Maungdaw, Arakan State: The high officials from Maungdaw are preparing to move to the safe place only Buddhist community from Maungdaw south starting at noon on May 14, according to an official from Maungdaw admin office.
“The high officials ordered to the security force to arrange vehicles to transport the Buddhist community from Maungdaw south who are living near the mountainside to Maungdaw and will keep them in the monasteries and high school, but no plan for Muslim Rohingya –living near the Bay of Bengal and riverside.”
The concerned authority also arranged to transport the Buddhists – Natala villagers from Maungdaw north – to Maungdaw where the authority arranged the safe house, according to an admin officer from Maungdaw north.
The Rakhine State Parliament member Mra Aung called a meeting at district admin office to discuss how to prevent the civilians from Cyclone Mahasen but decided to save only Buddhist not the Muslim Rohingya at meeting.
The Rakhine community from Maungdaw are giving registration for getting shelter during the cyclone to the authority where they will get rations and medical assess, but concerned authority had not informed to Rohingya for shelter, said Annu, a trader from Maungdaw.
We don’t want to move to safe place during the cyclone as we are not getting any rights from authority as a human being, why we move like other people, we will die at our place, more Rohingya said when asked to move safe place.
Today, evening, Army personnel from Maungdaw south announced to Rohingya community to move safe places but no mention where they (Rohingya) will go for safety. No instruction for cyclone safety process, according to an elder from Maungdaw south.
Isabelle Arradon, deputy Asia Pacific director of Amnesty International – a rights group-, said in a statement on May 13, “The government has been repeatedly warned to make appropriate arrangements for those displaced in Rakhine (Arakan) state.”
“Now thousands of lives are at stake unless targeted action is taken immediately to assist those most at risk.” 140,000 displaced people are living in makeshift shelters in Arakan, most of them-Rohingya Muslin, according to aid groups
Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said that if the government failed to evacuate those at risk, “any disaster that results will not be natural but man-made”.
But some people have reportedly refused to leave because they fear having nowhere else to go. “We are very worried about the cyclone… we do not have enough food to eat,” a Rohingya told Agence-France Presse news agency.
“Many people are in trouble. But we have no idea what we should do.”
Some of the IDPs are reportedly afraid of the security personnel in charge of the relocations in some of the sites. Vulnerable families and individuals should be prioritized. Temporary relocation and evacuation of IDPs to safer locations must not result in forced returns nor further exacerbate vulnerabilities, according to OCHA report on May 13.
“Humanitarian agencies have reminded the authorities that keeping families together during the evacuation is essential.”
A boat carrying about 100 Rohingya Muslims capsized- struck rocks off Pauktaw township in Arakan State and sank- on May 13 ,with many feared drowned at the start of a mass evacuation from low-lying regions ahead of Cyclone Mahasen, Barbara Manzi, head of the Myanmar office at the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),according to Reuters.
Eight bodies have been found so far, and more than 50 other people who were aboard are feared dead, said James Munn, an official of OCHA.