Rohingyas In Maungdaw District Threatened By Immigration Director General Maung Maung Than
April 9, 2014
Maungdaw, Arakan – The Rohingyas in Maungdaw district were threatened by Immigration and Population Department Director General Maung Maung Than, according to locals.
Today at 3:30 pm, Immigration and Population Department Director General Maung Maung Than met with local Rohingya Town-Elders at Maungdaw District Administration office. Maung Maung Than said they will conduct the census in the region and they will fill up the ethnicity name beside the ethnicity code number. They will only fill up code no. 914 and leave the ethnicity name as blank. Code no. 914 is for others who are excluded from the list of 135 recognized ethnic groups.
He added that Maungdaw Township Census Conducting Committee will issue a letter on April 10th for leaving the ethnicity name as blank. Then he threatened that anyone who doesn’t participate in the census will be listed as foreigners and their movements will be restricted. That means that they will not be allowed to go out from the village and no permits for moving from one village to another will not be issued to them.
Similarly, today he had a meeting with Rohingya town-elders in Buthidaung Township and same threats were made.
During the census in 1973 and 1983, the Rohingyas from Arakan state filled up their ethnicity as Rohingya but the government erased the name on the forms and replaced with Bengali. Many Enumerators of those censuses are still alive and they are ready to testify of the cheating by the then government. Now also they are trying hard to leave the ethnicity column as blank and will fill up Bengali once the Enumerators bring the forms to the immigration offices.
The senior officials told in the beginning of ongoing census that they won’t conduct the census if the respondents claim as Rohingya. Now they are having pressures from the international donors and threatening Rohingyas to complete their jobs by is crooked.
According to the census law enacted by Union Parliament everyone has the right to express their ethnic name. The government itself however is violating the law and threatening the Rohingyas. The local Rohingyas said they will not accept unlawfully conducting census and that they will protect their ethnic name at any cost.