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RB News
April 11, 2018

Buthidaung, Arakan -- U Maung Kyaw Tha, a administrator of the village tract, Kagyat Phat Kan Pyin, Buthidaung Township, beat local Rohingya women from Tet Yar hamlet and also tried to rape them.

The village administrator, who is a Rakhine Buddhist, beat and harassed 'Rabiya Khatoon' by trespassing into her home along with his 2 henchmen for three consecutive nights between 4th and 6th of April. They called her 2 young single daughters out of their house at midnight [during the curfew time under the act 144] under the pretext of interrogation and attempted to rape them, RB News has been told.

Villagers say, that U Maung Kyaw Tha, the village admin, along with his two henchmen, carried out the sexual assaults on the women's dignity. He further threatened 'Rabiya Khatoon' that he would make her get arrested by the BGP (Border Guard Police) and torture her beating every night in the future had she failed to oblige to fulfill his desire.

Similarly, U Maung Kyaw Tha forcibly entered the bed room of Hussein Banu, another Rohingya woman, from Tet Yar hamlet and kept attempting to rape her from 8pm 6th April to 1am 7th April. It has been reported that, though Hussein Banu, a married woman, managed to avoid getting raped by U Maung Kyaw Tha by taking cover behind behind her children, she got beaten and kicked inhumanely as his attempt to rape her didn't succeed.

Furthermore, on that day 6th April evening, U Maung Kyaw Tha accompanied by his two henchmen, trespassing into Amina Khatoon's home, looked for her son Mohamed Shaker to arrest under accusation of having sexual relationship with his neighbour, Hussein Banu. When Mohamed Shaker was not found, they threatened the other members in the family who were present and destroyed furnitures in the house.

According to the villagers who witnessed the incident, U Maung Kyaw Tha then beat the family members and threatened to kill them if they they continued to live in their village without fleeing to Bangladesh.

Translated into English by Hein Min Maung.

The Rohingya that arrived in Malaysia with 56 people aboard on March 31 [Photo:  ROYAL THAI ARMY / HANDOUT / VIA AFP-JIJI]

RB News
April 8, 2018

Sittwe (Akyab)/Kuala Lumpur -- Two Rohingya boats with approximately 140 people on board have gone missing en route to Malaysia since they left Sittwe (Akyab) on March 24, reliable sources say.

One boat with 56 Rohingya people on board arrived in Malaysia on March 31, which the Malaysian Navy rescued and later handed to the Immigration Department (Read HERE). The 2 boats left from Sittwe's 'Thae Chaung' beach on the same day with this boat but have been missing since then.

"Earlier, we have come to know one boat reached to Malaysia on March 31. But 2 other boats with 140 people in total, mostly women and children, have still been missing. They have lost contacts with us and we don't know their whereabouts. Their relatives are extremely worried," said Mohammed (pseudonym), Rohingya in Sittwe, to RB News.

The people are leaving are mostly from IDP (Internally Displaced People) Camps in Sittwe, where more than 140,000 people have been forced to live apartheid condition since 2012. And so, more boats are likely to leave Myanmar in the upcoming weeks.

An internally displaced Rohingya in Sittwe said "we can't move anywhere. Our access to livelihoods has been barred. We can't work and have enough food to eat. We are hopeless and don't know when this condition is going to end. We have been forced to live in prison-like-camps since 2012.

"That's why those who have relatives in Malaysia are paying the agents and some properties to sell are selling them off so that they can pay the agents to leave for Malaysia. Two more boats are about to leave soon."

Sources say that each person leaving for Malaysia has to pay Kyat 700,000 to the agents and the agents, in turn, have to bribe the Myanmar Police or Security Force in Sittwe Kyat 10 Million per boat. And each boat can accommodate around 100 people on board.

The Rohingya people subjected to Genocide by the Myanmar military and Security Forces are fleeing the country for Malaysia, which they consider safe haven, through various other routes such as by lands across central Myanmar and Thailand.

About 700,000 Rohingyas have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh since last year and more people are still fleeing as the Genocide in Myanmar continues. Many of these survivors in Bangladesh are reported to have been fleeing the country from Cox's Bazaar and Chittagong districts.

[Report by Saeed Arakani & M.S. Anwar]

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The Rohingya that stopped at the Thai island of 'Koh Lanta' on Saturday (Assadawuth Suden/Associated Press)

RB News
April 3, 2018

Akyab (Sittwe)/Cox's Bazaar -- More Rohingya boats are likely to leave for Malaysia before monsoon as the Genocide against them continues in Myanmar and their situation in Bangladesh also remains extremely miserable.

On March 24, 2018, one Rohingya boat left from 'Thae Chaung' beach of Akyab (Sittwe) with about 56 people on board. After one week of sailing across the sea, on Saturday (Mar 31), the boat reached to Thailand and stopped at one of its island, 'Koh Lanta' island, as it had been hit by a storm. The Thai authorities pushed it back to the sea after giving them temporary shelter, according to reports.

"There were more than 100 people preparing to leave by the boat. But the Police followed them when they were going to the ‘Thae Choung’ beach to catch the boat. So, they got dispersed and only 56 people managed to get on the boat, and the rest were left behind," said a local Rohingya in Akyab (Sittwe).

"There are more boats likely to leave. But the securities are very tight as of now," he added.

Meanwhile, sources say that many Rohingya boats are also likely to leave from Bangladesh. About 700,000 Rohingyas have left their homelands in Myanmar since August 2017 to escape from the Genocide being carried out by the Myanmar Military and Security Forces.

"Many boats with Rohingya genocide survivors could leave from Bangladesh soon. But the securities in the south-eastern parts of Bangladesh are very tight as patrolling by the BGB and the Coast-Guards have been very high since last year.
"So, they could choose alternative exit points. And those exit points could be from Cox's Bazaar up to Chittagong," said Nazmul Hassan, a Rohingya activist in Cox's Bazaar.

According to AP Report, Malaysian authorities said Monday that they have stepped up patrols to intercept the boat that the Thailand set adrift to the sea on Sunday.

[Reported by Saed Arakani & Sabit Hamid; Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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RB News
March 31, 2018

Minbya, Arakan State: On March 30 morning, a Prayer Leader or Imam was brutally beaten and injured by a Rakhine extremist at 'Tha Yet Oak' hamlet, 'Na Ga Ra' village tract, Pan Myaung region in 'Minbya' Township. 

The 57-years-old Ahmed Husson is the Imam in the mosque of Na Ga Ra's Tha Yek Oak (Noyapara) living his life by fishing. In the morning around 7AM on 30th March, he was whacked on his head with a wooden rod by the son of U Kyaw Zaw Aung from Kyun Taw Rakhine village, while he was fishing by a net in the shore of 'Lay Myo' River. As a result of the forceful strike, the head of the Imam was scuffed and severely injured, according to a a villager who spoke to RB News

No one has come to investigate the incident yet though the administration members from 'Tha Yet Oak' informed the police station in Pan Myaung via telephone, added the villager. 

"We can't go to police station no matter what we face. We just can move in and around the two neighboring Rohingya hamlets. Those two hamlets are inside Na Ga Ra village tract. We are not allowed to go any other places" said the villager. 

Tha Yet Oak is one of the 11 hamlets in Na Ga Ra village tract. There are 3 Rohingya hamlets including Tha Yet Oak among 11 and Rohingya in there can move around in the Rohingya hamlets and no one is allowed to go to other villages, not even to the police station. 

The condition of the Imam Ahmed Husson is serious but he cannot access yet to any hospital for the required medical treatments. 

Since 2012, the movements of the Rohingya villagers in Na Ga Ra have been restricted within the village and totally trapped in. They have no source to earn money and been surviving doing what they can find. Thus, the villagers often face persecutions of the government's Armed Forces and tortures in the hands of some Rakhine extremists. 

There are often cases of deaths of the Rohingya villagers as a result of tortures by the extremists, say the villagers.

[Translated into English by Mayyu Ali]

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RB News
March 29, 2018

Buthidaung, Arakan State -- 22 Rohingya villagers in Buthidaung Township were sentenced to three-year imprisonment each on Wednesday (Mar 28). 

On 16th August 2017, Security Forces conducted raids at 'U Hla Pe' village in Buthidaung and arbitrarily arrested 49 Rohingya villagers. After that, they were detained in the Regional Camp of the BGP (Border Guard Police). Afterwards, 25 were of them released from the BGP camp in the 'Nyaung Chaung' region on ransom.

According to the villagers, the remaining 24 arrestees were sent to the Buthidaung Prison under the false charges of Criminal Sections 17/1 and 17/2. Later on, Section 17/2 was dismissed and they were continued to be prosecuted under the Section 17/1.

Of these 24, Araf Ullah and Eliyas have been set free on 28th May, while each of the remaining 22 has been handed with three years in prison.

"(Before their verdict was announced,) one of the them had paid 7.5 million, while another has paid 7 million, to the judge as ransom for their releases. The remaining 22 were sent to the prison under three-year imprisonment to each (as they could not pay the ransom)", reported a villager.

"The remaining 22 Rohingyas who have been arbitrarily sentenced to three years in jail are innocent" he continued.

[Translated into English by Sabit Hamid]

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RB News
March 12, 2018

Buthidaung, Arakan state -- The Myanmar government is planning to build new Buddhist settlements on the emptied Rohingya homelands in Buthidaung Township, reliable sources say.

On March 10, U Hla Shwe, the deputy township administrator of Buthidaung, and officials from other departments visited 'Thin Gana' and 'Meechaung Zay' villages in northern Buthidaung. The officials conducted map surveys of the places where the Buddhist settlements will be built, it has been learnt.

100 Buddhist Settlements will be built nearby the mountain of 'Kudufaar' at 'Bogyi Chaung' hamlet of 'Meechaung Zay' village, and other 100 settlements nearby 'Old Cemetry' and 'Gufi Road' at 'Thin Gana' village in northern Buthidaung.

"The government is saying that they will bring back all the Rohingya people fled to Bangladesh and resettle them in their original places. But these are blatant lies.

"In fact, they are confiscating all the Rohingya homelands remaining abandoned as their owners had to flee to Bangladesh. The planned two Buddhist settlements are also on the Rohingya lands," said a local Rohingya to RB News in Buthidaung.

Meanwhile, there is another settlement being planned out for the Rakhine Buddhists on the Rohingya homelands at 'Maung Nama' hamlet of 'Nan Ya Gone' village in Buthidaung, where the Rohingya houses were destroyed by the Rakhine Buddhists last year.

About 0.7 Million Rohingya people from Myanmar have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017 as the Myammar military along with the active participations of some Rakhine extremists began to carry out Genocide against them (Rohingya).

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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RB News
March 3, 2018

Maungdaw, Arakan State -- The Rohingya students will be racially segregated from others in the upcoming 2018 University Entrance Examination in Myanmar, say reliable sources.

The University Entrance Examination is to be held nationwide starting on March 7 and the Exam Roll numbers (Admission Numbers) of the students sitting for the exam were announced last week. 

In Maungdaw Examination Centres, the roll numbers of the Rohingya Muslim students have been separated from those of other groups such as Buddhist groups such as Rakhine, Bama, Mro, Dainet and Khami; and (Rohingya) Hindus. The Rohingya Muslim students will have sit for the exam at the BEHS (2) Examination Centre and other ethnic and religious groups (mentioned above) at the BEHS (1) Examination Centre.

"Since they have segregated examination centres for our students, we fear of maltreatments of them by the Rakhine Buddhist teachers during the exams", said a student's parent.

He continued "never before has any University Entrance Examination been held segregately on the basis of ethnicity and religion. This is happening for the first time and that, too, under the (so-called) Civilian Government of Aung San Suu Kyi."

The locals are criticizing this move as a deliberate attempt by the Myanmar authorities to further polarize the societies in the region.

The number of Rohingya Muslim students sitting for the University Entrance Examination used to exceed 1,000 and but the number has significantly decreased down to only around 200 this year.

[Report by Rohingya Eye, edited by M.S. Anwar]

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RB News | February 19, 2018

Buthidaung, Arakan State -- Three Rohingya houses have been destroyed in a fire in Buthidaung a while ago.

The Rohingya houses at Ward 4 (Thabbyay Gone) in the downtown of Buthidaung were reportedly set alight by 4 Rakhine extremists from the nearby Rakhine area of the same Ward at around 9:50pm.

A man, who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity and said to have witnessed the incident, said "I saw 4 Rakhine men armed with machetes and knives fleeing from the scene as soon as the fire has broken out. I believe they are the ones who torched the homes."

However, we are yet to independently verify his claim. 

The fire brigade arrived half an hour after the fire had broken out and extinguished the fire.

The owners of three houses destroyed in the fire are 1) Noormaal Hakim, 2) Farooque and 3) Laylay.

The Police arrested 'U Futunnia,' an elderly Rohingya man and father of Farooque (an owner of a house that got destroyed in the fire), under the allegation of causing the fire by negligence.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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Buthidaung [Photo: RFA]

RB News | February 19, 2018

Buthidaung, Arakan state -- Rohingya students are racially segregated from Rakhine and other Buddhist students in Buthidaung Township as they sit for their school exams, say students' parents.

Exams for Class 4 (Grade 5) and Class 8 (Grade 9) students have started nation-wide from today (Feb 19) and but in Buthidaung, Rohingya students have now to sit for exams in racially segregated halls.

The Burmese letter 'Ba' (implicating 'Bengali') is written on the walls of the exam halls of the Rohingya students, whereas 'Ta' (implicating 'Taiyinthar' or natives) is written on that of Rakhine, Dainet, Khami, Mro and Bama students of Buddhist faith.

"This is the first time I've heard exams are held in segregated halls any where on this earth on the basis of one's race and religion. And I also believe 'this blatant discrimination in education sector' is happening in Myanmar for the 1st time and this is the only place (Buthidaung) where it's happening.

"We suspect that this is happening under the direction of the Rakhine state education minister, Aung Kyaw Tun, who is a reknown extremist and has, at early stages of his career, got transferred to other places because of extremist views. This is something unacceptable and must be stopped," said a parent of a student sitting for exam under such a condition.

This action, segregating Rohingya students on account of their faith and racial origin, is not only threatening the right to unfetterd access to education of the Rohingya children but also demeaning the whole education system of Myanmar and that, such explicit show of racism in schools could poison young minds.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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RB News
January 31, 2018

Maungdaw, Arakan State -- At least 7 Rohingya houses were destroyed in a fire in northern Maungdaw today (Jan 31), report reliable sources .

The fire, likely accidental, broke out from the house of a local man identified as 'Rahmat Ullah' at 'Kan Paing Na' hamlet of Shwe Zarr (Shujah) village in northern Maungdaw at around 12:50 am (night).

Initially, the authorities prevented the villagers from reaching out to extinguish the fire.

"At around 1:40 am, nearly an hour after the fire started, the firebrigade arrived to extinguish the fire. By then, 7 houses had already been burnt down", said a villager to RB News.

Rahmat Ullah, the owner of the house where the fire started, is now reported on the run as the Burmese (Myanmar) authorities are seeking to arrest him.

On January 29, five Rohingya homes and two cowsheds were destroyed in a fire, which the locals suspect the Burmese (Myanmar) Border Guard Police had ignited, at 'Kyauk Phyu Taung' village in Buthidaung Township.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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Rohingya Exodus