• stateless (1)
  • stateless (2)
  • stateless (4)
  • stateless (5)
  • stateless (6)
  • stateless (7)
  • stateless (8)
  • stateless (3)
  • stateless (9)
  • stateless (10)
  • stateless (12)
  • stateless (11)
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19 April 2014

Report 3: Rohingya Subjected as Forced Labours under Harsh Condition

Forced Labour against Rohingyas have been started by NaSaKa (now disbanded border security force) (as seen in the picture) and military. Now, it has been inherited by NaSaKa inheritors, Hlun Hteins (Security Force). (Photo: Stateless.com)
By HD MYARF
rvisiontv.com
April 19, 2014
Maungdaw, Arakan- Security Force at Camp no. 12 in the village of Thu Oo Hla (Koolar bil), northern Maungdaw, are subjecting Rohingyas, irrespective to minors or adults, as forced labours under harsh conditions for more than 12 hours a day.
“There is a HlunHtein (Security Force) Camp at the village of Thu Oo Hla (Koolar Bil) in Northern Maungdaw. The number of the camp is 12 and it is under HlunHtein (formerly NaSaKa Commandment) Region 5. It is headed by Captain Maung Tun.
On 17th April 2014, he started brutal way of subjecting Rohingya passers-by as forced labours in the camp. He stops every Rohingya passer-by, regardless of minor or adult, tortures him and forces him to work in the camp non-stop from 8AM to 9PM. He forces Rohingyas to dig grounds, carry water, clean grasses and other heavy duty works under extremely hot sun. If Rohingyas slightly slow down during the hours of forced labor, he beats them up. And it continues until today” said a Rohingya from a nearby village.
“Some of Rohingyas that have been subjected as forced labours are:
1) Sayed Ullah (son of) Jalil Ahmed (Age 54) from the village of Koolar Bil
2) Nurul Amin (son of) Mohammed Jalil (Age 37) from the village of Mura Fara of Koolar Bil village tract
3) Ali Ahmed (son of) Basah Meah (Age 59) from the villag of Koolar Bil
4) Habibullah (son of) Mohammed Sayyid (Age 53) from the village of Koolar Bil
5) Mohammed Anas (son of) Noor Khuda (Age 9) from the village of Mura Fara of Koolar Bil village tract
6) Mohammed Rafi (son of) Badi Ullah (Age 14) from the village of Mura Fara of Koolar Bil village tract
7) Jaarullah (son of) Muhibullah (Age 17) from the village of Mura Fara of Koolar Bil village tract
8) Shuna Meah (son of) Iman Hussein (Age 22) from the village of Mura Fara of Koolar Bil village tract
9) Imran (son of) Rashidullah (Age 19) from the village of Mura Fara of Koolar Bil village tract
10) a Rohingya passer-by called Khairul Hussein and many others.
We request the government of Myanmar and other concerned quarters to take action against subjecting Rohingyas as forced labours” he added.
Please earlier reports as well:

A Rohingya voice on violations and remedies - Wai Wai Nu

Women Peace Network Arakan director Wai Wai Nu (left) presenting her speech during the GMM-AMAN-Proham RTD on Human Rights Violations & Remedies: The Rohingyan Case yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Wai Wai Nu.

By TMI
April 18, 2014

I feel honored to have the chance to speak as a panel in this discussion on Rohingya issue. I myself is a Rohingya, and I hope participants in this group will finally give me some hopeful and practical assurances that I can take a long with me to convey to my persecuted Rohingya people. I am very much thankful to GMM- AMAN-PROHAM for hosting this event and to invite me.

Here I would like to present a short and precise analysis of the Human right situation in Rakhine state. Since Rohingya’s identity is denied by Myanmar Government their citizenship question became on stake.

1982 Myanmar citizenship law which the world regards as an arbitrary and harsh law, short of international norm and standard, section 3 says “Only the 8 major indigenous races and sub races associated to them are, Myanmar citizen”. Since Myanmar’s independence in 1948, Rohingya were listed as one of the ethnic races but the 1982 law excluded them. From that time various forms of discriminatory and suppressive rules and mechanism have been in continuation until today. Rohingyas are no longer regarded as Human being. Their socio-economic life is so suffocated that almost all Rohingyas are just seeking for survival. 

What the successive military Governments intentionally did to strip Rohingya of everything vital for their livelihoods are;

Firstly, they are deprived of their history: despite their existence in Arakan for thousand years they are portrayed as Indians who came into Arakan (Rakhine) since British occupation in 1824.

Secondly, their ethnicity is misinterpreted and branded them as Bengali. This is a deliberate attempt took place since 1973 and 1983 censuses to make them stateless. Though they themselves enlisted them as Rohingya then, census reports said this people are Bengali which are about 29% of total Arakan’s population of 3.3million.

Thirdly, the government looted away Rohingya’s citizenship under a new and arbitrary citizenship law in 1982. Now Rohingyas are branded as noncitizen or stateless. As there were conventions under UN supervision for the protection and reduction of stateless people, Myanmar government prefers the term noncitizen.

Finally, in the 2014 Myanmar census which started on April 1, there are 135 code numbers for each of so called national (ethnic) peoples but not for Rohingya. The government gave two different stories to international and to local media. To international media they said Rohingya must list themselves under the category 914 which means “other” but can write “Rohingya” to give more detail. This means that Rohingya will not be counted as an ethnic group but people were free to identify themselves. BUT some local media reported the Immigration and Population Minister said, “Rohingya must enlist as Bengali. Otherwise, one who enumerate as Rohingya is liable to legal punishment.” The worst is the demonstrations, led by extremist Monk Werathu, to totally ban the word “Rohingya” from the census. Rakhine politicians are threatening for more intensive violence unless Government bans the inclusion of Rohingya. So, now, if we want write “Rohingya” as our ethnic identity in the census, we will be stopped from joining the census. We are forced to write we are “Bengali” or we will not be counted at all. This census is funded by the UN Population Fund, European Union and other western countries, so it is extremely disappointing that the census is so racist.

The lead monk of hate the speech monk “Wirathu” whom Time magazine remark as “the face of Buddhist terror” visited Maung Daw Town (northern Arakan) in first week of January. Here on 13th January a big terrorized incidence occurred where dozens of people were injured and killed, the whole villagers had to flee away from the village and their belongings were looted away by Rakhine mobs and security personnel. The government “investigated” this violence two times and said there was no evidence of violence against Rohingya. They just said one police was killed but they couldn’t find his body, and recommended that police should be given better weapons. But UN says more than 40 Rohingya have been killed. Again the international NGO Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) said they treated 25 Rohingya people who were injured in that violence, so the government banned MSF from Rakhine state. Now more and more international NGOs giving humanitarian aid are being banned or attacked. The Burma Bulletin for March is distributed here, so you can read about the attacks last month. 

Abuses and discriminations against Rohingya are intentional, well prepared well organized. Rohingyas have been dehumanized, demonized, pushed into camps and persecuted in so many other ways. This includes restriction on movement, on marriage, on child birth and access to education and medical treatment. As a result of the restrictions on marriage and birth many women and man have been arrested and about 60,000 Rohingya children could not get birth certificates.

Rohingya children and youth have found it difficult to get education, especially girls. After the violence started in 2012, the situation got much worse. Now, there are more than 20,000 children unable to go to school and about 1,000 students are not allowed to continue their university education. Most Rohingya in Rakhine state cannot not get any health services at all. The government hospitals treat us as an enemy and we keep getting reports that hospital staff have beaten or mistreated Rohingya who seek medical treatment.

Economic life is stagnated. All most one third of Rohingyas’ farming lands were seized for distribution among non Rohingya newly settled model villages and military installations. Forced eviction and removing of Rohingya villages are routine. Due to one-sided attack and assault 150,000 Rohingya became IDPs, living in squalid camps without necessary facilities. Other Rohingya whose villages were not burned are virtually in confinement. No freedom of movement and freedom of access to any means of livelihood. There is no visible plan to resettle the IDPs. Even after kicking out all the INGOs from Sittwe last month, it’s become the question of serious humanitarian problem. Women and children are dying every day due to lack of food, water and heath care. 

The systematic and widespread human rights violations of Rohingya is not an internal matter. It has caused tens of thousands of Rohingya to flee as refugees to neighbouring countries including Malaysia and other ASEAN countries.

Our request to justice loving people, specially to ASEAN countries is as follows:

1. Insist for protection of Rohingya from violence and access to basic needs such as safe shelter, food, water, health and education. Rohingya are being segregated in camps in cyclone- sensitive areas. They could easily die from bad weather and deprivation of food, so they need to move to a safer location. For this, the government must also ensure protection and assistance to NGOs providing services to Rohingya and any other displaced people in Rakhine state.

2. Pressure Myanmar government to restore to Rohingya their right to get listed as Rohingya in the present census process which will last for next two months. Forcing rohingya to register as “Bengali” under the census may lead to all of us being forcibly deported from our own country as illegals.

3. Work with the rest of the international community to ensure that Rohingya are restored their full citizenship and equal rights. Now the government is hinting that only some of us will get naturalized citizenship. However naturalized citizenship means we cannot run in elections, we cannot own certain kinds of property or pursue professional education, and this citizenship can be revoked anytime.

4. Health and education is extremely important for our survival as Rohingya. Please allow Rohingya children living in Malaysia to get education so they can grow up as capable and moderate Muslims. Please allow our people to have access to basic health services.

5. Next year, Malaysia will be the Chair of ASEAN. This year, Myanmar is the Chair and it has censored even ASEAN leaders and ASEAN civil society from talking about Rohingya. Please make a space for this to be discussed openly next year. We need governments and civil society to have the freedom to openly and honestly discuss and work for long term peaceful solutions for our people.

I sincerely hope Malaysia, as a leading member of ASEAN and of the OIC, will wholeheartedly work with other states, civil society and international mechanisms to solve this issue. ASEAN has been aware of the situation for more than 20 years but have not taken decisive action to address it, so this situation is getting critical. We have a justified fear that the mass killings will continue, with the aim of totally wiping out Rohingya from Myanmar.

We know Malaysia and other ASEAN countries are concerned about Rohingya boatpeople, refugees and asylum-seekers but if they do not help stop violence against Rohingya, Rohingya will be forced to leave their homes and seek survival somewhere else. It is definitely in ASEAN’s interest to have a coordinated strategy to ensure Rohingya’s human rights are protected.

We Rohingya people hope Malaysia will take a prompt and concrete initiative to solve this Rohingya crisis. Please work with us and other moderate Burmese in our country to get a peaceful and fair solution. 

Thank you.

This speech was presented at the GMM-AMAN-Proham RTD on Human Rights Violations & Remedies: The Rohingyan CASE on April 18, 2014.

Wai Wai Nu is the Director of Women Peace Network Arakan.

17 April 2014

OIC Chief Madani dismayed over deteriorating situation of Rohingyas

April 17, 2014

Jeddah — The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Ameen Madani, expressed concern about the recently conducted national population census in Myanmar and the government’s decision not to allow census respondents to self-identify as Rohingya, stating that this decision does not conform with international census standards as set by the United Nations Population Fund nor does it conform with basic human rights principles in terms of non-discrimination. 

The Secretary General reiterated that as a result of lack of adherence to principles of international law and infringement of the rights of the Rohingya people, a wave of condemnable violence again erupted including the burning of several Rohingya homes and the arbitrary detention of women.

He further expressed concern at the deteriorating situation of humanitarian aid workers in Rakhine State and regretted the reported attacks on their persons. He urged the government of Myanmar to enforce the rule of law in Rakhine, hold all perpetrators accountable, ensure the safety of those providing necessary assistance and humanitarian aid and prevent further escalation of violence.

Rohingya face hardship to build house in Maungdaw


By KPN News
April 16, 2014

Maungdaw, Arakan State: The Rohingya community from Maungdaw are facing hardship to build or repair their old damaged house for framing of law from authorities with verbal order, according to Dillu, from Maungdaw.The authorities –Township administration office, land survey office and tax and revenue office- where the Rohingya has to approach the land survey office to certify the land –the house built- as household land not for farming with form 105 with map and permission form 106, the Rohingya had to pay more than 200,000 kyat, The official rate is only less than 100 kyat, Dilu said.

With form 105 and 106, the Rohingya has to attach the family list together village admin officer recommendation to Township administration office to get the permission, Dilu, more added.

The Rohingya had to pay around 50,000 kyat to village admin office and pay more than 300,000- 10,00,000 kyat to Township admin office depending the style of house,  The bamboo house – 200,000 kyats, wooden house -500,000 kyat and concrete house -10,000,000kyat, said Annu from Maungdaw.

Then, the Tax and revenue office checked the Rohingya income and it is dutiable or not. The money come from and the office again charge Rohingya for building 200,000kyat where the official rate is only for 30% and 70 % goes to officer, Annu said.

This is only to build their old house to new as repairing, not allow Rohingya to build new home which has no family list and household land, Annu more added.

The authority used their verbal order not official order. It is a plan which made the Rohingya homeless and the house will be just shack  – not building or good look building- to make the Rohingya enter the area illegal and living as a temporally, said Halim, a Human Rights Watchdog from Maungdaw.

The authority are plying with Rohingya to extort money from them giving verbal order. It is no need for Rakhine community to process the permission like this and no need to pay huge amount of money, Halim said.

According to the sources, two Rohingya villagers from Khonza bill (Village) had received permission from Maungdaw Township admin office after giving 250,000 and 500,000 kyat. Ajida who lost her home for blaze and Syed Alam whose home was damaged. They need to process all the steps to get permission.

Most of the Rohingya community willing to repair their houses, but they are not able to get permission from authority as they can’t effort to fulfil the official demand. If the Rohingya whose houses were damaged and not repair in the summer season, they will face problem in the forthcoming raining season, said Abdullah, an elder from Maungdaw.

16 April 2014

Happy Thingyan Water Festival for Rohingyas? Like hell

Internally displaced Rohingya protest at their IDP camp in Rakhine. (Photo: New Internationalist)

By New Internationalist
April 16, 2014

One Western aid worker is frustrated and sickened by what’s going on in Burma. 

So, the holidays have started. Aid workers are leaving Burma for a break. The government virtually shuts down for 10 days. The current peace talks only have a couple of sticking points, apparently, and mostly they are to do with wording. International officials are telling the Burmese government how they are concerned about the ‘Rohingya situation’ (but we usually use the word ‘Muslim’ so as not to upset them. Some internationals even use ‘Bengali’) while congratulating them on their progress (letting foreign business in). Locals are getting ready for a week of fun at the water festival.

In the meantime, the Rohingyas suffer and die – hospitals used to receive around 400 referrals a month of critical patients; now they receive none. At least 2,700 children are not getting food supplements or being monitored; there are also food shortages. The government lies about the healthcare, water and food coverage provided to Rohingya in the state of Rakhine. Ethnic cleansing – and now a humanitarian crisis –is taking place. That must really upset the government and/or those pulling the strings. So the national government can’t control Rakhine? They use it as a convenient distraction whenever they wish. Heard anything much about the Chinese pipeline recently? How about land grabs? The government dislikes the Rohingyas; it dislikes the Rakhine Buddhist population too (although the latter can be useful). One Burma joke I heard is that if you see a snake and a Rakhine in the road, kill the Rakhine first.

And in Kachin, Burma’s northernmost state, internally displaced people (IDPs) are on the move again, due to heavy shelling by government forces. This at the same time as peace talks are supposedly close to finalization. Either President Thein Sein has very little control over the army, or he is playing games. Perhaps previous president Tan Swe and friends still have control of parts of the military.

The 11 commitments made by Thein Sein to US President Barack Obama need to be addressed; deadlines and consequences for lack of compliance need to be in place. Perhaps this is being done behind closed doors, or perhaps I am dreaming. Sanctions and loss of reputation internationally may work. UN military observers are needed in Rakhine. Travel authorizations should be abolished and free movement of aid workers guaranteed. Aid workers should not be controlled and directed to suit government interests. Aid distribution should be based upon humanitarian needs.

After the Thingyan Water Festival, aid workers may be allowed slowly back in to Rakhine in a controlled way, but the government is likely to dictate more of what they do, where and how. The government has apparently stated that it wants aid to be split 50-50 between the Rohingya and Rakhine, which is contrary to the humanitarian imperative. Some Rohingya are likely to die as aid workers play politics with the government to ensure access – which will be denied if they don’t. Travel authorizations are not issued at all for Thingyan and existing ones are not respected. This is for the ‘safety and security’ of aid workers – how considerate. Normally issued by line ministries, they are now also sent to the Rakhine state government for approval for ‘safety and security’. This is an old excuse, used by authoritarian regimes everywhere to restrict and control movement. It also gives the central government the chance to excuse themselves: ‘We would love to, but it is these difficult Rakhines...’

Another great gift to Burma from the international community is the census. What a great success! And we have an extension, at least until the end of April, for it to spark even more suffering and violence. It sparked the escalation of violence and a humanitarian crisis in Rakhine; it caused fighting in Kachin; but the UNFPA tells us the census was very useful and a success, and never mind that they can extrapolate the figures for areas not covered, if the enumerators have not completed them from a few answered questions. The UNFPA did advise the government to take the ethnicity question off the form, but the government insisted, so what could they do? Refuse to validate it and withdraw funding for the census, is the obvious answer, but that may be too undiplomatic. Making waves does not help one’s career, of course, so let’s keep our heads down. We are only giving technical support anyway, so it is not our responsibility. That’s a relief.

I hope the aid workers have a good holiday; I hope locals have a good Thingyan; and I hope that not too many Rohingya die.

Happy Thingyan Water Festival for Rohingyas? Like hell

Internally displaced Rohingya protest at their IDP camp in Rakhine. (Photo: New Internationalist)
April 16, 2014
One Western aid worker is frustrated and sickened by what’s going on in Burma. 
So, the holidays have started. Aid workers are leaving Burma for a break. The government virtually shuts down for 10 days. The current peace talks only have a couple of sticking points, apparently, and mostly they are to do with wording. International officials are telling the Burmese government how they are concerned about the ‘Rohingya situation’ (but we usually use the word ‘Muslim’ so as not to upset them. Some internationals even use ‘Bengali’) while congratulating them on their progress (letting foreign business in). Locals are getting ready for a week of fun at the water festival.
In the meantime, the Rohingyas suffer and die – hospitals used to receive around 400 referrals a month of critical patients; now they receive none. At least 2,700 children are not getting food supplements or being monitored; there are also food shortages. The government lies about the healthcare, water and food coverage provided to Rohingya in the state of Rakhine. Ethnic cleansing – and now a humanitarian crisis –is taking place. That must really upset the government and/or those pulling the strings. So the national government can’t control Rakhine? They use it as a convenient distraction whenever they wish. Heard anything much about the Chinese pipeline recently? How about land grabs? The government dislikes the Rohingyas; it dislikes the Rakhine Buddhist population too (although the latter can be useful). One Burma joke I heard is that if you see a snake and a Rakhine in the road, kill the Rakhine first.
And in Kachin, Burma’s northernmost state, internally displaced people (IDPs) are on the move again, due to heavy shelling by government forces. This at the same time as peace talks are supposedly close to finalization. Either President Thein Sein has very little control over the army, or he is playing games. Perhaps previous president Tan Swe and friends still have control of parts of the military.
The 11 commitments made by Thein Sein to US President Barack Obama need to be addressed; deadlines and consequences for lack of compliance need to be in place. Perhaps this is being done behind closed doors, or perhaps I am dreaming. Sanctions and loss of reputation internationally may work. UN military observers are needed in Rakhine. Travel authorizations should be abolished and free movement of aid workers guaranteed. Aid workers should not be controlled and directed to suit government interests. Aid distribution should be based upon humanitarian needs.
After the Thingyan Water Festival, aid workers may be allowed slowly back in to Rakhine in a controlled way, but the government is likely to dictate more of what they do, where and how. The government has apparently stated that it wants aid to be split 50-50 between the Rohingya and Rakhine, which is contrary to the humanitarian imperative. Some Rohingya are likely to die as aid workers play politics with the government to ensure access – which will be denied if they don’t. Travel authorizations are not issued at all for Thingyan and existing ones are not respected. This is for the ‘safety and security’ of aid workers – how considerate. Normally issued by line ministries, they are now also sent to the Rakhine state government for approval for ‘safety and security’. This is an old excuse, used by authoritarian regimes everywhere to restrict and control movement. It also gives the central government the chance to excuse themselves: ‘We would love to, but it is these difficult Rakhines...’
Another great gift to Burma from the international community is the census. What a great success! And we have an extension, at least until the end of April, for it to spark even more suffering and violence. It sparked the escalation of violence and a humanitarian crisis in Rakhine; it caused fighting in Kachin; but the UNFPA tells us the census was very useful and a success, and never mind that they can extrapolate the figures for areas not covered, if the enumerators have not completed them from a few answered questions. The UNFPA did advise the government to take the ethnicity question off the form, but the government insisted, so what could they do? Refuse to validate it and withdraw funding for the census, is the obvious answer, but that may be too undiplomatic. Making waves does not help one’s career, of course, so let’s keep our heads down. We are only giving technical support anyway, so it is not our responsibility. That’s a relief.
I hope the aid workers have a good holiday; I hope locals have a good Thingyan; and I hope that not too many Rohingya die.
- See more at: http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2014/04/happy-thingyan-water-festival-for.html#sthash.VlASyc41.dpuf

Happy Thingyan Water Festival for Rohingyas? Like hell

Internally displaced Rohingya protest at their IDP camp in Rakhine. (Photo: New Internationalist)
April 16, 2014
One Western aid worker is frustrated and sickened by what’s going on in Burma. 
So, the holidays have started. Aid workers are leaving Burma for a break. The government virtually shuts down for 10 days. The current peace talks only have a couple of sticking points, apparently, and mostly they are to do with wording. International officials are telling the Burmese government how they are concerned about the ‘Rohingya situation’ (but we usually use the word ‘Muslim’ so as not to upset them. Some internationals even use ‘Bengali’) while congratulating them on their progress (letting foreign business in). Locals are getting ready for a week of fun at the water festival.
In the meantime, the Rohingyas suffer and die – hospitals used to receive around 400 referrals a month of critical patients; now they receive none. At least 2,700 children are not getting food supplements or being monitored; there are also food shortages. The government lies about the healthcare, water and food coverage provided to Rohingya in the state of Rakhine. Ethnic cleansing – and now a humanitarian crisis –is taking place. That must really upset the government and/or those pulling the strings. So the national government can’t control Rakhine? They use it as a convenient distraction whenever they wish. Heard anything much about the Chinese pipeline recently? How about land grabs? The government dislikes the Rohingyas; it dislikes the Rakhine Buddhist population too (although the latter can be useful). One Burma joke I heard is that if you see a snake and a Rakhine in the road, kill the Rakhine first.
And in Kachin, Burma’s northernmost state, internally displaced people (IDPs) are on the move again, due to heavy shelling by government forces. This at the same time as peace talks are supposedly close to finalization. Either President Thein Sein has very little control over the army, or he is playing games. Perhaps previous president Tan Swe and friends still have control of parts of the military.
The 11 commitments made by Thein Sein to US President Barack Obama need to be addressed; deadlines and consequences for lack of compliance need to be in place. Perhaps this is being done behind closed doors, or perhaps I am dreaming. Sanctions and loss of reputation internationally may work. UN military observers are needed in Rakhine. Travel authorizations should be abolished and free movement of aid workers guaranteed. Aid workers should not be controlled and directed to suit government interests. Aid distribution should be based upon humanitarian needs.
After the Thingyan Water Festival, aid workers may be allowed slowly back in to Rakhine in a controlled way, but the government is likely to dictate more of what they do, where and how. The government has apparently stated that it wants aid to be split 50-50 between the Rohingya and Rakhine, which is contrary to the humanitarian imperative. Some Rohingya are likely to die as aid workers play politics with the government to ensure access – which will be denied if they don’t. Travel authorizations are not issued at all for Thingyan and existing ones are not respected. This is for the ‘safety and security’ of aid workers – how considerate. Normally issued by line ministries, they are now also sent to the Rakhine state government for approval for ‘safety and security’. This is an old excuse, used by authoritarian regimes everywhere to restrict and control movement. It also gives the central government the chance to excuse themselves: ‘We would love to, but it is these difficult Rakhines...’
Another great gift to Burma from the international community is the census. What a great success! And we have an extension, at least until the end of April, for it to spark even more suffering and violence. It sparked the escalation of violence and a humanitarian crisis in Rakhine; it caused fighting in Kachin; but the UNFPA tells us the census was very useful and a success, and never mind that they can extrapolate the figures for areas not covered, if the enumerators have not completed them from a few answered questions. The UNFPA did advise the government to take the ethnicity question off the form, but the government insisted, so what could they do? Refuse to validate it and withdraw funding for the census, is the obvious answer, but that may be too undiplomatic. Making waves does not help one’s career, of course, so let’s keep our heads down. We are only giving technical support anyway, so it is not our responsibility. That’s a relief.
I hope the aid workers have a good holiday; I hope locals have a good Thingyan; and I hope that not too many Rohingya die.
- See more at: http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2014/04/happy-thingyan-water-festival-for.html#sthash.VlASyc41.dpuf

Happy Thingyan Water Festival for Rohingyas? Like hell

Internally displaced Rohingya protest at their IDP camp in Rakhine. (Photo: New Internationalist)
April 16, 2014
One Western aid worker is frustrated and sickened by what’s going on in Burma. 
So, the holidays have started. Aid workers are leaving Burma for a break. The government virtually shuts down for 10 days. The current peace talks only have a couple of sticking points, apparently, and mostly they are to do with wording. International officials are telling the Burmese government how they are concerned about the ‘Rohingya situation’ (but we usually use the word ‘Muslim’ so as not to upset them. Some internationals even use ‘Bengali’) while congratulating them on their progress (letting foreign business in). Locals are getting ready for a week of fun at the water festival.
In the meantime, the Rohingyas suffer and die – hospitals used to receive around 400 referrals a month of critical patients; now they receive none. At least 2,700 children are not getting food supplements or being monitored; there are also food shortages. The government lies about the healthcare, water and food coverage provided to Rohingya in the state of Rakhine. Ethnic cleansing – and now a humanitarian crisis –is taking place. That must really upset the government and/or those pulling the strings. So the national government can’t control Rakhine? They use it as a convenient distraction whenever they wish. Heard anything much about the Chinese pipeline recently? How about land grabs? The government dislikes the Rohingyas; it dislikes the Rakhine Buddhist population too (although the latter can be useful). One Burma joke I heard is that if you see a snake and a Rakhine in the road, kill the Rakhine first.
And in Kachin, Burma’s northernmost state, internally displaced people (IDPs) are on the move again, due to heavy shelling by government forces. This at the same time as peace talks are supposedly close to finalization. Either President Thein Sein has very little control over the army, or he is playing games. Perhaps previous president Tan Swe and friends still have control of parts of the military.
The 11 commitments made by Thein Sein to US President Barack Obama need to be addressed; deadlines and consequences for lack of compliance need to be in place. Perhaps this is being done behind closed doors, or perhaps I am dreaming. Sanctions and loss of reputation internationally may work. UN military observers are needed in Rakhine. Travel authorizations should be abolished and free movement of aid workers guaranteed. Aid workers should not be controlled and directed to suit government interests. Aid distribution should be based upon humanitarian needs.
After the Thingyan Water Festival, aid workers may be allowed slowly back in to Rakhine in a controlled way, but the government is likely to dictate more of what they do, where and how. The government has apparently stated that it wants aid to be split 50-50 between the Rohingya and Rakhine, which is contrary to the humanitarian imperative. Some Rohingya are likely to die as aid workers play politics with the government to ensure access – which will be denied if they don’t. Travel authorizations are not issued at all for Thingyan and existing ones are not respected. This is for the ‘safety and security’ of aid workers – how considerate. Normally issued by line ministries, they are now also sent to the Rakhine state government for approval for ‘safety and security’. This is an old excuse, used by authoritarian regimes everywhere to restrict and control movement. It also gives the central government the chance to excuse themselves: ‘We would love to, but it is these difficult Rakhines...’
Another great gift to Burma from the international community is the census. What a great success! And we have an extension, at least until the end of April, for it to spark even more suffering and violence. It sparked the escalation of violence and a humanitarian crisis in Rakhine; it caused fighting in Kachin; but the UNFPA tells us the census was very useful and a success, and never mind that they can extrapolate the figures for areas not covered, if the enumerators have not completed them from a few answered questions. The UNFPA did advise the government to take the ethnicity question off the form, but the government insisted, so what could they do? Refuse to validate it and withdraw funding for the census, is the obvious answer, but that may be too undiplomatic. Making waves does not help one’s career, of course, so let’s keep our heads down. We are only giving technical support anyway, so it is not our responsibility. That’s a relief.
I hope the aid workers have a good holiday; I hope locals have a good Thingyan; and I hope that not too many Rohingya die.
- See more at: http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2014/04/happy-thingyan-water-festival-for.html#sthash.VlASyc41.dpuf

Happy Thingyan Water Festival for Rohingyas? Like hell

Internally displaced Rohingya protest at their IDP camp in Rakhine. (Photo: New Internationalist)
April 16, 2014
One Western aid worker is frustrated and sickened by what’s going on in Burma. 
So, the holidays have started. Aid workers are leaving Burma for a break. The government virtually shuts down for 10 days. The current peace talks only have a couple of sticking points, apparently, and mostly they are to do with wording. International officials are telling the Burmese government how they are concerned about the ‘Rohingya situation’ (but we usually use the word ‘Muslim’ so as not to upset them. Some internationals even use ‘Bengali’) while congratulating them on their progress (letting foreign business in). Locals are getting ready for a week of fun at the water festival.
In the meantime, the Rohingyas suffer and die – hospitals used to receive around 400 referrals a month of critical patients; now they receive none. At least 2,700 children are not getting food supplements or being monitored; there are also food shortages. The government lies about the healthcare, water and food coverage provided to Rohingya in the state of Rakhine. Ethnic cleansing – and now a humanitarian crisis –is taking place. That must really upset the government and/or those pulling the strings. So the national government can’t control Rakhine? They use it as a convenient distraction whenever they wish. Heard anything much about the Chinese pipeline recently? How about land grabs? The government dislikes the Rohingyas; it dislikes the Rakhine Buddhist population too (although the latter can be useful). One Burma joke I heard is that if you see a snake and a Rakhine in the road, kill the Rakhine first.
And in Kachin, Burma’s northernmost state, internally displaced people (IDPs) are on the move again, due to heavy shelling by government forces. This at the same time as peace talks are supposedly close to finalization. Either President Thein Sein has very little control over the army, or he is playing games. Perhaps previous president Tan Swe and friends still have control of parts of the military.
The 11 commitments made by Thein Sein to US President Barack Obama need to be addressed; deadlines and consequences for lack of compliance need to be in place. Perhaps this is being done behind closed doors, or perhaps I am dreaming. Sanctions and loss of reputation internationally may work. UN military observers are needed in Rakhine. Travel authorizations should be abolished and free movement of aid workers guaranteed. Aid workers should not be controlled and directed to suit government interests. Aid distribution should be based upon humanitarian needs.
After the Thingyan Water Festival, aid workers may be allowed slowly back in to Rakhine in a controlled way, but the government is likely to dictate more of what they do, where and how. The government has apparently stated that it wants aid to be split 50-50 between the Rohingya and Rakhine, which is contrary to the humanitarian imperative. Some Rohingya are likely to die as aid workers play politics with the government to ensure access – which will be denied if they don’t. Travel authorizations are not issued at all for Thingyan and existing ones are not respected. This is for the ‘safety and security’ of aid workers – how considerate. Normally issued by line ministries, they are now also sent to the Rakhine state government for approval for ‘safety and security’. This is an old excuse, used by authoritarian regimes everywhere to restrict and control movement. It also gives the central government the chance to excuse themselves: ‘We would love to, but it is these difficult Rakhines...’
Another great gift to Burma from the international community is the census. What a great success! And we have an extension, at least until the end of April, for it to spark even more suffering and violence. It sparked the escalation of violence and a humanitarian crisis in Rakhine; it caused fighting in Kachin; but the UNFPA tells us the census was very useful and a success, and never mind that they can extrapolate the figures for areas not covered, if the enumerators have not completed them from a few answered questions. The UNFPA did advise the government to take the ethnicity question off the form, but the government insisted, so what could they do? Refuse to validate it and withdraw funding for the census, is the obvious answer, but that may be too undiplomatic. Making waves does not help one’s career, of course, so let’s keep our heads down. We are only giving technical support anyway, so it is not our responsibility. That’s a relief.
I hope the aid workers have a good holiday; I hope locals have a good Thingyan; and I hope that not too many Rohingya die.
- See more at: http://www.rohingyablogger.com/2014/04/happy-thingyan-water-festival-for.html#sthash.VlASyc41.dpuf

Proposed solution to enumeration – no race, no religious and no code

Myanmar's Vice President Nyan Tun, Chief Minister of Rakhine state government Hla Maung Tin and Union Minister of Immigration Khin Ye arrive in Sittwe, Rakhine State.

By Huson Salm
KPN News
April 15, 2015

The immigration department of union of Myanmar has declared that the nationwide enumeration has approximately been collected except Kachine state and part of Rakhine state. Since then, government higher authorities have been interviewing with Burmese programs of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America that the enumeration process phase for Kachine state and north and central part of Rakhine state be extended for additional (8) weeks until the enumeration process accomplished to targeted destination.

The Rohingyas inhabitants from Rakhine state have been in high fear that the remaining enumeration process would be forcefully conducted against the will of the respondents as per the secret direction of higher authorities rather than an accord with UNFPA and the government of Myanmar which was reached between the two counterparts as per the international procedure.

Minister U Khin Ye and U Myint Kyine have been blustering on the air that government will take action against those who will persistently stick the race ‘Rohingyas’ by the enumeration law, enacted by the government. As a matter of fact, in accord the enumeration law, respective enumerators should have had to record as per the respondents in the process. Having been acknowledging the attitude of Minister U Khin Ye and Director General U Myint Kyine by entire Rohingyas, in fact, the enumerators who have been drastically breaking the enumeration law should be taken action rather than Rohingyas who were just respondents, and they are innocent.

Government authorities had repeatedly approached the Rohingyas elders through Rakhine state parliamentarians (Rohingya) of Maungdaw and Buthidaung along the process to persuade the populace as ‘Bengali’ in race tally. Later the government authorities have changed their strategy about the race tally, suggesting the people that they may leave the race tally as ‘blank’, which Rohingyas from Arakan state are being irritated that this blank space in race tally be later filled up as ‘Bengali’ by the immigration officers in free hands behind the respondents.

Having firmly believed by the Rohingya people that they are Rohingyas only and are greatly worried by the enumerators’ attempt to brand them whatever– whether the term Bengali or leaving space as blank in race tally which favors by the enumerators—are the gravely dangerous motivation by the government to be disentrancing the national rights and which totally against the accord between the UNFPA, donors and the government of Myanmar.

There had been Rakhine mass demonstration before the commencing the enumeration, showing their firm stand against the name Rohingyas which Rakhine widely concern latter on– the identity legitimizing as an indigenous status, and an attempt to solve the Rakhine people’ concern  by the government, the enumerators were firstly directed not to register the name Rohingya as per the respondents. Anyway, the most interesting point now is that both community, Rohingyas and Rakhine do not like exit the race tally blank, concerning by Rohingyas that the authorities’ enumerators would later fill up as “Bengali” as well as Rakhine Buddhists concern that the government would fill up as Rohingyas in the blank under the advice of international community, learned from grassroots Rakhine and Rohingyas.

In actual fact, government has declared that the enumeration purpose from the beginning is to collect the social data for each and every single national to be able to lay out the wide national plan which to be benefiting merely overall social development regarding the respective ethnic group in the country, and adding that the collected data should not be applied for any particular purpose except for social development plan.

If so, I personally find out a temporary plan to resolve the reef knot which is occurred in the region between Rakhine, Rohingyas and Union government. To have solved the problem; what about to re-design a new form in which no column of “race, religion, and code” tally, which with (38) facts against (41) points right now. I think this is the best solution at this current situation, which neither Rohingya nor Rakhine would have a room to raise objection for the enumeration and the union government would not have too much head-ache too to accomplish a peaceful enumeration process in Rakhine state where there are Rohingyas people residing.

To have a peaceful enumeration in the region, both Rakhine state government and Union government are responsible to handle rationally the communal affairs and to take care of the requirement of oppressed community instead of privileged one.

An unholy alliance of Buddhist terrorists

By Tariq A. Al-Maeena
April 15, 2015

Siddhartha Gautama, who became universally known as the sage Buddha, was born some 2,500 years ago in Nepal. He was a human being who became acutely enlightened in understanding life and explaining it in its simplicity. It is said that he once sat under a peepal tree for 40 days and nights to attain understanding and enlightenment and once he reached that stage he felt free from greed, hatred and ignorance, and enhanced by wisdom, compassion, tolerance and freedom.

This was the message he sought to promote for the remaining years of his life to his disciples.

Unfortunately over the centuries, some of Buddha’s followers or Buddhists as they are called mutated into something far removed from the sage’s messages. Theirs has become a calling of all things evil and violent. Currently there are two such strains of Buddhists who are leading a campaign against others that is devoid of any of the sage’s messages.

One group, the Ahsin Wirathu Alliance, operating out of Burma or Myanmar, is made up of bloodthirsty Buddhists who have been terrorizing and slaughtering thousands of Myanmar’s minority Rohingya Muslims. Even Aung San Suu Kyi, a leader of the Myanmar opposition and the 1991 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, dares not venture to align herself with the cause of the displaced Rohingyas for political considerations. She has thus far been protected from any criticism for the massacres going on in her country even though some question whether she is supporting the terrorist Buddhist group which is attempting to exterminate the Muslim population in Myanmar.

Another equally vicious Buddhist group in Sri Lanka, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), has lately begun a fierce campaign against the Tamil, Muslim and Christian minorities on the island.

Last month, events in Sri Lanka took an even more disturbing turn. Ashin Wirathu Thera, leader of the 969 Movement in Myanmar, and notorious for his anti-Islam tirades which have resulted in the slaughter of thousands of Rohingya refugees was invited by his BBS counterparts in Sri Lanka to visit the island. Time magazine has correctly described Wirathu as the “Face of Buddhist Terror”.

The meeting of two terrorist Buddhist group leaders from Myanmar and Sri Lanka does not bode well for the minorities of the island of Sri Lanka. In Myanmar, the minorities have already been subjugated to the point of being completely wiped out in some areas by acts of maximum brutality. Such acts have been muted so far in Sri Lanka, but such an unholy alliance could well spell disaster for their adversaries.

When the UN’s top human rights body launched an investigation recently into Sri Lanka’s civil war and possible war crimes against the Tamil minorities based on the recommendation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, the Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary screamed at a press conference: “We will skin the bitch alive!” This is the same individual who flew to Burma to receive a special birthday gift from Burma’s radical monk Wirathu last month.

The mindset of this terrorist group has increasingly worried many Sinhalese who make up the majority of the population in Sri Lanka and it has greatly disturbed the many minorities who have lately witnessed an increasing number of unabashed and defiant acts against their people, places of worship and businesses. This was not Buddha’s message.

With this unholy alliance between the two terror groups in the offing, the island’s minorities are wondering if it will eventually lead to the same sort of assault and slaughter of their people as the Rohingya have faced in Myanmar. This will unquestionably lead Sri Lanka to the precipice of disaster. 
— The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena

15 April 2014

Burmese Officials’ Brutalities over Rohingya Religious Students

By Ibrahim Shah 
April 2014

Taung Bazar, Buthidaung- Today in Taung Bazaar, Buthidaung Township at around 10:00 AM, the Captain Tun Naing (from Regiment 552 located near Thin Ga Net village) seized a motor bike belonging to Mohamed Reyas s/o Mv. Mohamed Foyas, aged 20 from Kwe Mura para of Mee Gyaung Zay village tract,a Rohingya Arabic student. Then the said Captain and two of his subordinates beaten the student up severely without any reason. The victim has no doors to complain against the military. These sorts of abuses are going on almost every single day.

The systematic persecution against Rohingya by government officials and its adopted Rakhine Buddhist miscreants have been taking place increasingly day by day in western Burma.

The more the international community advocates to stop such state-sponsored persecution against Rohingya, the more the Rohingya have been suffering and not even hardly few sympathy from Buddhist communities for them, said some Rohingya elders.

Currently, Rohingya children face malnutrition due to lack of proper food and clean water.
A Rohingya woman walking with her baby in Buthidaung - Taung Bazar (photo flickr stateprm)

14 April 2014

In Pictures: Myanmar's census bars Rohingya

By Hereward Holland
April 14, 2014

Muslim Rohingya are excluded from political representation as a result of not being counted.

Myanmar's million-plus Muslim Rohingya population doesn't officially exist on government records. Branded "Bengali" and considered illegal immigrants, they've been living under systematic discrimination since sectarian violence erupted in 2012 in the coastal Rakhine state.

In the past six months, resentment of aid groups has been building among some Buddhists because of charities' perceived preferential treatment of the Rohingya, who make up the vast majority of those displaced by the recent unrest. Many aid groups that once provided life-giving support to the Rohingya's squalid camps have either been banned or forced to flee, their compounds ransacked by Buddhist mobs.

The mobs gathered after a UN-backed national census, the country's first in 30 years.

The headcount officially began on March 30, despite threats of violence and questions of ethnicity and religion that could re-ignite conflict in an already deeply fractured country.

Rights groups and think tanks advised the government to delay the census or remove questions concerning race and religion because of Myanmar's fragile stage in transition from dictatorship to "disciplined democracy".

The UK's Department for International Development donated £10 million ($16m) to the project.

Days before the count, Buddhist nationalists - roused by hard-line monks - threatened to boycott the census if the Rohingya registered their ethnicity.

In an attempt to keep the peace, the government barred Rohingya from taking part in the census unless they identified themselves as "Bengali".

The UN Population Fund said it was "deeply concerned about the departure from international census standards".

Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
Provoked by hard-line monks, many in the Buddhist community were angered that the government initially allowed Muslim Rohingya to register their ethnicity. The government later barred Rohingya from taking part unless they registered as "Bengali".
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
Ethnic Rohingya, who have lived in the region for centuries, are conspicuously absent from this museum display. Rohingya are also absent from the official list of 135 ethnicities on the country's census form.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
In the run up to the census, some hard-line Buddhists spread rumours that Muslims were attempting to convert Myanmar from a Buddhist country through migration and marriage to Buddhist women.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
A building owned by Malteser International, an emergency aid group, bears the scars of an attack by a Buddhist mob angered by the removal of a pro-Buddhist flag from their building. Local Buddhists saw this as disrespectful, compounding resentment over the agency's perceived preferential treatment of Rohingya following previous sectarian violence. Later, a mob wielding hammers marched around town smashing and looting more than two dozen compounds used by aid agencies.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
On April 1, around 200 census workers entered Te Chaung camp on the outskirts of Sittwe. The data collectors were flanked by police and backed up by two army battalions. The camp's overwhelming majority is ethnic Rohingya.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
Instead of asking the 41 questions of the census, workers asked just one: "What is your ethnicity?" If respondents answered: "Rohingya", the workers reportedly moved on without registering the family.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
A Rohingya woman watches as census workers walk past her home, refusing to allow her to participate. Participation is crucial, as ministerial positions in local parliaments are allocated corresponding to proportional representation of registered ethnic groups.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
Rohingya children look out from their hut as census workers pass. They won't be counted, after pressure on the government from Buddhist nationalists - who see the Rohingya's census participation as the "thin edge of the wedge" towards citizenship, even though officials deny the count would be used for that purpose.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
A Kaman Muslim man living in the Te Chaung displacement camp poses with a card showing he participated in the census. Despite being Muslim, the Kaman is one of the 135 officially recognised ethnicities.
Photo: Hez Holland/Al Jazeera
A census worker practices filling out the pink census form at a training session. The United Nations Population Fund and the national government say the headcount will help allocate the nation's budget and resources.