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Rakhine Authority Sabotage Rohingyas’ Right to Choose their Ethnic Name

Report by Sindhi Khan/MYARF | Written by M.S. Anwar

26th March 2014

Maungdaw, Arakan– Myanmar Immigration Minister U Khin Yi has said Rohingyas have the right to choose their ethnic name as they wish in the forthcoming population census nationwide. Besides, he has also urged Rohingya elders and seniors to organize Rohingya people to actively participate in the census. Nevertheless, it has been learnt that Maungdaw authority are acting against the instructions given by the higher authority.

On 22nd March 2014, officials from Inn Din (Aan Daang) Police Station (of southern Maungdaw), Maungdaw Township General Administration Department and Maungdaw District General Administration Department summoned some Rohingya community elders from southern Maungdaw. They accused them (the elders) of organizing Rohingya people to state their ethnic name “Rohingya” in the population census. The authority subsequently threatened “Stop doing this (i.e. organizing people to participate in the census and choose an ethnic name they wish). If you keep doing this, you will end up facing 10-year-imprisonment under different political charges. And remember, don’t tell this to any media.”

Some Rohingya seniors threatened by the Maungdaw authority are:

1) Mv. Toyub (son of) Abdul Hamid (Age 40) from the village Inn Din

2) Master Ziya (son of) Bashir (Age 40) from the village of Kwa Chaung

3) Noor Jamal (son of) Abdur Rahim, the administrator of the village of Kwa Chaung

4) Zakariyya (son of) Anzul Hoque (Age 49), the administrator of the village of Khaloon

5) Nazam (son of) Karimullah (Age 45) from the village of Khaloon

Besides, it has been reported that the head of Maungdaw Township Administration, U Kyi San, has ordered that Rohingyas must take responsibilities of food and accomodation for the officers who will be carrying out the populaion census. Therefore, administrators of respective Rohingya villages have to raise money from their villagers.

On 21st March 2014, U Kyi San (the head of Maungdaw Township Administration) went to the Basic Education High School of Kyeing Chaung (Bawli Bazaar) village, where there are some ongoing trainings to some people that will be working on population census. He warned them (the trainees) not to at all write down “Rohingya” under the ethnic category of Rohingya people. Around 1PM on the same day, he visited the monastery of Taung-Paw in the village and had a separate meeting with Rakhines.

On 23rd March 2014, he went to the Basic Education High School Maungdaw, where the same trainings are going on, issued the similar warnings.

In Myanmar, no action against lower authority is taken for disobeying the instructions of the higher authority if the injustice is against Rohingyas.



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