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Breaking News: Ancient Mosque in Sittwe on Fire

By M.S. Anwar  
Sunday, 7th October 2012

Sittwe, Arakan- On 7th October 2012 (i.e. today), an 800-year-old ancient mosque called “Sawduro Bor Masjid” near to the National Museum and U Uttama Park was torched and burnt down by the Rakhine Extremists with the help of 500 military personnels. This historical mosque is also recorded by the United Nation as one of the many historical heritages in Burma. At the same time, many of Rohingyas’s houses and guest houses around the area were also torched by the Rakhine extremists.
“Around 3PM Myanmar standard time, many Rakhine extremists gathered around the mosque and started torching the mosque. When Rohingyas around the area came out to put off fire, around 500 Military blocked Rohingyas and protecting and helping Rakhines in burning down the historical mosque. At the same time, Rohingyas’ houses and guest houses were put on fire, too” said Maung Maung Oo, a Rohingya from Sittwe.

According to local Rohingyas in Sittwe, Rakhine Extremists in cooperation with Military burnt down the mosque in retaliation to the recent violence against Buddhist minority in Bangladesh. Bangladesh government irresponsibly bucked up the blames on Rohingyas for the incidence. Bangladesh government is just taking advantage of already victimized Rohingyas who have no legal status either in Burma or in Bgladesh and hence can’t move around freely. Besides, it is known to the world that Bangladesh has pushed back Rohingya victims to the sea. Now, the violence against Rohingyas in Arakan has been renewed in cooperation again with the country’s military. Now, only God knows what their future and destiny hold.

Elsewhere, “Military raided the village, Baggona in Maung Daw on 6th October 2012. While Rohingya men in the village were on hinding, they gathered a few Rohingya women and thretened them not to or let their men meet any foreign investigation teams or observers coming to the region. Or else, they would take strong actions against Rohingyas” reported by A. Faiz from Maung Daw. The raid was carried out subsequently after the departure of British Ambassador to Burma, Andrew Heyn, who visited the region in the earlier days.