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Rohingya Forced into Accepting NV Cards in Myanmar

RB News
October 15, 2017

Akyab (Sittwe) -- Having forced nearly half a million Rohingyas out of the country and massacred thousands, the Myanmar authorities are now forcing the remaining of them into accepting NV Cards, according to local sources.

On October 14 morning, officials from Myanmar fishing department accompanied by many policemen arrived at 'Thae Chaung' village and held a meeting with the locals. During the meeting, the officials coerced them to accept NV Card but only met with absolute opposition from the people.

One fisherman in Sittwe said "the government threatened to ban us from going out to sea for fishing if we don't accept NV Card. They are trying to coerce us by banning access to our livelihood. So, let us die of starvation but not accept NV Cards."

It has been learnt that the government officials have informed the immigration and the police at 'Thae Chaung' and 'Bay Dar' beach check-posts to block all Rohingya fishermen from fishing unless they accept NV Card. There are more than 600 fishing boats, belong to Rohingya people at 'Thae Chaung' and 'Bay Dar' beaches, that are unable to set off to the sea for fishing.

The NV Card or National Verification Card (NVC) is, in effect, issued to a foreigner while he/she is going through citizenship verification during his/her citizenship application in Myanmar. The Rohingyas, who are natives of Arakan state of Myanmar and its citizens by birth, categorically reject the NV Card.

Several groups of government officials have begun threatening the locals of 'Shwe Zar' village  (originally called Shujah Fara) in Maungdaw Township to accept NV Cards since October 11.

"The government officials came at north hamlet of 'Shwe Zar' village again today (i.e. on Oct 15) and threatened to burn down the village if the villagers didn't accept NV Cards. So, the villagers ran away in fear.

"So, the officials have begun forcing passers-by, rickshaw pullers and farmers or any Rohingya they encounter into accepting the NV Card", said one village man.

The Myanmar government has subjected the Rohingya to go through the process of NV Card that seems like Myanmar government is taking steps to give citizenships to Rohingyas when it is a step to downgrade the native status of Rohingya. The Rohingyas do not need to go through citizenship verification as they were natives of Myanmar and until 1982, they were an indegenous ethnic group of Myanmar.

[Reported by Saeed Arkani & Rights Seeker; Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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