Despite recent news of the violence in Arakan easing, danger continues to loom over the lives of the Rohingya. Exclusive updates from our sources in Arakan have revealed the bleak situation, showing little prospect of improvement, a summer of the worlds attention and campaigning being in vain. Our sources disclosed to us that the authorities continue to arrest, loot, torture and kill.
This summer has seen a systematic sweep of terror against the Rohingya surfacing deep rooted marginsalisation and racism against the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority, in Myanmar or Burma. Living as a stateless community, they have struggled in silence as the Burmese state continue to prohibit their freedom to live as citizens; without education, having to ask state permission to marry and procreate and access to travel freely.
It has become clear in recent weeks that the Monasteries play a vital role in distributing weapons to the Rakhine population. Muslims in Maungdaw are yet again in fear after watching bundles of long swords being unloaded from trucks this afternoon, and stored in a Buddhist Monastery under the control of U Kan Tun (local Rakhine). The Monastery is built near the Maungdaw creek and a small tributary and adjacent to the Muslim quarters of Shundaripara and Nafitdill. This is an isolated Monastery at the northeast end of the town and is well- known for illegal transport of goods from Bangladesh using the waterway, popular for anti-Muslim activities.
Today (20th of August) is the day of Eid Ul Fitr, marking the end of the month long Ramadan. All Muslims celebrated the day with religious fervour all over Myanmar except in Arakan (Rakhine state). The Rohingya Muslims in Arakan state have to mark the occasion by holding Eid prayers in individual homes rather than gathering for congregational prayers on this special day. Mosques in the Arakan state have been locked since 8th June,2012 as punishment to the Rohingya Muslim community for alleged engagement in communal riots.
Rakhine Buddhists are absolved from their involvement and continue committing crimes against Muslims. The Buddhist Monasteries remain open and their religious edifices have become centres of religious fanaticism. Meetings are regularly held in the Monasteries to carry out attacks, loot, kill, plunder and rape against the Rohingya community.
Reports have been flooding in this afternoon of a new wave of attacks on Rohingya this afternoon leaving hundreds homeless and looking for shelter on foot during torrential monsoon rains whilst others were left dead. The recent clashes have been reported from 4 villages near Rauthedoung were as many as 12 have been killed with 1,000 Rohingya displaced as well as in 3 villages south of Maungdaw...
Exclusive: As members of Burma's Muslim Rohingya minority are forced into camps after violent clashes, the government bans international observers - but Channel 4 News gains access
A number of international media organisations are now managing to gain access to Rohingya camps and this is the first look at shocking seens of how the village of Narzi has been completely...
Over the past ten days or so, we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that we were able to facilitate international media to gain access and film from within Rohingya camps that have been set up following the state led clashes between Rakhine on Rohingya in Arakan, Myanmar.
In an exclusive report, we facilitated the reporter to visit the camps and surrounding areas to highlight opinions held on both sides.
It has now been two months since the initial communal violence erupted in Northern Arakan (Rakhine state). The Government has imposed a curfew to contain the violence but the order is used to further intimidate and harass the Muslim Rohingya community. The Rakhines are taking out full advantage of the curfew and the Rohingya have become victims of this order and are heavily punished under it. Contrastingly, the Rakhines live very normal lives under the curfew, yet we have sources that they are antagonising the situation so as to prolong the curfew order so that the Rohingya become further crippled and controlled.
In the past 24 hours, reports have been pouring out from Arakan about fresh attacks on Rohingya villages. A number of sources have contacted us from on the ground and these reports can now, sadly, be confirmed.
Throughout June and early July, the Rohingya were under increased pressure and facing violence by Rakhine and Burmese authorities. Now after relative calm and following the visit of UN Special Rapporteur, violence once again rages through Rohingya villages. On Sunday, 5th August, Rakhine mobs attacked 3 Muslim villages in Kyauktaw town, at the upper reaches of the Kaladan River.
The following is an update from our sources in Arakan, Burma.
UN special rapporteur Tomas Quintana visited Maungdaw on 1st of August. He met with some Maungdaw locals amidst other Government officials. The local Rohingya Muslims could not have a chance to explain their grievances but Quintana told them that he understood the sentiments hidden inside. He may have possibly talked to two UNHCR local employees in Alay Thangyaw sub-town,12 miles south of Maungdaw and they could have explained a lot of what has actually happened.