Wednesday, 08 April 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: The group of authorities responsible for collecting family lists and photographs of Rohingyas is planning to issue more orders to have Rohingya homes destroyed, according to an official of the Maungdaw Village authority.

“The group is going to check Rohingya homes and around the housing compounds. They are looking for any changes to the houses like repairs, extensions, or additions of new buildings.”

“This is first time they are doing like this. Usually the authorities only check family lists and collect photographs, while collecting more money from the Rohingya community.”

This year after January 20, the group is going to begin checking entire house compounds, especially the backsides of homes, said a village elder.

The authorities are led by U San Win, the Head of Immigration of Maungdaw Township who has ordered the destruction of two homes from Block 2 due to allegations of building without permission. However, the homes were built more than ten years ago and the owners obtained permission from concerned authorities of Maungdaw to repair their homes, the elder said.

“One family had made repairs to their toilet, which the authorities said was illegal because permission was not granted to add extensions to the home. The Rohingya community in northern Arakan State traditionally builds their bathrooms outside of their homes.”

“Another homeowner had permission to make repairs to his home, and he built a balcony onto his home. But the authorities said this was illegal and ordered the entire home to be destroyed.”

This is new method of the authorities to oppress the Rohingya community by ordering their homes and property to be destroyed, said a villager from Maungdaw.

Additionally, the Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) has ordered the Village Peace and Development Council (VPDC) to collect paddy from Rohingya farmers in the name of a relief fund at the rate of five tins per acre, according to a famer from Maungdaw.

“In the past, the TPDC also collected our paddy like this, supposedly for relief, but the paddy was sold to officials in Maungdaw who sold it on to Bangladesh for money. This is just another way for the authorities to hurt and exploit the Rohingya community.”