By M.S. Anwar |Maungdaw, Arakan
Ahead of the arrival of OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) in Maungdaw on 15th November 2013, Maungdaw township authority plotted and created a faux scenario to deceive the delegation in the early morning of the day. Some of the plots were as follows:
1- Authority planned to take OIC Team only to Rakhine villages.
2- Rakhine authority gathred many Rakhines in Alay-Than-Kyaw (Haisshurata), southern Maungdaw. Majority of these Rakhines are Bangladeshi Rakhines brought in by the Rakhine state government recently and others some poor Rakhines. They were gathered to create a fake situation that Rakhines, too, were displaced by the violence. Hence, it is not a Genocide.
3- NGOs’ transports were used for the OIC delegation. No Rohingya but only Rakhine drivers working in NGOs were hired to drive NGO vehicles to take OIC around. When few Rohingyas working in an NGO as drivers requested the Police SB2 (Special Branch 2) that they, too, would like to participate in taking OIC delegation around Maungdaw, SB2 replied “we can’t accept you becuase you are Muslims.”
4- The head of the Maungdaw Township Administration called up the administrators of the Rohingya villages around the township and threatened them to say to OIC Delegation as “we are elders and representatives of Rohingya community (i.e. not village administrators). There’s no Genocide going on and the actual situation here is contrary to what media report. Government hasn’t locked down any Mosque or Religious School. We can’t pray there only because of emergency period under section 144. Once the period is over, everything is will be fine.”
5- The authority also gathered government’s stooges and puppets among Rohingya community at the district administration office to meet the delegation.
Amidst all the deception, OIC team arrived in Sittwe at 10:30AM (Myanmar Standard Time, MST) and subsequently in Maungdaw at11:45 AM. Rakhine extremists were allowed to hold Neo-Nazi rallies in both Sittwe and Maungdaw against the visit of OIC. As the came out of the Maungdaw Sport Stadium (where their helicopters had landed) to proceed to the office of Maungdaw district administration at the village of Myoma Kayindan (Shiddafara), Rakhine extremists started chanting racist slogans such as “OIC, Get Out” along the road.
OIC Delegation finished their meeting at Maungdaw District Administration Office around 1:30PM (MST). Then, they proceeded to “Traders’ Association” at Quarter 1 for lunch. Their helocopters took off at around 2PM. They are now thought to be on their way to Sittwe. They could not visit Alay-Than-Kyaw (Haisshurata) due to the restriction, Neo-Nazi rallies by Rakhine extremists and the lack of Security Facilities for the delegation.
In the above-mentioned meeting at the office of district administration, the delegation was able to meet only those Rohingyas such as village administrators, government stooges and puppets whom the authrotiy had gathered earlier. Other than that, no Rohingya was allowed to meet the delegation and vice versa. All in all, OIC delegation was not allowed to achieve even 10% of the purpose of their visit. Hence, the OIC’ Trip to Maungdaw was systematically made to be abortive.
An internally displaced Rohingya from Sittwe Bawdupha camp said “many Security Force and Military from the camps werewithdrawn and facilities and places for hosting foreign delegationswere dismantled. They deliberately did so to render the delegation without any security in order to prevent them from visiting IDP camps in Sittwe (Akyab).”
Hence, deception by Myanmar government is all-time high!
–Maungdaw authority didn’t even arrange a mosque for OIC Delegation to offer ‘Jumaa’ prayer lest they (the delegation) should be able to meet Rohingyas in the mosque. They had to leave without offering prayer. No freedom for other religions in Myanmar.
OIC delegation was among Rohingyas to offer Friday prayer at Bukhar Fara Masjid in Thakkaypyin (Sakki fara), Sittwe. They arrived in Sittwe at 2:35PM having left Maungdaw in disgust. Maungdaw authority didn’t arrange any mosque for them to offer prayer.
The visit to Sittwe could prove to be a successful one.