By Sindhi Khan
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Maungdaw, Arakan state- On 1st June 2014, in meeting with the administrators of Rohingya villages, Myanmar Border Police (BGP) Commander and Administrator, Major Tin Ko Ko, said that they would be going to re-implement Nasaka Style Census Operation against them soon. Hence, Rohingyas fear that they will again become victims of the oppressive mechanism.
“Nasaka (Border Security Force) was formed by ousted despot ex-General Khin Nyunt in 1992. The institution was specially designed to oppress Rohingya Muslims in Maungdaw District. One of its several oppressive and genocidal mechanisms against Rohingya was Depopulation of the people through various means. One of these means was to carry out ‘Swe Tin Sit,’ Official Investigation (which can loosely be called Census Operation), on numbers of each and every Rohingya Family in the district TWO times a year.
During the operation, Nasaka used to harass and beat Rohingyas and to extort money from them. Above all, when any member of a family failed to be present before the investigation due to different circumstances, Nasaka removed him/her from the family list. Such arbitrary action made thousands of Rohingyas illegal in their own country. And it finally forced them out of the country. Hence, it was nothing but implementation of systematic ethnic cleansing.
When Nasaka had committed untold crimes against humanity, Myanmar Regime felt that it was time for them to replace this Rohingya exterminating machine with a new one. They abolished the institution of Nasaka in July 2013 and replaced it with Border Security Police (BGP). But this BGP are still formed with the same officers and staffs that were once parts of Nasaka. Thus, the abolishment drama was an illusion.
However, Myanmar regime was unable to assign BGP with Nasaka’s brutal mechanism against Rohingyas as it was newly formed.
Time went on. On March 30, 2014, Myanmar Regime started to carry out nationwide population census. The Census Law permits a people to identify themselves with an ethnic name they like. Nevertheless, when Rohingyas tried to identify themselves as ‘Rohingya,’ census enumeration teams simply turned their back without including Rohingya people in the census. What do you call it? Isn’t it double standard? Isn’t it injustice?
Came May 15, 2014, Maungdaw Township Administrator, U Kyi San, summoned administrators of Rohingya villages in Maungdaw Township for a meeting in his office and stated that BGP would soon start Nasaka Style ‘Swe Tin Sit- Census Operation’ against Rohingyas. Due to the tension at Myanmar-Bangladesh Border, the process was delayed. But on 1st June 2014, BGP Commander and Administrator, Major Tin Ko Ko, summoned administrators to the hall of Thiri Mingala in Maungdaw for a meeting. In the meeting, he affirmed that they would surely be going to re-implement Nasaka Style Census Operation soon” vividly said an administrator of a Rohingya village.
“Now, local Rohingyas in Maungdaw District fear that they will again become victims of systematic ethnic cleansing mechanism like they were during the era of Nasaka. Besides, in the name of such operation, they will force Rohingyas to abandon their won ethnic identification and accept ‘Bengali’ ethnic classification. Therefore, we request international community to exert necessary pressure on Myanmar Regime to not implement this ethnic cleansing mechanism again and our fellows to oppose this BGP mechanism gently and wisely” he continued.