Thursday, 02 July 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: Burma border security force (Nasaka) has been collecting money from Rohingya villagers in Maungdaw township since May first week while  crossing  Nasaka check-posts  and bridges with goods, said a business man who denied to be named.

“Every day villagers have to go to Maungdaw municipal market to buy and to sell goods. In the way to  Maungdaw or return with goods, Nasaka - Bridge security personnel- collects money from them at the bridges of --- Shwe Zarr, Labaw Zaar, Hlapoe Khung( Sarfordin Bil), Thu Oo Lah (Kullabil) and Ywet Nyo Taung--- of Maungdaw north. The Nasaka collect Kyat 300 per 50 kg bag of goods of any item and extra Kyat 1,000 per car.”

“As a result, the business men have to increase the price of essentials while selling to the local customers. If a villager wants to cross the said five bridges at once to reach at the market or his/ her home, he/she will pay Kyat 1,500 to the Nasaka only for 50 kg bag of any kind of good. So, the people have to pay extra money for the goods of necessary things.”

Besides, Rohingya villagers of Maungdaw north have to pay money to the Nasaka check-posts while carrying goods such as bamboo, rice, dried fish, stitched nipa leaves and other edible goods from Buthidaung Town to Maungdaw north villagers such as--- Zin Paing Nyar, Taung Bru, Thu Oo lah, Ywet Nyo Taung, Yai Twin Kyub (Yet Myet bil), Kyauk Hlai Khar (Dargua Dil), Hlapoe Khung( Sarfordin Bil), Labaw Zaar, Poung Zaar(Ashika Para), Kyauk Pyin Seik( Nari Bil), Myaw Taung( Salifang), Dah Gyi Zaar (Sauraw Gazibil) and Thayet oat (Mun Gala). All these villages have Nasaka check-posts which collect money from Rohingya villagers while travelling with goods from one place to another, said a village elder from the locality on condition of anonymity.  

“The Nasaka collects Kyat 500 per 50 kg bag, Kyat 500 per 100 bamboos, Kyat 2,000 per 1,000 stitched Nipa leaves, and Kyat 500 per person who has no identity card.”

Similarly, the Nasaka collect money from Rohingya at Bridges and check-post in Maungdaw south.So, the villagers have been suffering from stern arbitrary collecting money from their goods while carrying to market or home for their daily livelihoods, according to a schoolteacher from Aley Thankyaw village of Maungdaw south.

“There is no change and decades of persecutions by the government still exist and the government views Rohingya with suspicion. In northern Arakan, there is no future for us,” said an elder from inside Arakan.

"While the new government has engaged in a series of reforms toward democratization, there has been no real progress for the Rohingya, no change at the policy level and very little on the ground. Forced labor, marriage restrictions, restrictions on movement, and arbitrary arrests and extortion of money continue."

“If the arbitrary collection of money from bridges security and Nasaka check-posts is not stopped immediately, the local people will be more vulnerable in future.”

Nasaka is a combined force consists of army, police, immigration, custom and Sarapa (Military Intelligence), especially for Abakan State. They are free from higher authority’s punishment if they commit any kind of persecution against the Rohingya community.  The Nasaka is rewarded who frequently gives harassments to the Rohingya community.  They are especially trained how to destroy the whole Rohingya community in economically, socially, politically, religiously and educationally to flee from Arakan State, said another  business man from Maungdaw.