Thursday, 17 April 2014

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Burma’s border security force (Nasaka) has been collecting money from local villagers of Maungdaw Township for renovation of their houses and stairs since January 11, said a local trader on condition of anonymity.

“A group of Nasaka led by Captain Myint Sein from Aung Mingala Nasaka out-post camp of Nasaka Area No. 6 under Nasaka Headquarters of Kyigan Pyin ( Kawar Bill)  went to the Maung Nama village tract of Maungdaw Township and collected money from the villagers who had renovated their houses and the stepladders of the houses.”

Rohingya community is not allowed to build houses or renovate any structure---house, mosque, Madrasa, cow sheds and barriers of the houses---- without permission of concerned authority. Sometimes villagers get permission by giving huge money, and sometimes they do not get permission though they paid money. So, the villagers are not waiting for a long time to get permission and renovate their houses without permission because of fear of untimely rain, said a local religious leader.

“In northern Arakan, most of the houses are built with bamboo, wood   and roofed with thatches. So it is needed to repair or renovated yearly or at least after two years. Without renovation, family members are not able to stay at homes. The concerned authority totally bars Rohingya community to build any structure by using cement, sand and stones.”

The government intends to think outsiders (tourists, or visitors) that the Rohingya villagers are poor people living in north Arakan mostly doing hard works. They are not an ethnic group of Burma; they are citizens of Burma who have been living there since long.  They want to change the topography of north Arakan, said a schoolteacher from Maungdaw town. 

“I think that there is no country in the world, except Burma, which bars villagers to renovate the houses or homes,” said a local elder preferring not to be name. 

On January 12, the Nasaka collected Kyat 50,000 from Abdu Rahman (50),for renovation  of bamboo wall of his house;  Kyat  30,000 from Mohamed Hussain (65),  for renovation of bamboo wall of his house; Kyat 100,000 from Sayed Ahmed( 55), for renovation of veranda (porch) of his house;  Kyat 15,000 from Mohamed Sidique (40), for renovation of his house; Kyat 45,000 from Noor Mohamed (40), for renovation of stepladder, Kyat 90,000 from Idris ( 40), for renovation of stepladder; Kyat 100,000 from Hashim (32), for renovation of bamboo wall; Kyat 150,000 from Lailla  for renovation of his house; Kyat 200,000 from Ms Jamila (35), for renovation of her house;  and  Kyat 200,000 from Ms Fatema for renovation of her house.  They all belong to Maung Nama village tract of Nasaka area No.6 under the Nasaka Headquarters of Kyigan Pyin of Maungdaw Township, according to a local villager who denied to be named.