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Myanmar’s Immigration Officials Force Rohingyas to Accept Green Cards

By Rohingya Mirror

Maungdaw, Arakan (Rohingya Vision) — Myanmar’s Immigration Officials in Maungdaw Township have been issuing the Green Cards to the Rohingyas by force since last Tuesday, the local sources say.

Rohingyas need to take immigration permission called ‘Form 4’ to travel from one township to another especially from Maungdaw to Buthidaung Township and vice versa. When the Rohingya people go to immigration office for the permission, the immigration officials do not issue the Form 4 (the temporary travel permission) unless they accept the Green Cards.

“On June 16, some people went to the Maungdaw Immigration Office to take permission to travel to Buthidaung. There, the immigration officials said that they would only issue the travel permissions when they return the hand-over receipts of the white cards and accept the green cards. Therefore, those who urgently need to go to Buthidaung for the sake of their livelihoods had to unwillingly accept the green cards.

This is nothing but bullying and blackmailing against the helpless Rohingya people” said a local Rohingya in Maungdaw.

The Rohingya people do not want to accept the Green Cards known as ‘the Identification Cards for the People whose Citizenship under Scrutiny/Verification’ at all because it (the Green Card) is meant to be a two-year-temporary stay permit in the country.

Some legal experts also view that the Rohingyas do not need to hold the Green Cards because the Rohingyas have been living in the state of Arakan (now called Rakhine) of Myanmar since the time of immemorial. These kinds of Identification Cards are normally issued to the foreigners as temporary stay permit for two years. Moreover, they legal experts remark that issuing such identification cards by force and against the will of the people against the law and the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar.

“We were born here in this country. Or forefathers were, too, born here, grew up here and died here. Why should we accept something like a two-year-temporary stay permits like foreigners?

We have the right to express and say the truth. We are also human beings! Hence, we need be treated like human beings. We do not accept such Identification Cards issued to foreigners. Even when they kill us! We are ready to die rather than to accept these cards” said a Rohingya student in Maungdaw.

Similarly, according to Saeed Arakani, a Rohingya Activist, a group of immigration officials and other authorities arrived at ‘Kyauk Phyu Kyauk Ta Loone’ IDP (internally displaced people) Camp at about 9:00AM yesterday. And they discussed with the IDP in Kyauk Pyu Camp regarding the matters of the Green Cards.

Read the earlier report: Rohingyas Refuse to Accept the Green Cards Issued by Myanmar’s Officials

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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