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Day 2 Updates: Rohingya and Population Census in Arakan

31st March 2014


1- Maungdaw Township, Arakan State

Military Torture Rohingya in Northern Maungdaw for Refusing to Accept ‘Bengali’

A group of Military, Security Force and Census Enumerators entered a small Rohingya quarter in the village of Tha-Man-Thar (Shaab Bazaar) northern Maungdaw around 8:00AM today. It has around 30 households. They called out all Rohingya members of the quarter and gathered them in one place. They inquired Rohingyas of their ethnicity. Rohingyas replied ‘Rohingya.’ Upon that, the military and the security threatened and forced them to accept to accept ‘Bengali.’ Rohingyas refused to do it.

Therefore, later, around 10AM, an army captain from the battalion no. 536 began to beat Rohingyas. They called out 10 Rohingyas from the crowd. The auhtority inquired them of their ethnicity. They claimed ‘Rohingya.’ Then, authority started beating and torturing them before everyone. Later, they were taken to the office of village administrators. There, too, they were tortured. Later, they were released at about 11AM.
Two of the severely injured Rohingyas are 1) Badi Alam (Son of) Ali Ahmed and 2) Hafiz Ahmed (Son of) Ali Muddin. Besides, the military, at their gun points, forced all the Rohingya members from the quarter to stand under the hot sun since 11AM until the afternoon. (Faiz and CR Report)


– Around 9AM today, another group of census enumerators arrived at the village of Pantaw Pyin (Lal Boinna) East and Pantaw Pyin Ywa Thit (Lal Boinna Nuwa Fara), southern Maungdaw. First, the group talked to some Rohingya seniors from the village. The Rohingyas replied “we won’t be participating you allow us to claim our ethnic identity Rohingya.” So, the group tried to go house by house only to get the same responses.

So, the team asked the village administrator to write a report to the authority that his villagers were not participating in the event. He wrote it but adding that the villagers didn’t participate in the census as the census enumerators refused to follow the law and give Rohingyas to claim their own ethnic identity. (A similar report was made by the village administator of Mer Ullah (Myin Hlut), southern maungdaw, refused to take part yesterday because the team was not registering them under the ethnic category “Rohingya.” The entered 18 households. Of them, 3 housholds provided their datae falling into tricks by the census team. They left keeping the ethnic category blank. Maungdaw township administrator and Regional Security Force Head tried to both coax and threaten Rohingyas to accept the term ‘Bengali’ but only to be in vain. The team also visited the nearby village ‘Gora Khali’ and received the same responses.’)

Afterwards, the team census left the village for the Rakhine villages in Baggona village tract. Tomorrow, the censuss team is expected to arrive at the village of Baggona. (Tun Win Report)


– At 7:50AM today, a group of Security Force, Police and Census Enumerators arrived at the village of Italia (Hetal-Lia Fara), Maungdaw. First, the group talked to some Rohingya elders from the village. They made it clear that tthey wouldn’t participate unless we were given our legal right to claim Rohingya. Hence, the enumerators tried some tricks by asking the elders to write a letter with signatures mentioning that the villagers were not participating because of not mentioning the term ‘Rohingya.’ The Rohingya seniors refused to do that. They, then, asked the names of the heads of the each household to enable them to survey on Rohingyas through the files in the immigration office. Rohingya seniors refused to do that as well.

And they said “now we will do some field works and go to a house by house. They started their attempt from the house of Sirajul Hoque. However, they were not successful. They did so in other houses as well only to be in vain. In one house, the group started asking other details of the household keeping the ethnic category aside. The head of the household realized that. So, whenever he was asked a question, his response was only ‘Rohingya.’ The team census asked “what is your name?” He replied “Rohingya.” They aksed him “what is your father’s name?” He replied “Rohingya.” They asked him “what is your mother’s name?” He, again, replied “Rohingya.”

Besides, it has also been learnt that the census enumerators need to erase th data provided by the respondents again and again. “They are not properly trained. They are not using the ‘2B’ Pencil provided by UNPFA” said a participating in the process. (Maung Z Report)


– Yesterday morning, a group of census enumerators made to the village of Ye-Dwin-Chaung, northern Maungdaw. They visited 50 households. However, they did not carry out any census on the villagers because Rohingya claimed their ethnicity to be ‘Rohingya.’ Yet, the villagers were forced to pay Kyat 500,000 for the food, transportation and accomodation of the enumerators and other team members. When the villagers asked the villager administrators why they had to pay money to them as they didn’t do anything regarding the census. The village administrator replied “we have reported to the township administration that we have carried out census in the villge. That’s why you have to pay.” (Sindhi Khan Report)


– Around 8:30AM today, a team of census enumerators made to the village of Ywet-Nyo-Taung, nothern Maungdaw, and summoned heads of respective 10 households. They forcibly took their profiles and household numbers. Afterwards, they summoned some more people from the village and the people refused to be present. So, the census team “we will get your data from the immigration office. It is ok even if you don’t provide them.” And they left. (CR Report)


At 10AM on 31st March 2014, Maungdaw Township administrator, U Kyi San, summoned the administrators of the villages under Region 6, northern Maungdaw. He met up with the administrators in the village of Zin Paing Nya of the same region. He asked the administrators to ask their (Rohingya) villagers if they would like to take part in the population census under the ethnic category ‘Bengali and reply him by 4PM of the day. The village administrators had meeting with their respective villagers. However, the villager said “we would only take part if we can get our legitimate right to claim Rohingya.” (Sindhi Khan Report)


2- Sittwe (Akyab), Arakan State

Around 8:00 AM Today, a team of census numerators together Security Forces numbering around 1,000 entered the village of Bumay (a rohingya village) in Sittwe (Akyab) Township. The team went to a house by house and asked what their ethnicity was. As Rohingyas repled their ethnicity as ‘Rohingya.’ They asked the same to almost every household in the village. They got the same responses. Besides, they asked, like in the Italia village in Maungdaw, the elders to write a letter with signatures mentioning that the villagers were not participating because of not mentioning the term ‘Rohingya.’ Hence, they left the village at 10:00AM of the day without carrying out the census. The wards they visited are Bumay-Ward 15, Ward 16, Ward 8 and Ward 9. One more group went to Ohn Taw Gyi village behind Sittwe University at about 10:00AM.

Yet, Rohingyas suspect the Burmese programs of RFA, BBC, VOA and other media alike will broadcast the news as if the census enumerators did their tasks and filled up the ethnic category with Bengali in the censsus. (Report: Sallam Oic and Saed Arkani)


3- Rathedaung Township, Arakan State

It has been reported that the team enumerating census in the villages of Annauk Pyin and Nyaung Pin Gyi violated the law and standard set by the central government of Myanmar by various means. They wrote the names and ages of the Rohingya respondents in the (blank) writing books in stead of the CENSUS FORM. And they wrote many things on their own, not according to the responses by the Rohingyas. The team that violated the standard includes

1) Maung Tun Khin (Ket Chaung)

2) Aye Nyein Chang (Shwe Lin Taw)

3) Aung Naing (Shwe Lin Taw)

4) Maung Than Tun (Kan Pyin)

5) Aung Naing Tun (Aung Za Kan)

6) Tun Aye (aung Za Kan)

7) Maung Thein Han (Ku Daung)

8) Than Hlain (Ku Daung)

9) U Kyaw Kyaw (the Head of Municipality Ratheduang)

10) U Soe Myint (Deputy Chief of Police)

11) U Saw Naing Htay (Deputy Cheif of Police)

12) U Maung Aye Thein (A Teacher at the school of Annauk Pyin, from Kudaung)

Besides, Police and Security Forces threatened and harrased Rohingyas to accept the term Bengali in the villages of Annauk Pyin and Muzay. At many houses, they just asked the members of their ethnicity. Upon their replies as ‘Rohingya,’ they simply left the places. (Report: Saw Hlaing Thein, Sallam Oic Group)


Yesterday afternoon, in the village of Chin-Khali (Shil Khali) of Rathedaung township, the authority tried to force Rohingyas to accept the the term Bengali during their population census. Since the authority was not successful, they left afterwards. (Maung Z Report)


4- Kyauknimaw Village, Rambre Township

On 30th March 2014, concerned authorities and immigration officers arrived at the village of Kyauknimaw, Rambre island, and threatened local Muslims not to claim the name ‘Rohingya’ at all. In the aftternoon, an immigration officer named Kyaw Kyaw Aung threatened Muslims at the Police station of Hunwa qaurter of Kyuaknimaw village tract that they would burn down Muslims’ houses if they claim either Rohingya or Kaman. (Sallam Oic Report)


5- Kyauktaw Township, Arakan State

Around 9:00PM on 31st March 2014, the a group of census enumerators and security forces numbering 50 arrived at the village of Appauk Wa (Afauk), Kyauktaw Township. They inquired the villagers of their ethnicity. The villagers replied ‘Rohingya’ in uni-sound. Hence, the team left without carrying out the census. However, when the team went house to house, three households, without knowing the reality, happened to provide the census their family datae. But when they said ‘Rohingya’ to be thier ethnicity, they left the houses keeping the ethnic category blank. Similar things happened in other villages of the township like Pauktaw Palaung (Foida Fara), Shwe Hlaing (Melingaung), La Song Kok and other few villages. (Kadir Report)


6- Mrauk-U (Patthar Killa)

Around 2:00PM yesterday, a joint team of Military, Security Force, Police and Census Enumerators numering 90 in total entered the village of PaungDaw (Fundu Kul), Mrauk-U (Patthar Killa) Twonship . They asked the villagers to participate in the census. The villagers said we would only take part if we were given our legal to claim ‘Rohingya’ as our ethnic status. The census group replied “we don’t have authority to do so. Claim something else.” And Rohingyas replied we can’t claim anything but the ethnic term. The group tried to threaten the villagers but the villagers were unshaken by their threats. So, they left the village for the village of Pee Praung only to have the responses from its villagers. Earlier, they tried to the same in Bolti Fara, a village nearby Paungdaw.


This afternoon, they tried to carry out the same attempts to force Rohingyas to accept the term “Bengali” in the village of ZeeZa. But they failed. They went to the village through the village of Zula Fara. However, they asked nothing to the people of Zula Fara. Zula Fara is a village, where many Rohingya houses were burnt down and many Rohingyas were killed by Rakhine (Magh) terrorists last year. (Noor Kamal Report)


7- Thandwe Township, Arakan

The villagers of Quarter 2, Thandwe Township, warmly welcomed and hosted the census enumeration and security forces team yesterday afternoon. The Muslims in the township politely asked if they can claim their respective ethnic identity such as ‘Kaman or Rohingya.’ The team replied ‘we don’t have permission to do that as of yet.” So, Muslims politely asked the team to leave quarter and not to waste their time. So, the team left afterwards. (Tun Win Report)

Please read earlier reports here: