Monday, 25 May 2020

Rathedaung, Arakan State, Burma: Nasaka the Burmese border security force has been using Rohingya villagers in Rathedaung Township, Arakan State, Burma for forced labour since August 8, said Abul Kalam (not real name) of Rathedaung Township.  Sayed Karim (43) son of Khasim, Boshor, Sultan, Fayas (45) son of Mohamed Hussain, Kala  Meah (35) son of Kala San, Jamal (53) son of Nasir Hussain  have been providing forced labour in a Nasaka camp since August 8. All the villagers hail from Zaydi Pyin village of Rathedaung Township. The villagers have to go to the Nasaka work site for four days each week. If they do not comply with the order, they will have to pay Kyat 4,000 per day as a fine, said a close relative of one of the labourers. For refusing to provide forced labour to Nasaka, the five villagers were punished and are being made to work in the Nasaka camp. It is not known when the forced labour will end, said a brother of one of the victims.  Though the international community and particularly the International Labour Organization (ILO) have been pressurizing the Burmese ruling military junta to stop forced labor for a long time, it has paid no attention. According to the villagers of Rathedaung Township, the Nasaka and the army have been stepping up persecution of the Rohingya people since the beginning of this year. The authorities are also into increased malpractices against the Rohingya community in the western-side of Rathadaung Township, where Rohingyas are a majority.  The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) had already uprooted some Rohingya villages from the southern-side of the Rathedaung Township during the 1978 Naga Min Operation or Red Dragon Operation and in the 1991-92 refugee exodus.