Narinjara news


Maungdaw, 17 April 02:
The number of Burmans who have been moved from Burma proper into the newly set up model villages and have not fled in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships of Arakan (Rakhine) State stand at 1353 as on 12 April, according to our correspondent.

The State Peace and Development Council junta of Burma have till now established more than thirty model villages in the northern part of Arakan (Rakhine) State for rehabilitation of Burmans comprised of released hardcore criminals, drug addicts, HIV patients, homeless and people of doubtful calling including retired armed forces personnel.

Shortly after the settlement programmes were initiated a few years ago, many of the new settlers were given land, cattle, one year’s foodstuff, homes and other necessary amenities like generator sets, TVs, clinics and schools. The land usually came from the areas confiscated from the original residents of the nearby villagers.

Though the Burmese junta gave all the necessary land and home for settlement to the Burman settlers, many finding the life harsh and boring compared to Burma Proper sneaked away back to their original homes in Burma.

There has been no incidence of arrest of the fugitive model village settlers, after all.
The following is a list of the number of settlers in these model villages as on April 12th this year:

Aungthabray (men 37, women 18), Mong-khamaung (men 6, women 7),
Mingalanyunt (men 5, women 3), Re-myak-taung (men 27, women 25),
Udaung (men 10, women 13), Kyauk-pandu (men 11, women 17),
Kaing-gri (men 128, women 122), Tarafi (men 156, women 151),
Gandama (men 77, women 65), Ang-gra-mraing (men 50, women 52),
Thazangmraing (men 93, women 96), Padauk-mraing(men 101, women 83).
The total number of Burman settlers who are still living in the twelve model villages above stand at - men seven hundred and one, and women six hundred and fifty two. The total number of people is one thousand three hundred and fifty three as on April 12th.

Most of the settlers have been brought to the area with enticements of a better life while some have been forcefully brought there, a leader of the settlers told our correspondent.

Residents of the model villages are given special advantages and privileges including food rations, TVs and government-run schools, etc. which are a far cry in the traditional villages nearby. The students are also given free books and school uniforms besides teaching materials in the schools. The Burmese junta officials regularly pay visits to the model villages so that the township authority is also always careful about the needs of the model village residents who enjoy a V VIP treatment compared to the poor neighbourhood, a township official on condition of anonymity told our correspondent. #