Narinjara news

Burmese Muslims flee starvation and forced labour in western Burma

Maungdaw, 7 October 02: 
Fresh reports of Muslims in the western part of Burma fleeing starvation and forced labour to Bangladesh have begun to flood in.  Our correspondent from Maungdaw in Rakhine (Arakan) State in Burma has said that while repatriation of 22,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh has been moving at snail’s pace due to reluctance shown by the Burmese authority, there are new instances of Rohingyas leaving Burma in large numbers.

Under Myin Hlwett Nasaka (Border Security Force) Area #8 alone at least 16 Muslim Rohingyas have left for Bangladesh in recent weeks to escape the conscription of forced labour in road repair and maintenance, and construction of new military installations as well as wide scale starvation caused by recent price spiral of rice, the staple food, in Maungdaw Townhip close to the south eastern border of Bangldesh

The names of the run-away villagers and the villages they belong to are:

1       Abdus Shukur, son of Deen Muhammad, H # 270, Udaung  Village
2      Abdul Kabir, son of Fazal Ahmed, H # 81, Udaung  V
3      Muhammad Alam, son of Rabi Ullah, H # 66, Udaung V
4      Rashida Begum, daughter of Fazal Ahmed, H # 62, Myin Hlwett V
5      Fatema Khatun, daughter of Sharif Hussein H # 306, Myin Hlwett V
6      Muhammad Faiz, son of Saleh Ahmed, H # 115, Myin Hlwett V
7      Ziaul Huq, son of …….., H # 24, Myin Hlwett V
8      Salima Khatun, daughter of Gura Mia, H # 412, Ko-dan-gauk V
9      Amin Khatun, daughter of Abdul Huq, H # 290, Ko-dan-gauk V
10     Nurul Huq, son of Hussein Ahmed, H # 290, Ko-dan-gauk V
11     Omar Salim, son of Abdul Gani, HOUSE # 142, Gorakhali V
12     Saleh Banu, daughter of Bazal Hussein, H # 215, Gorakhali V
13     Abdur Rahim, son of Basu Mia, H # 205, Gorakhali V
14     Abdus Salam, son of Basu Mia, H # 205, Gorakhali V
15     Bajit Ullah, son of Salim Ullah, Gorakhali V
16      Muhammad Ayaf, son of Basu Mia, H # 205, Gorakhali V

In Bangladesh, the new arrivals are not even recognized as refugees, and are not received with welcome gesture as they are increasingly seen as ‘menace’ to the local working people and threat to the environmental degradation, especially because of the deforestation committed by Rohingya refugees in settling down in the south eastern districts of the country, said a lawyer in the south eastern town of Cox’s Bazaar. 

The total number of Rhingya runaways in recent months cannot be ascertained as there is no official or non-official estimate available.  But many journalists in the local Cox’s Bazaar press estimate it to be between four and five thousand. #