Gov’t Imposes Total Travel Ban on Rohingyas
By Rohingya Eye | March 20, 2017
Maungdaw – The Myanmar government resumed travel ban on the Rohingya people especially in northern Maungdaw region on Sunday (Mar 19) as the people resist the NV Card being forced upon them.
This time, the travel ban has come in the form of a total block of the Rohingya movements in and around Maungdaw district after the government temporarily halted the earlier ban on February 21 as apparently giving the people time to consider about the NV Cards also known as NVC or the National Verification Cards.
Yesterday on March 19, the Rohingyas travelling by vans and motorcycles were stopped at the BGP (the Border Guard Police) check-post by the bridge of ‘Myoma Kayintan’ in Maungdaw and were all turned away for not having the NV Cards.
“The police told us that we wouldn’t be able to cross any check-posts or travel to and from Maungdaw until we accept/have the NV Cards. And there are too many check-posts along Kyeing-Chaung Maungdaw Highway and other highways. All of us will be banned from travelling because we are not accepting the NVC Card which is meant for the foreigners”, said a victim who was stopped and turned back while on his way back home in northern Maungdaw.
The behavior of the Myanmar authorities towards the Rohingya people has turned even more hostile and cruel after the UN Human Rights failed to establish a Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the atrocity crimes against them (the Rohingyas) by the Myanmar armed forces (the BGP and the Military).
“Earlier, they were alluring us by saying that we would be able to travel freely all over Arakan or Myanmar and become citizens of the country if we accept the NV Cards. Or else, they were only threatening us that we would be deprived of all these rights. And during the time of the human rights report by the UN Rights Rapporteur, Ms. Yanghee Lee and the recent convention in UN Human Rights Council (UN-HRC) in Geneva, the authorities were quiet and the people here were living in apparent tranquility. However, as soon as the UN-HRC failed to establish an investigation team and Russia and China and Russia blocked a short UN Security Council Statement, the authorities have doubled down their bullying and hostile behaviors towards us.
“This is a serious human rights violation where we are banned from even moving around within 2 square kilometers without the NVC. Or tell us where else on earth that it happens happen?” questioned a Rohingya youth based in Maungdaw, while speaking to Rohingya Vision TV.
Despite all the threats and the cruelties, the Rohingya community as a whole, barring some people collaborating with the government, is determined to oppose the NV Cards at any cost.
During a meeting by a higher official from the BGP Headquarter with the administrators of the different villages and Rohingya clerics under the Myint-Hlut sub-township in southern Maungdaw on March 14, a Rohingya village administrator said “some 15-18 years back, the Rohingya people accepted the White Cards (the Temporary Registration Cards) believing in the government’s promise that they would be given the human rights. But the Government has failed to do that.
“Now, we can’t convince the people as they don’t believe us when we say the government will give you human rights if you accept the NV Cards.”
The Rohingya people as a whole categorically reject the NVC as it is meant to issue to the foreigners recently arrived in Myanmar and valid for only two years. Therefore, accepting these cards will automatically deprive the Rohingya people of their indigenous status with the identity ‘Rohingya,’ disqualify their citizenship rights by birth and deny them their full rights as citizens.
[Edited by M.S. Anwar]
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