Vigil in Penang in solidarity with Rohingya; updates from ground zero

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Aliran and the Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign are holding a solidarity vigil for the Rohingya on Sunday, 10 September 2017 at 6pm. We hope those of you in Penang will be able to join us.

Meanwhile, the Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign brings us updates on what has been happening in Arakan state:

We present here most recent updates from the ground in Arakan state, Myanmar and from Rohingya who have made the journey into Bangladesh. These are updates that have been received verbatim through contacts.

We are well aware that people will demand verification and will view any or all claims with scepticism; we present them without comment; we know the Myanmar government’s present tactic is to say that it is all rubbish and that the Rohingya are burning their own homes and are the author of their own catastrophe.

We side with those calling it a genocide. The history of the last 50 years is one of continual denial of the Rohingya their identity, their citizenship rights, any protection, and (not for the first time) confiscation of land and possessions, destruction (burning or otherwise) of their property, forced displacement and in far too many cases, their lives. Violence has been a feature for many, many years; this recent violence continues the most recent escalation which began in October 2016.

You will be aware that despite denial that anything untoward is taking place, Aung Suu Kyi and her government has continued for some time to deny any independent monitoring in the area. You will also be aware that the UN Special Rapporteur has indicated that crimes against humanity have almost certainly been committed, including by the military.

Elsewhere there are many media and other reports from a wide variety of groups and media of the genocide taking place, which demands our immediate and urgent response. For example, the media are beginning to report massacres of civilians, such as that at Tula Toli. Please, please do what you can to stop the violence, urge those with power and influence to stop the violence, to get humanitarian aid in to the areas, and to look for longer term solutions. The recent Kofi Annan Commission Report on Rakhine is a good starting point.

31 August 2017

We have report after report adding up to the fact that the systematic clearing of the Rohingya in Rakhine state of Myanmar is continuously going on. We are getting continuous reports of mass killings and villages are being burned to ashes on a daily basis.

READ MORE:  Escalation of violence against the Rohingya in Arakan state, Myanmar

The villages that are still remaining unburnt in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships are empty. People have already fled. They are mostly in the mountains now. For example, the whole sub-township Taung Phyu is empty. This has affected about 80,000 people. Several thousands from three townships in that vicinity are at the border waiting to cross into Bangladesh.

Maungdaw Downtown, Sector 6: Kyawk Lay Gar, Bawrga Bill Village is now burning at 12.20pm. The Burmese military has set fire to the Rohingya houses.

1 September 2017

6am: A group consisting of about 1,000 Myanmar military, BGP and Rakhine extremists has been besieging Bagonna East hamlet in Southern Maungdaw South since 5.45am.

10am: Myanmar military are torching Kyauk Pandu village in Southern Maungdaw again and attempting to attack Rohingya villagers taking refuge in the mountains.

10.15am: Rohingya homes at Mangala village of Quarter 3 in Maungdaw have been set ablaze by the Myanmar BGP and Rakhine extremists.

11.30am A motorcycle shop owned by Yusuf (s/o) Shomshu, a Rohingya resident of Quarter 5 in Maungdaw, has been looted by Rakhine extremists. The shop was burnt down after looting.

2pm: The Myanmar military set fire to Rohingya houses at Zedi Pyin hamlet of Kyauk Pandu village in Southern Maungdaw at 8am.

2.45pm: The Myanmar military set fire to Rohingya owned shops at Kyaung Taung village in southern Maungdaw.

2 September 2017

1pm: We received a report that the Myanmar military brutally slaughtered a Rohingya school teacher in front of his 12-yr-old son at Maung Nu hamlet of Chin Thama village in northern Buthidaung on 27 August.  After that, the military molested his wife and plundered his home. The victim is identified as Salim, 35.

We were among many who received a chart cataloguing the number of villages burnt to date, how many people were affected, and how many people were killed. The systematic clearing of a 10 square mile radius is indicated, with village after village being torched. This is in Northern Buthidaung alone (see  https://goo.gl/g41EPj).

We received reports that the Myanmar military claimed that they had provided aid to the (Rohingya) villagers at Pantaw Pyin village in southern Maungdaw on 1 September. They did give the villagers packets of rice and food rations but we were told that these were then seized back once photos had been taken and published on the military/government pages.

Similarly, Myanmar authorities are reported to have ordered the Rohingya villagers at Quarter 2 in Maungdaw downtown to offer Eid prayer this morning. And the government officials filmed them while offering prayers, to show how wonderful they are.

READ MORE:  Burma: Allow access to investigate abuses in Rakhine state

Nine Rohingya leaders were arrested by the Myanmar military at Aan Daang (Inn Din) village in southern Maungdaw on 1 September after they were called on pretext of a meeting. They have been detained at the Buddhist monastery in the village. The villagers fear that the military will kill them.

Nine Rohingya houses were set ablaze by the Myanmar military at Quarter 6 of Myint Hlut sub-township in southern Maungdaw on 1 September.

This afternoon a house was plundered and torched by the Myanmar military. The house belonged to Dolu (s/o) Hashim, 30.

3 September 2017

At 3.30 pm today, the remaining Rohingya houses were set alight in Myin Hlut village south of Maungdaw, and the military and police reportedly rounded up some 100,000 Rohingya from the forest area where they were seeking refuge and brought them to the beach in Myin Hlut village. Young women are said to have been segregated from the group and kept in the forest by military and police.

The military and police are demanding that the Rohingya civilians have to hand over the guns the military lost in the fighting against militants group, and the military added that they would shoot and burn all of them if they fail to retrieve the guns lost in the fighting.

3.30pm: The Myanmar military are setting fire to Rohingya homes at Kyaung Taung (Gora Khali) in southern Maungdaw. And in Myint Hlut village.

At 5pm today, Rohingya houses were set ablaze in War Pyin hamlet and Thea Chaung hamlet of Hpar Wat Chaung village north of Maungdaw. Also the Myanmar military continue their arson attacks on Phawat Chaung in northern Maungdaw.

5.30pm: The Myanmar military and Rakhine extremists set fire to Rohingya homes at Zin Paing Nya village in northern Maungdaw.

6pm: The Myanmar army are torching the Rohingya houses at Maung Nama and Phawat Chaung in Maungdaw.

6.30pm: The military, police and Rakhine mobs set the remaining houses on fire in Zan Paing Nya village north of Maungdaw.

8pm: Gun shots are also being heard from Zin Paing Nya village. The Myanmar military and Rakhine extremists have also set fire to the remaining Rohingya homes at Myint Hlut village in southern Maungdaw.

4 September 2017

At 12.46pm today, the military are reported to have launched air strikes on the forest in Thin Baw Kwe village south of Maungdaw where thousands of people from 30 villages had been taking refuge with no food for more one week now. All of them are reported as believed killed by the air strikes. One figure has over 200,000 people; others have considerably more. (Let us pray this is not true.)

READ MORE:  Stop the genocidal killings in Myanmar - but look in our backyard too

5 September 2017

Goinna Fara hamlet of Shwe Zar village was set on fire this morning, next to Maungdaw township in the north, near to Maungdaw downtown

We are receiving many photos and videos, as have many groups and media. Today we had a horrible photo of two charred bodies, reported to be of Idris s/o Abdu Rahman, 25, and Ilyas s/o Ahmad Hussein, 20. We are told that a group of Rakhine mob and military encountered these two young Rohingya men at around 11am after Eid prayer in Bat Kar Gone Nar village on Saturday and the Rakhine mob and military forced them into a house where they slaughtered these two men before they burned them.

At 1.30pm on Monday, we are now getting a report that the Myanmar military came from the side of Bat Kar Gone Nar village and torched Nurullah village south of Maungdaw. A video gives us the sound of the helicopter and we can see it flying over that village.

An unknown number of Rohingya houses were burned down by the Myanmar military, police and Rakhine mob in Kyauk Pyin Seik village, north of Maungdaw.

6 September 2017

Yae Myet Taung rohingya village was entirely burned to the ground by the Myanmar military and Rakhine mob.  20-30 Rohingya homes in Ushey Kya village were also burned by the Myanmar military and Rakhine.

We received a report that the police chief in sector 4 held a meeting with the village administrators from the villages that are not burned yet. The police chief is said to have ordered the Rohingya village administrators to ask Rohingya people in the village to set fire to their own houses, wearing face masks so they can be portrayed as Arsa members. These photos are then uploaded by the military as ‘proof’ that the Rohingya really are burning their own homes.

The police chief threatened the village administrators with mass killings and arson like they have done to other Rohingya villages if they fail to follow his order. We can see such photos on government websites; we also have been told that the government forces use Rohingya look-alikes (Hindu or Maramagyi) to burn the homes. We leave it to you to decide who is telling the truth; as we say in the introduction, the evidence of (recent) history may help make this clear.

The above reports are as received by the Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign
consolidated on 7 September 2017. Many other groups are also receiving similar reports

One day hopefully someone will be called to account for crimes against humanity.
For crimes against humanity are being committed, of that we have no doubt.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. ABOUT ROHINGYAS : myths & facts

    1. Rohingyas are not Burmese. They called themselves as Rohingya. There are no such people in Burmese history and census.

    2. Rohingyas are in fact Bengali who speaks Bengali dialect, dress Bengali clothes and eat Bengali food and have Bengali cultures.

    3. Rohingyas are illegal immigrants who illegally entered to Myanmar from Bangladesh.

    4. The Burmese government gave citizenship to many Rohingyas, but more and more illegal immigrant Rohingyas comes from Bangladesh every year.

    5. When they became citizenship, they are equal under the law. No one may be discriminated against on the basis of their race, religion, ethnic group, or gender.

    6. Rohingya raped underage girls (under 13 years old), tortured them and killed these little girls.

    7. Rohingya bullied Rakhine people, did several arson attacks, killed hundreds of Rakhine people and burnt thousands of houses.

    8. Rohingya has been trained by fundamentalist Taliban and Al Qaeda (cited from wikileaks and other credible news).

    9. Rohingya owns thousands of guns to shoot Rakhine people. (Please go to Rakhine state and research it. Dozens of Rakhine people are killed by Rohingya bullets)

    Myth 1. They cannot marry and have children. Government restricts them.

    Fact: Rohingya population extremely increases every year in Myanmar. The rate is higher than Myanmar population rate. How come their population increases every year?

    Myth 2. They have discrimination on religion. They don’t have freedom of religion.

    Fact: There are many mosques built by Rohingya in Rakhine state. If they have restriction on religion, how come hundreds mosques in Rakhine state?

    Myth 3. They are so poor that they don’t have anything to eat.

    Fact: The truth is they just want to get free money from UNHCR or organizations. They built a lot of nice houses and mosques. They bought a lot of guns and rockets. How can they build houses and mosques? How can they buy guns?

    Myth 4. Rohingya are not Bengali.

    Fact: Rohingya are in fact Bengali. Please check DNA. Please listen their dialect. Please research their language. According to the research, they are not Arab or Burmese ethic. How come they speak Bengali if they are not? Why cannot they speak Burmese if they are burmese. How can they wear like Bengali and have Bengali cultures.

    Myth 5. They are tortured by Rakhine people.

    Fact: There are many Rohingya in Rakhine state. Their population is more than Rakhine people population. Rohingya population increases every year and Rakhine population decreases every year. If they are tortured by Rakhine, they will run away from Rakhine state and they won’t be sticking around like a super glue.

    Myth 6. Rohingyas are so peaceful.

    Fact: Rohingya raped, tortured and killed Rakhine little girls. Rohingya bullied and killed hundred of Rakhine people. They burnt thousands of houses and dozens of Buddhist temples. How come the whole Rakhine towns and villages go to ashes?
    Why are many Rakhine people killed by Rohingya?

    Myth 7. Government should recognize Rohingya as citizenship.

    Fact: Bengali government denied its own people. Burmese government accept them and gave them citizenship and equal rights. However, more and more Bengali Rohingya illegally enter to Myanmar every year. They are rude and aggressive. They don’t respect native Rakhine and bullied Rakhine people. Then, they pretend to be like poor and nice guys. Why did Burmese government have to accept these kind of rude hypocrite terrorists? Burmese government already gave out a lot of citizenship to these so-called Rohingya and they are equal under the law. Nevertheless, government cannot accept any more illegal immigrants since they don’t do any good for Myanmar.

    Myth 8. Burmese hate Rohingya so much because they are Muslim.

    Fact: There are plenty of Muslim people in Burma. Burmese people treat with respect to those people who are not rude, aggressive and murderers. Burmese people treat with respect to those Rohingya who entered Burma legally, and who are not murderers.

    Short and Sweet:
    Rohingya are Bengali who illegally entered Myanmar and killed thousands of native Rakhine people. Government gave citizenship and equal rights to thousands of Rohingya. They built hundreds of mosques and thousands of houses in Rakhine State. Their population extremely increases every year due to illegal immigrant Rohingyas. They bullied, raped, tortured and killed native Rakhine people every year. In this case, they are systematically attacking Rakhine state and Rakhine people. They killed many Rakhine, and burnt thousands of Rakhine’s houses. They made over 30,000 Rakhine people homeless. They were trained by Taliban and Al Qaeda.

    Their Purpose:
    Even though government gave citizenship and equal rights to many immigrant Rohingyas, their desires cannot be fulfilled. They want to make Rakhine state to become their state. They want to claim that they are native people. They allied with Taliban as well as Al Qaeda, and they want to kick Rakhine people out of Rakhine state. They want to govern Rakhine state as their own state.

    Extracted from someone else posting . . . .

  2. Recent developments in Rakhine state in Timeline

    First, before going down to the details of all the killings and unpleasant events in Rakhine, let us make it clear that we are against any violation, terrorism and use of exaggerated force against civilian.
    Regarding the recent crisis in Rakhine state of Myanmar, we have followed up every developments and here is list of events in timeline.
    Timeline
    ———————————————————————————–
    May 30, 2016 – Myanmar government formed a Central Committee for the Implementation of Peace and Development in Rakhine State chaired by the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Su Kyi
    Sept 2016 – the Kofi Annan Foundation and the Office of the State Counsellor established an Advisory Commission on Rakhine State following a request from Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar.
    Oct 9, 2016 – Nine Myanmar police officers were killed in coordinated attacks by the group known as Aqa Mul Mujahidin organization that has link to Rohingya Solidarity Organisation and the weapons from the security outposts were robbed. The leader of the Aqa Mul Mujahidin was Havistoohar, a religious and social extremist.
    Oct 11, 2016 – Havistoohar published a video to social network which contained a declaration of Jihad on Myanmar. He similarly broadcast several footage aiming to boost foreign funding and supports.
    March, 2017 – The Advisory Commission on Rakhine State issued an interim report that includes a set of recommendation to reduce tensions and improve the conditions.
    June, 2017 – Since Oct 2016 attacks, the number of people killed by those suspected to have link with the terrorist group mounted to 41 people and the number of missing people was 23.
    July 9, 2017 – The security forces on patrol was attacked by guns and explosives in Tinmay village, Buthidaung township. The security forces fired back and killed two terrorists, arrested two, seized guns, explosives, remote controls, knives, and some 1000+ Bangladesh currency Taka and communication devices.
    July 31, 2017 – Following the report of missing villager, U Than Htay from Chutpyin village, Sedi-Pyin district, Rathedaung township, the security forces searched for him and ended up to find the camps where there were food stocks and the items with the labels from AFP (UN) and some aid agencies.
    Aug 1, 2017 – An explosion happened in Pantawpyin village, Maungdaw. Upon investigation, it was found Explosion happened while making hand-made bomb.
    Aug 3, 2017 – Seven ethnic (Mryo) Myo people were killed and two was missing. The Government security forces searched for more victims and did area clearance operations.
    Aug 4, 2017 – About six hundred villagers, who are Bengali speaking Muslims, surrounded and attacked the security forces patrolling and doing area clearance operations.
    Aug 6, 2017 – A 70 years old village ward officer who was cooperating with local government for the sake of security and peace was killed by the terrorist.
    Aug 7, 2017 – Maungdaw region special investigative body formed by Myanmar Government released the report that denied groundless claim of ethnic cleansing of so-called Rohingya aka Bengali speaking muslim migrants.
    Aug 8, 2017 – The head of village of Kyaungdaung was attacked with knife by ten radicalized people who wore masks during security meeting for the village.
    A number of killings and seizure of drugs occurred in Rakhine throughout August.
    Aug 23, 2017 – Kofi Annan led THE ADVISORY COMMISSION ON RAKHINE STATE submitted the final report to Myanmar President.
    Aug 24, 2017 – The report of Kofi Annan led Rakhine state commission was publicly released.
    Aug 25, 2017 – Early morning around 1:00AM, Bengali speaking Muslim terrorists launched a simultaneous attacks on at least 30 security outposts.
    The number summarized as follows:
    (1) Police outposts attacked 30
    (2) Death toll 11(one security personnel and 10 policemen)
    (3) Deputy Township Immigration Officer 1
    (4) Number of injured 11 (3 seriously)
    (5) Arms taken 6
    (6) Bodies of extremist terrorists retrieved 59
    (7) One extremist terrorist was arrested
    Aug 25, 2017 – Myanmar Government declared Arkan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) as terrorist group.
    Aug 26, 2017 – The terrorists killed the civilians & village/district officers whoever they think was cooperating with the Government.
    Six civilian Hindu (Indian) people were cruelly killed by the terrorists.
    Aug 29, 2017 – The ARSA terrorists set fire on the villages, attacked the security forces with hand-made explosives & destroyed the Buddhist religious trademarks in Nanthardaung village.
    According to the evidences, it was already clear that which organizations and who support from the behind the terrorist group in Rakhine.
    However, international media are trying in coordinated attempt to depict Myanmar government as the same oppressive regime as military junta. We totally disagree those accusations & would like the truth to be known widely.
    Sources: MOI, http://www.rakhinecommission. org/

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