Sittwe (Akyab), Arakan State – The Center for Diversity and National Harmony (CDNH), a Burmese NGO, has been conducting some counterfeiting activities under a program titled ‘Social Harmony and Early Warning’ in Sittwe (Akyab) Township for a few weeks now.
The NGO, CDNH, is headed by Dr. Kyaw Yin Hlaing who is also the director of Academic & Research of Myanmar Egress and crucial member of Myanmar Peace Center.
The NGO has been carrying out a program in the name of ‘Peace and Proactive Actions to Prevent further Violence’ in Arakan State of Burma and hence included the representatives from Rakhine community and some from Muslim communities. However, in the program, Rohingyas are NOT referred as ‘Rohingyas’ but as Bengalis although the program is said to be a peace process between the two communities. And actual Rohingya representatives have not been included either.
The CDNH has contacted U Tin Hlaing, a Kaman businessman who owns ‘Tin Hlaing Group Co.Ltd, in ‘Manzi Kwat Sun’ in Sittwe,’ to recruit ‘Graduate Rohingya and Youths’ to attend the programs in Yangon. Nevertheless, he has not included any of the Rohingya youths graduated in modern education but his colleagues and the staffs working in his company in the list he has submitted to the organization (the CDNH). His people are neither educated nor fluent in Burmese language, it has been learnt.
“U Tin Hlaing is a half-kaman and half-Bengali descendent and notorious to be a selfish businessman who only knows how to look after his personal interest. His only motive is to go to Yangon with his colleagues and staffs and showcase himself in the program. The NGO CDNH knows that very well.
Despite that, they have assigned him for the process because they do not want to carry out a real peace process and take effective proactive actions to prevent further violence in Arakan. They have done so because they want to show off to the international community through the government officials, the ambassadors of different nations and other distinguished and researchers in the program that they (the Gov’t and the NGO) are really into the peace process in Arakan.
After all, the CDNH is fully controlled by the government that has sponsored the violence against us,” said a Rohingya student in Sittwe.
He further questioned “it’s a sham. Or just imagine if there can be peace or the violence can be prevented when they discriminate you on the basis of your religion and race; refuse to recognize you as who you are and your identity; and exclude the actual representatives of your community, your intellectual people and your educated youths.”
Although the organization has used ‘Muslims in Rakhine State’ to refer ‘Rohingyas’ in the early stage of the peace process, now it openly refers the Rohingyas as Bengalis, a name used by the Burmese government and the extremist Buddhists to label them (the Rohingyas) illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
“We are extremely worried because the people showcased as the Rohingya representatives in the process will do as the government NGO want. They won’t represent our firm stand for our identity, Rohingya. They will just shake their heads and say ‘Yes’ even if they are called Bengalis.
Therefore, we fear that international community may start to mistake us as Bengalis just because of these traitors.
We, the Rohingya community, would like to let each and everyone knows that the people attending the programs in our name do not represent us and reflect our views,” emphasized Maung Win, a Rohingya youth in Sittwe, in an anxious mood.
The program trainings of Social Harmony and Early Warning’ or ‘Early Warning and Early Respond (EWER)’ have been being held at the office of CDNH at ‘Shwe Li’ street in Kamayut Township, Yangon Division in three phases since October 7, 2015.
First phase: from 5th October 2015 to 7th October 2015
Second phase: from 10th October 2015 to 12th October 2015
Third phase: the meeting, on 13th October
[Edited by M.S. Anwar]
To send reports and feedback, please email to: email@example.com