Sunday, 31 May 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Rohingya farmers in Maungdaw rural areas are facing difficulty to work their paddy fields as the fields are still flooded from heavy rains last week, said a farmer from Maungdaw north.

“Most of Maungdaw North—Hla Poe Khung (Sorfordin Bil), Kyauk Hlaikhar (Darga Dil), Kyauk Pinseak (Nari Bil), Ywet Nhyo Taung, Yaitwin Kyun (Yaymyet Bil), Ywet Nhyo Taung, Oo Shai Kya (Burashida Para)—is still covered with water. Other parts of Maungdw, which are situated near the Naf River, are also flooded.”

“The heavy rain and wind slashed roads, homes, shrimp farms, and paddy fields with water.”

In Maungdaw North, some of authorities’ collaborators used their power to give difficulty to the Rohingya community for their entire years’ supply of food for the next year, said an elder from Kyauk Hlaykha.

“Syed Alam, a collaborator of Burma’s border security force (Nasaka) headquarters, blocked the rain water from his shrimp farm, so it has now flooded the whole area of Kyauk Hlaykha. The farmers there are not able to cultivate the paddy.”

“The water is not sweet; it is salty, which is not suitable for paddy cultivation.”

The rural area people asked the high level authorities of Maungdaw District about the preparations for flooding last year, but the authorities went the area and stayed in the house of collaborators. They sent two of their office staff to check whether the water was suitable for paddy cultivation. The office staff got one hundred thousand kyat from the collaborators, said a village authority member.

“The high level authorities from Maungdaw are also getting money from collaborators, so the authorities are supporting the collaborators, not the rural area people.”

“If our villagers are not able to process their paddy cultivation, the villagers will face starvation in the future,” said a schoolteacher from Mangalagyi village.

Similarly, in Shwezar Village Tract, Ahyaz, a collaborator, has seized a plot of land with the power of authority in an area where the Nasaka built their camp before. Now the Nasaka has moved from the land and it is now free, but Ahyaz has used his power against the original owner to seize the land. In ways similar to this, Ahyaz owns many plots of land in this area which rightfully belong to others.

“The Rohingya community is not only facing harassment from the authorities, but also from collaborators,” said an elder in Maungdaw.