Monday, October 18, 2004

Myanmar: Nasaka forces on extortion, forced labour spree

Recently, Nasaka authorities have confiscated some with yields paddy growing fields from nearby Rohingya villagers for the Natala villagers. They have to endure it silently without raising any voice for fear of punishment. The real problem is the total nonexistence of the rule of law in Burma, where citizens are incapable to make any objection against concerned authorities at any level, on any grounds, without facing some kind of retaliation, the trader more added.


Nasaka Forcibly Extracts Labor and Donation from Rohingya villagers

Maungdaw, October18: Nasaka forcibly extracts donation and labor from Rohingya villagers for construction of Buddhist pagoda and temple in Maungdaw township of Arakan State, western Burma, said a villager.

On June 2004, Nasaka (Border Security Force) authorities have newly established a Natala village (a model village) named Aung Thaya model village near Wabag village (Myaw Taung village) of Maungdaw north in Arakan State. It has 495 persons of 130 family including 242 male and 253 female members. Newcomers were brought in from Burma proper for this Natala village dotted with pagoda, monastery, and community center built with forced labor and forced donation of the Rohingyas, the villager further added.

There are two kinds of Natala village, the first one is for newcomers from Burma side and the other one is for Buddhist communities within the Arakan State--- such as Rakhine, Mru, Kami, Thet--- and Rakhine or Marma from Bangladesh. The settlers from Burma proper receiving more facilities from government than the others, said a schoolteacher.

The Natala village was built on the confiscated lands of the Rohingyas with the forced labor of the surrounding villages---- such as Wabag (Myaw Taung), Maung Hna Ma, Thet Kai Pyin (Nanda Khali), Zambonnya(Zinbaingya) of Maungdaw north. Again, these villagers have been forced to provide forced labor for construction of pagoda and monastery in the same Natala village.

On the other hand, the SPDC authorities have been prohibiting the construction of non-Buddhist religious buildings. Even a bit of renovation and extension of religious schools and mosques are not allowed. The Nasaka is always trying to find ways and means to destroy the religious buildings of Muslims in Arakan, said a trader who came abroad and declined to mention his name.

Recently, Nasaka authorities have confiscated some with yields paddy growing fields from nearby Rohingya villagers for the Natala villagers. They have to endure it silently without raising any voice for fear of punishment. The real problem is the total nonexistence of the rule of law in Burma, where citizens are incapable to make any objection against concerned authorities at any level, on any grounds, without facing some kind of retaliation, the trader more added.

One of the farmers whose paddy fields were seized, said, ' I have 4 acres of paddy lands full of with yields. Of them 3 acres were confiscated by Nasaka for Natala villagers, and left only one acre for our family. How can we survive in future. We lost our farmlands, energy, and everything. Even, we have to pay donation and forced labor for construction of Buddhist temple and pagoda.'

Under the supervision of the Western Command Commander, the Nasaka set up 39 model villages in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung Townships in Arakan State, western Burma with Buddhist community from inside and outside of the Arakan State and even from Bangladesh. It was on 12th December 1999; with the first batch of Buddhist community consisting of 285 persons of 85 families was brought to Arakan State from Burma proper, said an elite from Maungdaw Town.

The Western Command Commander, during the visit to the northern Arakan on 6th October had visited the two 'Natala' villages of Inn Kran Mrying (Buthidaung) and Aung Thaya (Maungdaw) and donated TV sets, generators and other items, said a Village PDC member.


Email To DakBangla from Kaladan Press Network 18/10/2004