Friday, 19 July 2019

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Salt producers in Kyauk Pinsek (Nari Bil) are facing difficulty to producing salt from their salt fields, according to Annu, a local salt producer.

Waiting to pack the salt

“The village administration head officer, Kalim Ullah, ordered all salt producers to pay 15,000 kyat per acre. In our area, there are around 87 acres, and they belong to many different villagers.”

“It is too much money to pay to the head officer, so we requested the village head officer to reduce the amount. But he didn’t pay any attention.”

On May 26, a group of personnel from the Burma border security force, or Nasaka, entered the village at night to observe and intimidate the salt producers, said a local elder from Kyauk Pinsek.

“The Nasaka arrested the villagers [salt producers] whenever they found any one in their house.”

Salt feild and worker

“The villagers, who were working in the salt fields, all ran away from the village to hide at the nearby mountain or in other places for fear of arrest.”

“The arrested villagers were kept in at an outpost of the Nasaka from Kyauk Pinsek.”

The Nasaka demanded double money (30,000 kyats) from the arrested villagers. The salt producers want to produce salt from the fields soon as the rainy season is coming. After the production of salt, the producers will be able to pay they money demanded by the officers. But, now the producers are neither able to produce the salt, nor to pay the money, as they have either fled from the village or are in jail, said a local schoolteacher.