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Authorities Put Ban on the Livelihood of Rohingya Fishermen

By Rohingya Eye & Rohingya Mirror

Maungdaw, Arakan State (Rohingya Vision) – The Burmese Border Guard Police (BGP) has put a ban on the livelihood of the Rohingya Fishermen in Maungdaw Township by preventing them from going out to the Naff River and the Bay of Bengal for fishing, according to the reliable local sources.

When the Border Guards have first put the ban on the Rohingya Fishing boats from setting off, they have given excuse that it was the time of the breeding time of the fish.

But now, the Border Guards say they have put the ban for the security issues regarding the upcoming elections in the country on November 8.

“There are around 40 fishing boats at Kyauk Pandu (Shitaaf) village in southern Maungdaw alone. So, most people in the village make their daily ends meet by fishing in the sea. They have barred the fishermen from fishing in the sea since September 20. Similar bans have been imposed in other Rohingya fishing villages such as ‘Alay Than Kyaw (Haishshu Rata), Pa Nyaung Pin Gyi (Dang Khali), Maungdaw Ni, Shwe Zar (Shujah Fara) and other villages.

When the Border Guard Police give us the access to go for fishing, it doesn’t even last for two months. They ban again for many months. And they allow us to go for fishing again for a few weeks and they put bans once again and so on.

Now, the fishermen that earn their daily bread and butter depending on the fishing are facing extreme hardships due to the arbitrary and malicious ban. They now have to change their means of livelihood or profession to survive and doing so is not so easy either, according to the locals in the region.

On the other hand, the Border Guard Police is attempting to extort huge money from the poor fishermen every month if they are willing to go fishing.

“On October 5, Captain Lin Lin Naing, the commander of the camp of the Border Guard Police in ‘Inn Din’ village summoned the fishermen from ‘Kyauk Pandu’ village and ordered them to pay Kyat 15,000 to him per boat every month. Since the money that he demands incurs the fishermen with losses, they are helpless now. They can’t do anything as of now,” said a local Rohingya in Kyauk Pandu village.

Moreover, the Border Guard Police have imposed similar bans on the fishermen in northern Maungdaw. The Border Guard Police from ‘Kan Na’ Camp in ‘Auk Phyuma’ village revoked the fishing licenses issued to the Rohingya fishermen on October 6. And they ordered them not to go for fishing from the day onward.

Since then, the fishermen have been unable to go for fishing leading them to face hardships in their daily lives.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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