Curfew in Sittwe, west Burma
Sittwe, 2 December: Curfew has been imposed in the western Burmese
town of Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine
(Arakan) State since last week, after a tense situation arising from the rape
of a Rakhine girl and killing of two persons by a
group of Muslim fishermen, according to our correspondent.
A group of
Muslim Rohingya fishermen stopped and attacked a motorised boat heading from Ngarichaung Village of Middle Farunga
Island (south to Sittwe)
towards the capital. The boat was
carrying a Rakhine mother (40) and her daughter (15)
aboard. The Muslim fishermen took control of the boat and without warning some
of them started to attack the two boatmen with knives, chopping the mother and
two boatmen, while the three other Muslim fishermen used force to rape the
teenage girl. Meanwhile, one of the
boatmen was able to escape the scene with serious wounds. He was later saved by another boat passing
and was admitted into the State Hospital in Sittwe.
news spread, a large number of the students of Sittwe University got enraged and began to gather to
“take action against the perpetrators”.
Fearing a disturbance the authority in the town interfered to disperse
the students and bring order in the campus.
They also hastily conducted the ongoing annual examinations and forced
the students pack up their belongings and leave the campus.
intervention by the authority finally brought the situation under control.
Since then there has been a curfew imposed and movements restricted in the
town, according to a townsman reached through phone. The dead bodies of a boatman and the mother
have been recovered but the teenage girl is still missing, according to police
five Rohingya youths raped two Rakhine teenage girls
in Maungdaw Township, close to the Bangladesh-Burma
border. The news stirred up widescale discontent
among the majority Rakhine community of the state.
Many of the concerned Rakhine citizens in the western
Burmese state more and more feel worried for these untoward incidents that may
at any time lead to impatience between the two Buddhist and Muslim communities,
leading to large scale violence, a retired police officer said.
February 2001, a race riot broke out in Sittwe
following Muslim Rohingya youths teasing a Rakhine
girl. In the aftermath the police with
the help of Burmese military troops nabbed hundreds of Rakhine
youths as young as ten year olds who have gone missing ever since. #