Buthidaung, Burma: With no let up in religious persecution, the commander of the Nasaka Sector No.9 visited a village in northern Buthidaung Township to relocate a mosque and a madrasa (religious school), which have become eyesores for the SPDC authorities, said a village leader, requesting anonymity.
On September 23, Major San Win Khine --- Commander of Nasaka Sector No. (9) of Buthidaung Township accompanied by eight Nasaka personnel reached upper Kyaungdaung village under Nasaka Camp No. (23) in a boat, at around 10: a.m. There, they discussed with villagers about the relocation of the mosque and madrasa, which are situated near Nasaka camp No.23, according to offical sources.
Earlier, the Nasaka (Burma’s border security force) ordered villagers of upper Kyaungdaung village to relocate the existing mosque and madrasa built many years ago. But, the villagers did not comply with the order.
Now the Nasaka authorities are trying to relocate the mosque and madrasa to other places by using tactics such as discussions with villagers, and indirectly threatening them.
Recently, the SPDC authorities began preparing lists of mosques and madrasas across northern Arakan. Later, some of the mosques and madrasas were demolished though the structures were built many years ago after acquiring necessary permission from the authorities. But, by mistake, villages did not acquire all the necessary documents from the authorities, said a religious leader of the locality.
Earlier, regarding the Kyaungdaung village mosque and madrasa, the commander of camp No 23 informed the higher authorities that, “The existing mosque and madrasa of the Rohingya people near our camp is an eyesore. It is also a source of danger for us, if terrorists attack our camp from the madrasa, the camps will be an easy target. So, it is suitable if we build an outpost in place of the mosque for our camp’s security,” according to official sources.
The commander also told higher authorities that, “The mosque and madrasa are ancient buildings. We have discussed with the committee members of the mosque and madrasa about its relocation. They agreed with us, provided the concerned authorities provide them a new place and a permit to construct the building.”
So, the Sector Commander Major San Wine Khine visited the village to relocate the mosque and madrasa from the existing place to other places whether the villagers agree or not, said the villagers.
According to villagers, the ruling junta is always trying to build camps and model villages near religious buildings and cemeteries or on it after destroying or relocating them. It is one of the strategies of the Burmese junta to colonize the Arakanese Rohingya people.