Sunday, 31 May 2020

Sittwe (Akyab), Burma: The Burmese military is forcibly collecting taxes on the use of rickshaws transporting firewood, kitchen ware and passengers in Sarki Para of Akyab, Arakan State, Burma.

The army's infantry battalion No. (20) is based in Sarki Para village in Akyab west. The gate manned by the military is located at the entry and exit points for villagers. Villagers have no option but to cross the gate to go to markets, farms, paddy fields, the river and the sea front, residents of Sarki para said.

Each rickshaw or bull-cart has to pay at least Kyat 100 to the army during the day and Kyat 150 at night, according to villagers.

Rickshaws and bull-carts are the main means of transport for villagers and they are being compelled to pay taxes to the military since 2006.

The battalion is also using forced labour and confiscating land. Military taxation in villages has become a way of life, Ziaur Rahaman (25), son of Sirazul Haque from Zadi Parang village of Akyab (Sittwe) said.

Strangely the army collects tax from only Rohingyas exempting other communities such as Rakhines, Rahaman added.