By Rohingya Eye | March 26, 2017
Maungdaw – Despite the promise given by the chief of the Border Guard Police (BGP), the Rohingya villagers displaced by the Myanmar military attacks in northern Maungdaw last year still await to return to their original homes, local sources say.
During a meeting on 17th February 2017, Brigadier General ‘Thura San Lwin’, Chief of the BGP Headquarter in Maungdaw, gave verbal permission to the displaced villagers at ‘Wapeik hamlet’ and ‘Middle hamlet’ of Kyikanpyin village that they could return to their homes.
However, the displaced people still await to secure rights to return to reclaim the ownership of their lands as they were, subsequently after the meeting, prevented from going back to their homes by the ‘Kyikanpyin’ village administer, U Zaw Phyo Tun (a Rakhine by ethnicity). So, the BGP halted its move to restore the displaced people to their original lands until March 17.
After two separate meetings held by the officials from the Maungdaw Township and Maungdaw District administrations in the village of ‘Kyikanpyin’ on March 17 and March 19 respectively, the authorities revealed an altogether different plan for the displaced villagers of ‘Wapeik hamletand Middle hamlet.’
“They said we need to live at a new quarter to be set up by the authorities. It is a block-system and in each block, there will live 10 households with 0.06 acre of land for each household. It is like cramming us together and putting us in a slum. We can’t go back to our ancestral lands where we have lived for hundreds of years.
“And there were four mosques burned down when the military torched our village after October 9, 2016. We can’t rebuild them according to the authorities. When we said that the government’s plan seemed impossible to us, they replied that they were not responsible towards us for anything anymore and we could go and live anywhere else except for on our lands; and they were not concerned about our traditional and religious aspects”, said an elderly Rohingya who were in the meeting with the Maungdaw administration officials.
The officials from the Maungdaw Administration Offices left the meeting in the evening on March 19 without providing right to return to home to the displaced Rohingyas at ‘Wapeik’ (which was burned down by the Myanmar military after October 9, 2016 ) and at ‘Middle Hamlet’ (which was entirely uprooted by the Chief of the BGP on October 23, 2016).
[Edited by M.S. Anwar]
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