More boatpeople flee from Arakan

Maungdaw, Arakan State: More people are fleeing from Arakan. At least two boats per week loading with Rohingya boatpeople went to Malaysia or Thailand from Maungdaw south by perilous sea route, said Malu( not real name) from the locality.
“Many Rohingya boat people including women and children are missing on the way to Malaysia due to rough sea and storm and some of the boats sank in the Bay of Bengal while on the way to their destination.”

Now, the sea is calm as the winter is approaching, so the boatpeople increase their voyage to go to Malaysia, he more added.

Faisal, the village Admin officer of Kunia Para (village) of Maungdaw south, 12 miles south of Maundaw is working as an agent of Kunia Para village Hluntin camp, said a trader preferring not to be named.

The Admin is collecting voyagers by taking Kyat 50,000 per head and the money is shared among Hluntin Commander, agent and boat owner. The boat owner came to Bay of Bengal with a big boat and anchored there and the local agents ferried the passengers to the big boat by small boats. The boat owner is from Rakhine community, according to a local leader who did not mention his name.

After reaching at Malaysia, the passengers (voyagers) have to pay the money what they agree with the human traffickers, the local leader added.

This is happening continuously because the Burmese government imposed movement of restriction to Rohingyas. That`s why Rohingya Muslims are unable to move from one place to another for their daily earnings that caused severe financial crisis. This is the question of the survival for them, said a schoolteacher from Maungdaw town.

So, Burmese Government should expose the traveling restriction and to take action against the human traffickers and the authority authorities concerned who have been involved, the teacher more added.

Local villagers said, “We are upset as people are fleeing from Arakan. This is authority plan to depopulate Rohingya in Maungdaw by giving them pathway to travel to Malaysia.”

When asked a police agent, he said that local villagers are moving freely and the concerned authority does not make any restriction to the voyagers. If the trend is going on, the will be no males except old men, in Maungdaw Township.

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