Local Authorities Forcing Rohingyas To Pay Census Expenses In Maungdaw District
March 28, 2014
Maungdaw, Arakan – Although the expenses for upcoming census are sponsored by The Myanmar government, UN and western countries, the local authorities in Maungdaw district are forcing the Rohingyas to pay for what they are claiming are census expenses.
The village administrator Sayed Alam, of Kan Pu village in southern Maungdaw Township of Arakan, state has asked every Rohingya household to pay Kyat 3’000, as he was ordered by the Township administrator Kyi San. The money he asked for is said to be for census expenses. Moreover, other Rohingyas in other villages also had to pay money for census expenses. In some villages it was reported that only the people who can afford the cost were selected to pay.
Similarly, Nga Yant Chaung (Taungbazar) village tract administrator of Kaung Sein Hla in Buthidaung Township is asking for 3.4 million Kyat from the Rohingyas of 17 hamlets. He said every hamlet must pay 200,000 Kyat for census expenses. When the villagers inquired about this with him he said he was instructed by Buthidaung Township administrator, Than Shwe.
The Rohingya people in Kyauk Phyu Thar Thay Kan village tract and Thay Kan Khwa Sone village tract were also forced to pay some money in the name of census expenses.
Although UNFPA issued a statement that everyone has right to self-identify their ethnicity, the local authorities are still threatening that the enumerators will not collect the data from the people who claimed Rohingya.
Additional reporting by MYARF.