Sunday, 22 July 2012

Brief Situation Report of Kyauktaw Town

By Sujauddin,

Rohingya people in Kyauktaw town are like other Rohingya in all over Arakan, are still confined as detainees and facing constant harassments while buying or managing foods is officially forbad.
The lives and survival of Rohingyas of Kyauktaw are much in the hands of local Rakhines and authorities. Generally, these people were never heard about UN Organizations. Aid groups and INGOs too have informal contact with Rohingyas of this region.  
Since the beginning of riot in Arakan, about 170 houses and 3 mosques including an ancient mosque plus bans, huts, haystacks, crops of 7 Rohingya villages were completely destructed by burning and destruction by Rakhine people. About hundred of Rohingya were killed during the riot and dozens taken away were never returned. The crisis is not yet over, about 10,000 Rohingyas are still shelter-less and dying at least 1 to 3 persons on daily basis due to lack of food and medic. (more detail)

From the beginning, the riot in Kyauktaw was organized by Dr Tun Aye (origin from Bangladesh), who is the present president of Rakhine National Democratic Party-RNDP. Most of his followers were the Bengali Rakhine people from model villages. They are still looting cattle and goods what ever they found. Dr Tun Aye and his teams did round by cars and boats and he personally incited by delivering anti-Rohingya speeches in all over Kyauktaw. .

"Crisis of Kyauktaw Town from 1995"
It was a scheme to relocate Rohingya villages from the town by the plot of Rakhine people led by Dr Tun Aye (who was acting leader at the time). They had engaged the authority of state to town levels by showing special economic opportunities and benefits. The scheme was passed easily by Rakhine State Peace and Development Council because it is part of the scope of the government. The order reached at the Town Peace and Development Council-TPDC office of Kyauktaw town in early 1995.

A dozen of leaders, acting leaders and religious leaders were called at the TPDC office and asked to enhance their village to leave voluntarily from the village.
On condition, the leaders were not detained but they had to corporate with authorities for implementation of the scheme.

On 4th Jan 1995, the military and police forces were deployed at Finshing village (Zaila Fara @ Paiketay Yat) because it is the biggest Rohingya village in Kyautaw (consisting over 800 homes) and the rest will be easier once this village gone. The villagers did not come out from the houses even though the forces were harassing non-stop 24 hours.

The next day on 5 Jan, more military and police forces were heavily deployed and Curfew was imposed while Rakhine people were involved behind the forces. The forces alerted by several warning shots towards the flock that made the villagers came out and gathered outside and meeting face to face with the forces.
The forces were chanting together and pushing the villagers step by step roughly. The villagers stranded against the forces and retained their steps in some points.
In the evening several ships were landed near the village to load the Rohingyas so they started chanting with traditional voices and not moved a step from the village. In this manner, the unrest aggressions were continued up to 3 days.

On 8 Jan, the Rakhine people were ready to take over the operation from the forces therefore the authority grabbed away about hundred of Rohingyas and forced them to drive their own villagers. But the villagers were ready to die so that it was not succeeded either. Finally, the authority abandoned the operation and the forces leaved the villages after arrested several people and declared several commandments.

Similar operation was repeated again on 14 April and recurred again in August. Such occasions were continued up to today and some villages were temporarily seized by authority and returned later after honouring ransom payment.

In 2000, it was different mode that the government authority informed to seize Rohingya farming lands for national affairs and located a model village of over 100 houses of Rakhines some of whom were from Rakhine Fishing village (Rakhine Paiketay Yat) and the rest were new settler Bengali Rakhine immigrants who came from Bangladesh..

Again in Oct 2009, the unlawful order that was recently released by Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) authority, U Aung Kyaw Oo followed by departments of Immigration, Police, Municipal and Local groups of Kyauktaw Township-Arakan for urgent relocation of this village for the result of their refusal to accept Temporary Registration Card or Foreigner Censorship Card (TRC, identity for alien residents). The first refused groups of 30 Rohingya villagers are detained in Police custody of Kyauktaw Township. Frequently, electric supplies for the village and telecommunications of the town are cut-off. The government authority also ordered to submit the lists of breaded cattle, goads, ducks and chicken. In case of failure to comply, serious action will be taken against them including imprisonment and fine on their consumption of own animals. ( Full report )

After Dr Tun Aye came into power as a president for RNDP of Kyauktaw, many villagers and Rohingya leaders were targeted and faced subsequent harassments and extortion thereupon many people were escaped from Kyauktaw that included a main Rohingya leader who was well known in all over Arakan state.

About the author: Sujauddin is now living in Australia and his father was a leader involved in every crises until he left the village in 2010. However, he could not name his father's name as a result of his relatives are still in Burma. He could be reached at- 

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