At Least 15 INGOs Properties Have Been Attacked In Sittwe
March 27, 2014
Sittwe, Arakan – At least 15 offices, houses and warehouses have been attacked by Rakhine mobs since Wednesday night in eight different places in Sittwe, the capital city of Arakan state.
As the Rakhines are boycotting the upcoming census for not officially stopping the Rohingya from writing Rohingya. They posted the Buddhist flag on their houses as a sign of the census boycott. The Rakhine staff at Malteser International (NGO) also posted the Buddhist flag at their office. An American staff from Malteser removed it from their office. A rumor spread around that she put the flag in her pants. The Rakhines also spread the false news that the lady staff from Malteser is Turkish. The tension grew from there and more than thousand Rakhines gather since Wednesday. Reportedly the security forces opened fired multiple rounds into the sky on four occasions to disperse the crowd.
The Rakhine mob threw stones into the offices, houses and warehouses of International Non-Governmental Organizations. Some properties of the INGOs were destroyed. They have attacked eight different places which are in Bout Thi Su, Kyaung Tat Lane, Lanmadaw, Ta Yar Thi Su, Pyi Daw Thar, Yaw Gyi Myaut, Danyawaddy and Owe Dan.
The staff from Malteser, UNFPA, MSF and LWF were taken under police custody on Wednesday night; the locals said they were forced to leave for Yangon today at 1 pm. A Rohingya refugee in the camp said the staffs from an INGO called "Solidarity" were in the Rohingya refugee camp to pay the staff's salary today at 10 am but they were informed by their office that they have to leave from Sittwe for Yangon at 1:00 pm.
Reportedly, the sub-office of UNFPA was also attacked which is not very far from Malteser office.
The Rohingyas are in fear since Wednesday night. This afternoon a balloon landed in Aung Mingalar quarter. A very small balloon is inside the big balloon which is unusual. So the residents in Aung Mingalar handed over it to the security to keep themselves safe.
Although the tension was between an American staff and local Rakhines, the Rakhines are diverting the issue for the upcoming census. As Immigration Minister Khin Yi had threatened the local Rohingya, it could be very possible that what is happening in Sittwe is preplanned and the possible attack on Rohingyas is under way. They created the tension and will force all foreigners to get out from Sittwe before March 30th. This so they can freely attack Rohingyas when the Rohingyas identify themselves as Rohingya in the upcoming census.