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Myanmar’s Military Make Lives Troublesome for Rohingyas in Buthidaung

By MYARF ׀ Saturday, August 23, 2014

Buthidaung, Arakan State ׀

A Myanmar military squad encamped at a Rohingya village in Buthidaung Township have been torturing innocent Rohingya people and arbitrarily extorting money from them for almost a month, creating immense troubles in daily lives of the local Rohingyas, say the sources. 

Entry to Buthidaung Township

It has been learnt that the village in which the around seven military personnel have encamped is Paya-Pyin-Aung-Pya in Buthidaung Township. They took their base at the village’s administration. Hence, they military create troubles in surrounding villages including Pha-yon-chaung village.

“U Salimullah (son of) U Izhar Meah (of age 35) hails from Pha-yon-chaung village, Buthidaung. On his way back home through Paya-Pyin-Aung-Pya village around 8:30PM on August 17, he was stopped by the military at the village. The military suddenly started to search his body and found a Mobile Phone without Sim Card with him. Then, they military started to beat him up arbitrarily accusing him of using Bangladeshi Sim Card in the phone. They released him only after extorting Kyat 20,000 from him.

Moreover, the same military group entered Pha-yon-chaung village at 9:30PM of the same night. They tried to stop and arrest a Rohingya youth going to buy some stuffs from a shop in the village. He was listening songs on mobile phone without SIM card on his way to the shop. The youth dropped his phone set worth Kyat 35,000 as he ran away in fear. The military seized his phone” said a local Rohingya in Buthidaung.

“At the same night, they accused Fedaan (son of) U Dudu Meah hails from Dudan 2 hamlet of Pha-yon-chaung village that there was a complaint lodged against him. Then, they arrested him for Kyat 20,000 Ransom” he continued.

Locals say that this military squad arrived and encamped at the village only at the beginning of August. As soon as they arrived at the village, they started to harass and torture innocent people in the village under different pretexts. It is going on until today.

“They always arrive at different sentry posts in the village every other night. When the Rohingyas on sentry duty fall asleep, they beat the people asking why you fall asleep. When the people stay awake, they beat the people saying you don’t see us coming and ask who we are. ‘How do you guard the village?’ When the people ask them who they are as they come, they start beating the people saying ‘don’t you know who we are?  We are military force. Why do you shout at us?’ After that, they extort a Chicken every time they arrive.

The life of the villagers has become a hell because of these barbaric military.

These military have five horses. They set the horses free at night. The horses invade paddy fields belong to Rohingyas. They graze on the paddy fields and destroy the crops. When the farmers taking care of the fields try to prevent the horses from invading into the paddy fields, the military start torturing them saying ‘don’t you know these horses belong to military? Till date, the horses have destroyed one acre of paddy field” said an elderly Rohingya declining to be identified.

On the other hand, the administrator of Pha-yon-chaung village who is a Rakhine extremist named Maung Than Htay is said to never leave an opportunity to harass and torture the Rohingya villagers of Pha-yon-chaung.

“U Muslim (son of) U Noor Hussein, a local, runs tea shop in the village. On August 11, the administrator, Maung Than Htay, demanded five chairs from U Muslim for free. U Muslim replied that each chair was worth Kyat 8,500 and five chairs were worth Kyat 42,500 in total and hence, he would not be able to give over the chairs for free. Just for that, the administrator summoned him to his office and beat him brutally.

In Last June, he ordered Maung Jamil (son of) U Inna Min, a local of the village, to work as (forced) labour at his (the administrator’s house). The administrator beat Maung Jamil severely since he (Maung Jamil) failed to fulfil his demand. The administrator is a racist and notorious for harassing and torturing local Rohingyas” Maung Maung, a local Rohingya, said.

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