By Rohingya Eye ׀ Rvisiontv.com
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 ׀ Maungdaw, Arakan State
The head of the Municipal Department Maungdaw charges arbitrary money from Rohingya people claiming it as cleaning tax and yet, he practices serious discriminations against the people, a local Rohingya said.
Head of the Municipal Department Maungdaw, U Tin Oo, has, since his transfer to the township, started to charge money from Rohingya residents and shopkeepers in the downtown under the pretext of cleaning tax. However, he fails to deliver his promises. He doesn’t clean Rohingya areas and rather blocks drainage to stop water flowing down from Rohingya areas. Consequently, it is causing immense health problems in the areas as it is rainy season in Myanmar.
Below mentioned is a report by a local Rohingya on discrimination practices by the Municipal Department.
“U Tin Oo, a Rakhine by ethnicity, has been recently posted as the Head of Municipal Department in Maungdaw. On June 22, he collected Kyat 3,000 from every Rohingya shop at the Central-Mosque-Shop-Row under the pretext of cleaning drains. Collecting money from shopkeepers for that is unusual because there was no record in the past of or a rule for doing so.
Despite that, on June 23, Rohingya shopkeepers had to clean the drains before their shops on their own. Even then, the Municipal Head fined Kyat 5,000 on three shops alleging that the shopkeepers didn’t put trashes on the trucks. The names of the shopkeepers that were penalized are:
1) Hussein Ahmed (son of) Rashid (of age 33) from Quarter 2
2) Mujibur Rahman (son of) Alam (of age 38) from Quarter 2
3) Abdur Razzak (son of) ? (owner of Plaza Betel Stall) from Quarter 2
Cleaning drains is a responsibility of Maungdaw Municipality as it imposes a tax of Kyat 10,000 to Kyat 20,000 on every shop for the said purpose.
Similarly, on the other hand, Rohingya people in Quarter 2 are facing problems as water stands still and doesn’t flow down the drain at an area between the residences of Saya Maung Nak @Master Munaaf and Lawyer U Maung Thar Tun @Abdul Khair in Quarter 2. Earlier years, it was fine when water flew down through the drains before Myoma Monastery. Nevertheless, after violence in June 2012, authority has blocked the drain to stop water flowing from the Rohingya areas in area. Consequently, standing water emits bad smells, makes the place really dirty and causes sanitation problems.
Although elders in the quarter have requested the municipality to solve the problem by letter and in person, it has not done any improvement to the area. However, the peon and assistant of the municipal head, U Shwe Hla, did say that they would unblock the drains if the people in the quarter paid Kyat 500,000 to the municipal department.
The municipal department charges Kyat 3,600 as tax for residential land, Kyat 1,440 for Road Lamp Posts and Kyat 3,600 for Cleaning Trashes and so in total Kyat 8,640 from every Rohingya household in Rohingya quarters.
However, the municipality has constructed ample drains to make water flow down and nice road platforms in not-s0-downtown Rakhine areas around ‘Kyaw Guest House’ at the end of the Maha Bandula Road.
Therefore, we can say that this is open discrimination and corruption practices by the municipality department headed by U Tin Oo. And he has assigned his assistant, U Hla Shwe, to forcibly collect money from Rohingya shopkeepers and households under different pretexts.”
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