Maungdaw, Arakan State: Army is destroying Rohingyas’ garden to make logs for baking bricks in Maungdaw Township for constructing of an old road which was established by British government during Second World War-II, said a an elder from the local preferring not to be named.
“This road is running from north to south of Maungdaw Township. Recently, the government has been constructing this road with the help of bulldozer for mounding and digging the soil for the road. The army doesn’t take forced labor from the villagers.”
But the army needs logs to bake bricks in the kiln. As a result, the commander of the army went to nearby villages recently and asked them to sell their gardens for cutting logs which were grown by the help of an NGO named CARE— 5 to 10 years ago. Villagers want to provide them logs for baking bricks from the natural forest, but the commander compelled the villagers to sell their gardens. Therefore, villagers refused to sell their fruit- yielding trees to the commander, said one of the garden owners.
“The villagers had grown— mango trees, Tarm trees (like mango trees), 81 and 82 trees, orange trees, lemon trees, Zam trees, Kori trees, teak and etc.”
On January 17, twenty acres of mango ( Rin Qay Thi – in Burmese) garden owned by Molvi Ismail of Kilai Daung village of Maungdaw east was totally cut down by Rakhine villagers into logs for baking bricks for road construction though there are plenty of trees nearby mountain, said a villager.
At present, in Kilai Daung village, the concerned authorities are trying to settle 30 Rakhine families which were brought recently to Maungadw from Bangladesh. It is learnt that recently about 200 Rakhine families were brought to Arakan State from Bangladesh, the villager more added.
The village Administration officer of Kilai Daung village is from Rakhine community, so, he is pushing army to harass Rohingya villagers.
In similar way, there are about 200 acres of garden owned by Gudu Sara villagers, of them 50 acres have been cut down by the Rakhine villagers that were brought to Arakan State from Bangladesh recently, a local businessman said.
A village trader who denied to be named said,” It is a deliberate action against the Rohingya community. There is plenty of wood nearby forest; so it is not need to cut logs from the garden of Rohingyas.”