Another urgent report has been sent to us by our sources in Arakan today.
Yet another five houses have been burnt down in Maungdaw, as recently as the early hours of this morning. Despite the urgency of safeguarding the people Arakan and the dire lack of rule of law in the land, no action is taken against the perpetrators of crimes against the Rohingya.
Despite the media spotlight waning, the suffering in Arakan continues. Our source in the region once again details the living nightmare they endure everyday, and in particular the way in which law enforcers are deliberately reluctant to act upon a crime inflicted on the Rohingya, and choose not to convict the Rakhine.
We have learnt that the authorities in Arakan have trained Rakhine locals and other Buddhist settlers to kill the Rohingya at first sight, branded under an operation of ‘security’ and ‘self defense’. The Rakhine locals scour the river and mountain areas and spare no life. This week (26th February) the report of two Rohingya men killed in Maungdaw South by local Rakhine from the Natala Village being rapidly circulated online. The Rohingya men were killed whilst fishing in the mountains and collecting firewood in the forest.
Today, our source in Arakan has detailed the constant persecution the Rohingya face from the authorities. In North Maungdaw around the Nga Ku Ya village, the police and NaSaKa continue to loot, rape and torture the Rohingya. Both the police and NaSaka have destroyed the village exclaiming: “This is not your land and country, go away where you can. At first Maundaw Kalla ywar...
Reports of many more lives being lost, including those of infants in the Pauk Taw refugee camp due to the horrific living conditions further corroborate the fears that many camps are still without access to food and aid.
This morning (November 26th) we have had reports that medical workers and security guards arrived at the Rohingya village Sin-Gri-Daung of MinBya Township. Their unannounced arrival is suspected to be part of an attempt to set up the initial stages to carry out the widely reported scheme of sterilisation of Rohingya women under the age of 50, as ordered by President Thein Sein. Previously sterilisation had been seen as a key manner to restrict the Rohingya population from continuing to increase and to further expel them from their homes to countries elsewhere. The very real fear is that this is now being enacted. Moreover, violence continues as Rohingya youths are targeted, either being beaten by local police and military forces, being accused of crimes they haven’t committed (Tan-Seik village) and confiscating their fishing equipment which is vital to their trade (Tan-Ran-Daing village).
Burma, or Myanmar, has received great interest in recent years from international leaders across the world. Hundreds of political prisoners- having spent years campaigning for a free democracy- have been released, most famously Aung San Suu Kyi of the National League for Democracy in November 2010. Further steps away from the vilified dictatorship to a free market democracy, appealing to foreign investors for capital and expertise, easing media censorship, passing labour laws allowing unions to be established have demonstrated a more reformist quasi civilian government taking office in March 2011, with Thein Sein as President.
The Global Day of Action calls for protection of the persecuted Rohingya, aid to reach casualties of the violence, access granted to international observers and ultimately citizenship for the stateless Rohingya. Having pushed for politicians and namely the Foreign Commonwealth Office to act in accordance with these aims, Foreign Office Minister for Burma, Hugo Swire shockingly defended the Burmese Governments handling of the situation whilst it is evident that there is state level complicity in the systematic attacks against the Rohingya, having long shifted from just inter communal violence.
Ramree Island, a normally peaceful serene island to the southern part of Arakan state this morning erupted in violence. Some 200 km from the main hub for the Rohingya in Maungdaw, Kyauk Ni Maw village is home to about 7,000 Rohingya and Kaman. As morning broke, Army personnel fired in the air in an attempt to bring calm from the onrushing Rakhine locals backed by some local authority...