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Myanmar’s Gov’t Bans Rohingyas’ Livelihoods for Rejecting ‘Bengali’ Tag

By MYARF & MZ ׀ Thursday, August 28, 2014

Maungdaw, Arakan ׀

The Myanmar government has banned several livelihoods of the Rohingya people for rejecting the forced ‘Illegal Bengali Immigrants’ brand, causing extreme difficulties among them for their survival, the Rohingyas say.


It has been learnt that the government has banned Rohingya fishermen from setting off to the sea for fishing, farmers from cultivation and stopped issuing permissions to travel across the townships, Border Passes to travel to Bangladesh for medical treatments, marriage permissions and so on and so forth.

The reports further say that the government will impose further more restrictions unless the Rohingya people accept “the Bengali Immigrants” Identity. The Rohingyas say they do not accept the identity because it is not theirs and gives them a foreigners’ image on their own land.

“The government has banned the Rohingyas that reject ‘Bengali Immigrant’ Identity. They only allow the few people that were forcibly subjected to accept the identity.

U Aman Ullah (son of) Mohammed (age 50) is a local of Ywa Gyi hamlet of Kyauk Pandu village southern Maungdaw. He has refused to be registered as Bengali. But since he has no any other means for his living, he secretly set off for fishing to the sea on August 21.

The village administrator, U Kyaw Thein, Rakhine came to know about this. He cooperated with the Border Guard Police and arrested him. Then, they tortured him and extorted Kyat 150,000. He had no money. So the villagers helped him” said a local of Kyauk Pandu.

Besides, nowadays, if Rohingyas have to pass through the Border Guard Police Check-post, they have to show their household registration list.

“People need to show their household registration list in order to go through BGP Check-posts. Without them, they are not allowed to do so. Then, the police take the lists, record the registration numbers and other details and seal on them that reads “this Family has been Scrutinized and Registered as Bengali.

Besides, the police bodily harasses girls and women. And there is a police check-post every three miles on different highways in Maungdaw. We are going through a very difficult period” exclaimed a Rohingya.

In a separate incident, Rohingya students at the Basic Education Middle School at Four-Mile-Region hesitate to attend their classes because the school authority forces them to accept Foreigners Registration Cards.

“The school authority Basic Education Middle School at Four-Mile-Region has, since August 20, started to force Rohingya students to pay Kyat 1,000 and accept the Foreigners’ Registration Cards. On the cards, it is written ‘Bengali’ under the column of the ethnicity/

Therefore, the students do not want to attend their classes” said a local on the condition of anonymity.

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