The Identity of ‘Rohingya’ is ignored to when testified, by almost all Enumerators in entire country
By Huson Salm
April 1, 2014
1) Date: 1st April 2014 - The Rakhine enumerators, accompanied by a combination of police, extra Rakhine volunteers and military forces, have visited almost all villages in the Rakhine state townships where there are Rohingyas Muslims. As soon as the team arrived in the villages the Rakhine Enumerators would ask the villagers:
"What is your identity?"
The villagers response - ‘Rohingya’.
The Enumerators would then leave for another destination to ask the same questions. Such behaviour by the Rakhine Enumerators has become habitual in Rakhine state. Some locations in every corner of the country where there are Rohingyas residing.
2) Date: 31.3.2014- The Rakhine Enumerators arrived at Min-Bya township where there are 22 Rohingya Muslim villages. The Enumerators’ combined team gathered together all the Rohingya villagers to the fields in the scorching hot sun until the villagers confess their identity as ‘Bengali’. The Rohingya people persistently responded that they are Rohingyas. The police, Rakhine mobs, and military forces were roaring all the night near the Rohingya villages. The Rohingyas are afraid of seeing another bout of so called "communal violence" again under the excuse of the enumeration process.
3) In some townships in Rakhine state, the Enumerators asked the villagers to show their National Registration Cards (NRCs), household list, and the documents about Rohingyas’ existence. Though some Rohingya villagers provided the relevant documents to the Enumerators, they denied accepting the documents which the villagers showed.
4) Date: 31.3.2014- The Shan state Enumerators arrived at Sesaing township, Naw Mun helmet. The started to ask some Rohingyas who resided in that helmet. The Enumerators denied registering them as Rohingyas. Because of the enumerators’ backbiting, the Immigration Department from Sesaing Township summoned those 15 Rohingyas to the Township Immigration office to bring the relevant documents to prove that they are Rohingyas.
5) While the intimidated Rohingyas made complaint at hotline ‘1840’, it has been progressively mocking the people rather than explaining well to the civilians the exact nature of the enumeration.
6) To make the enumeration activities confusing, the president’s spokesperson, U Ye Htut, interviewed with Radio Free Asia, Voice of America, and BBC Burmese Programs that so called Rohingyas are Bengali and recent infiltrators into Rakhine state, that is why the so called Rohingyas are to be enumerated as Bengali only. Many Rohingyas believe this is a mental war against the Rohingya community to distort the existence of Rohingyas at the sight of Myanmar Buddhist community by the sponsorship of U Thein Sein's government.
7) It is also found in Yangon City that several enumerators have not done their work properly. Purposely disfiguring the name ‘Rohingya’ as per the direction of their high ranking officers. This said by Enumerators to the respondents. Many Enumerators are not writing in the form as per the respondents, saying that they have no rights to do the same because there are directions are not to write the ethnic name ‘Rohingya’. For instance, there is a complaint from 40th street, Kyauktada Township, Yangon that one of the Enumerators namely ‘Daw Myint Myint Khaing’ didn’t agree to write the name ‘Rohingyas’ in the form. While a lady respondent raised their voice to write the identity as ‘Rohingya’, she was forcefully brought as criminal to the Block Administrative office by the Enumerator or the combined team. The Chair of Block (9), 40th street, Kyauktada Township, said the label ‘Rohingya’ is illegal and it cannot be registered in the enumeration.
All these threats, disrespect, distortion, miscalculation, inaccuracies, irresponsibility, irregularities, psychosomatic and general injustice which are against census accord, have been made-up by combined forces of enumerators, district level officers, and township/ward staffers under the control of the Union government.
Innocent Rohingyas are highly frustrated by the enumeration process, but they are very eager to co-operate with Enumerators as per the accord of UNFPA and the Government of Myanmar.