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Rohingyas’ Livelihood at Risk as They Reject NVC Cards

By Rohingya Mirror | January 12, 2016

Maungdaw – The livelihood and survival of the Rohingya people across Arakan state in Myanmar are facing a new risk as they reject the National Verification Cards known as NVC Cards, reliable sources have reported. 

The Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) are posing threats to the local Rohingyas with bans on their livelihood access and travel if they (i.e. Rohingyas) do not accept the cards. Indeed, in some places like Myint Hlut (Mer Ullah) village in southern Maungdaw, the authorities already stopped issuing intra-township travel permissions to the locals and banned the access of the fishermen to the sea.

In the downtown of Maungdaw, the authorities stopped the daily Rohingya Labors from doing their daily routine works at the gate-point of the department of the ‘Border Trade Affairs’ last week.  

Additionally, the Inquiry Commission group led by U Myint Swe, Current Vice President 1 and ex-Lt-General, visits village to village in Maungdaw on pretext of finding facts on the attacks of the BGP posts in October 2016 and uses soft a soft approach to coax the locals to accept cards. He visited the Nurullah village in southern Maungdaw on January 7 and persuaded the villagers for the NVC Cards. 

“Can we travel all over Myanmar with the NVC Cards?” asked one villager at Nurullah. U Myint Swe replied “no, you can only travel between Maungdaw and Buthidaung.” The villager answered “no, then, we won’t accept the cards.”

Again on January 10, a group of the BGP from the camp of ‘Maggyi Chaung (Faatonza) led by their Commander U Kyaw Thuri threatened the villagers of Nurullah for refusing the cards. 

“If you refuse NVC Cards, we will seize your properties and lands. We will ban your travel from place to place and close down all your businesses. We could even imprison you for that” the BGP commander threatened.  Nevertheless, one of the villagers paid no heed to the threats.

Furthermore, the immigration department in Maungdaw declared that they would soon stop issuing Border-Pass to Bangladesh to the Rohingyas without NVC Cards. This order to stop issuing Border Passes to the Rohingyas without NVC Cards has apparently come directly from the minister of the Border Affairs Minister of Rakhine (Arakan) state, U Htin Lin. The (Rohingya) cross-border traders and other general people that travel to Bangladesh for medical treatments are facing extreme difficulties because of the abrupt order from the higher authorities.

U Aye Myint, a human rights activist based in Maungdaw, said “this NVC Card is a discriminatory card based on the race and creed of the Rohingyas. It doesn’t accord with the International Laws and Human Rights. So, the people are not willing to accept it.

Having said that, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi promised that she would rule the people in Myanmar with loving-kindness and build a government according to universal human rights. However, now imposing discriminatory NVC cards on some people (just because they are not Buddhists and different from Burmese race) at the cost of their travel access and means of livelihoods is a clear violation of the standard of Universal Human Rights.”

The NVC Cards are meant to issue to the foreigners recently arrived in Myanmar and valid for only two years. Therefore, accepting these cards will automatically deprive the Rohingya people of their indigenous status with the identity ‘Rohingya,’ disqualify their citizenship rights by birth.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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