Rathedaung, Arakan State: Armies from Rathedaung Township have been collecting paddy from Rohingya villagers since December third week from their hired arable lands to Rohingya villagers after seizing from them, a village farmer said preferring not to be named.
“The armies collected 13 Tangs (one Tang = 35 kg) per acre from the villagers. The arable lands were owned by Rohingya villagers, but these were seized by armies earlier for their purposes and again hired to the Rohingya farmers year by year at the rate of 13 Tans per acre.”
This year, in 2012, Rohingya farmers fully did not able to grow paddy in their hired arable lands from the armies because of violence in June between Rakhine and Rohingya communities. But, army forcibly collected paddy for those arable lands in which they were not able to grow paddy during violence, said another villager from the locality.
The armies seized 200 acres of arable lands only from the Tha Pay Taw village tract of Rathedaung Township. In similar way, the armies moreover seized arable lands from other Rohingya village tracts of eastern Rathedaung Township.
The villagers are facing difficulties, as they have no paddy to pay army, so they have to buy paddy from outside to fulfill the demand of armies, said a local youth.
At present, Rohingya villagers are not free from movement restriction in Rathedaung Township. They have to get permission from Village Administration Officer (VAO) after paying Kyat 200 per head and also have to inform to local Nasaka camp to go to market. But all the villagers are not allowed to go to market, only for shopkeepers, said a villager elder on condition of anonymity.