Wed 21 Jul 2004
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
July 20: Maungdaw: Nasaka issued an ultimatum to the Rohingya villagers whether to pay Kyats 500,000 per house or to demolish their tin roofed houses in Maungdaw Township, northern Arakan State of Burma, according to our correspondent, in side Arakan.
On July 4, 2004, Captain Aung Kyaw Moe, the Commander of the Nasaka Sector No.4 called a meeting in their Nasaka camp inviting some villagers including village Chairmen and Secretaries of Kyein Chaung and Pruma villages of Maungdaw north. In the meeting, the Commander asked the villagers to demolish the tin roofed houses, which were built in last five
years back. And to avoid this, whether the villagers have to pay Kyats 500,000 per house or to demolish all the houses, a villager participated in the meeting said.
On hearing the order, the participants of the meeting requested to the Commander to withdraw the order as in the rainy season, it will be very difficult to stay in other places after destroying their houses. But, the said Captain took no notice, said a villager from the village.
He further said, “If any one meet not to comply the order, he would be punished according to the laws. The villagers have to destroy all the houses by August 15, 2004.”
About 120 houses in two villages would be affected by this order. Some of the villagers have already paid Kyats 500,000 (US$ 556) to the Nasaka per house, who can afford this money and the rest are trying their best to pay. But, most of them are unable to pay the said money as their acute poverty, said another villager who preferred not to mention his name.
Deliberately, Nasaka arrested and detained three of the villagers, on the information of discussion each other about the Commander’s order. However, they were released after bribing, he further added.
In 1999-2000, when General Khin Nyunt, the then Secretary 1, present Prime Minister of State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) visited to this area and instructed the villagers to redecorate the bordering town and villages with good quality of roofs and etc. Therefore, some villagers had built some tin roofed housesÂ Â after getting permission from concerned authorities. But now, The Commander denied everything and charging the villagers on illegal modification of houses in bordering areas.
When asked a village elite said, “We have no strength not to comply their order because of the judge and the defendant are the same person. They know that in rainy season, the villagers would be faced acute difficulties after destroying our houses. They do it deliberately.”