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What Were the Plans Behind the Recent Visit by Rakhine State Minister to Maung Daw?

Report by Sindhi Khan |Written By M.S. Anwar

September 27, 2013

On September 22, 2013, Rakhine State Minister, U Hla Maung Htin, visited Maung Daw Township. He summoned various meetings with various groups. Similarly, he held a meeting with many Rohingya elders from various parts of Maung Daw at the office of Maung Daw Township Administration.

Like usual, he delivered many hollow and ambiguous talks on peace and stability. He asked Rohingyas, in case of any problems, to seek authority’s help and said authority would solve their problems.

At the end of his speech, there was also a ‘question and answer session’ but that was only meant to fulfill the formality of the meeting. He gave chances to the Rohingyas attending the meeting to ask questions to him. And the Rohingyas posed few questions but to only have ambiguous replies in return.

A Rohingya asked “Masjids (Mosques) Madrasaas (Religious Schools) have been locked down since June 2012. So, we can’t offer prayers in mosque. We’d like to know when we can pray in mosque.” To which U Hla Maung Htin replied “there is a curfew order (martial law) imposed in the township. As long as the order is in effect, mosques and madrasaas can’t be reopened.”

And no one knows when the martial law imposed in the township will end………And again, the curfew order is effective only against Rohingyas, while Rakhine hooligans are set free to roam around and do all the barbaric acts!

Another Rohingya asked one more question, “there are thousands of Rohingya students in the township, who have passed University Entrance Examination and are unable to proceed to university. When will they be allowed to continue their education?” U Hla Maung Htin took a period and said something to Maung Daw Township Administrator’s ear. And then, he replied “you continue as it is now (meaning: the students should hold on and can’t proceed now). We shall see.”

No clear answers had been given to the earlier questions. So, other Rohingyas did not bother to ask any more questions..

But the main intentions behind his visit to Maung Daw was to confine Rohingya people more in Arakan, an open-prison for Rohingyas.

His visit was mainly to establish newly set-up instiution MaKaPha (can loosely be translated into English as ‘Department Against Illegal Immigration) in place of the abolished NaSaKa (the then Border Security Force) in Maung Daw. He handed over all the tasks, duties, charges and resposbilities of NaSaKa to MaKaPha. He gave full authority to MaKaPha over Rohingyas.

Moreover, fences with iron wires have been made all along Maung Daw’s border to Bangladesh long ago. Now, he instructed MaKaPha and Security Forces to shoot down or shoot dead any Rohingya who tries to approach the fence. It was reported that approximately two furlongs inward from the fence would be declared as Red-Zone soon.

Many more things might be plotted but we only know this much!

Fence with iron wires along Maung Daw's border to Bangladesh [Photo: Google Map]
Fence with iron wires along Maung Daw’s border to Bangladesh [Photo: Google Map]