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Gov't to House Forcibly Displaced Rohingyas of 'Gudar Pyin' in Confined Camps

RB News
September 20, 2018

Buthidaung — The Myanmar government is planning to house forcibly displaced Rohingya villagers of 'Gudar Pyin' in internment-camps-like houses, villagers say.

'Gudar Pyin' or 'Gudam Fara' as called locally is a Rohingya village in Buthidaung Township that came under brutal attacks of the Myanmar armed forces and the Rakhine extremists in late August 2017. They massacred hundreds of the Rohingya villagers and burned down about 200 homes forcibly displacing them and making them homeless. 

While many families from the village have fled to Bangladesh for lives, others have remained in the country by seeking refuge in neighboring villages. Nine months after the violence, in late May 2018, of the families seeking refuge in the neighboring villages, some about 77 (76, according to the Government) households/families returned to their burnt home grounds at 'Ywa Gyi' hamlet and 'South' hamlet of 'Gudar Pyin' and pitched tents for them to live in.

A week after that, a joint team of officials from different administrative departments and armed forces arrived at the village and prevented the villagers from erecting the (self-made) shelters. A villager recounted how the Myanmar authorities threatened them "you can't pitch tents here without permission. If you do so, you will be punished severely."

On Tuesday (Sept 18) afternoon, a tasked team of ten government officials from Buthidaung Township General Administration Department, Land Records Department and the Department of Municipality arrived at 'Gudar Pyin' village and allotted a small area of land to build small barrack-style houses for the 77 forcibly displaced families under 'a Governmet Program' at the northern most part of the village.

"What we are seeing is they have just allotted a 40ft×30ft lot to bulid a housing camp on for each of the 76 families. And they will be fenced with barbed wire. That's more like internment camps" said an elderly villager. 

The total area of land allotted by the Governmentt on Tuesday (Sept 18)  is a ground area of just16 burnt houses. Now, the Government is said to be planning to squeeze 76 households with small internment-camps-like housing into that small area of land. The camps will be guarded, controlled and confined by the Myanmar Security Forces.

"The lot that the government is alloting is just for 76 families out of 200 families whose houses were burnt down last year. They haven't talked anything about over remaning 100 households who have also lost their homes. If we are forced to live in these internment camps like housing permanently, then we don't think we have any other ways left but to flee from the country." said a villager in a worrisome tone.
He added "first, they have burnt down our homes, made us homeless and displaced. Now, they are acting as if they are helping us by building houses for us. And they are treating us as though we have committed crimes for our homes were burnt down. For we have lost our homes in arson attacks which they carried out, they are building tiny houses for us on a tiny peice of land and coaxing and pushing us into the permanent internment camps.

"Then, they will confiscate our large home grounds, gardens and farmlands. Displaced people confined in internment camps get no freedom in life. If they give them food, they will eat. If not, they will starve. No self-sufficiency or right to do anything."

[Reported by MYARF; Edited by M.S. Anwar]
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Rohingya Exodus