population Fund issued a statement on May 3 in which it said that “[h]ousehold data collection activities being undertaken in the camps and other sites in Sittwe, Rakhine State, involving the update of family lists by teams composed of several government departments, are unrelated to the National Population and Housing Census scheduled for April 2014”, according to Myanmar Times on May 11.

“These activities are also not connected to the pilot census exercise that took place successfully from March 30 to April 10 in 20 townships around the country, including Sittwe, without any kind of incidents.”

“Actual data collection for the 2014 National Population Census will take place from March 29 to April 10, 2014 in all parts of Myanmar. Every person present within the borders of Myanmar on the night of March 29, 2014 will be included in the census.”

But spokesperson U Win Myaing has insisted that recent data collection in camps for displaced Muslims is related to next year’s census and preparation for the next coming census in 2014.

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