Maungdaw, Aabrakan State: A tree garden was set fired in Maungdaw north by unknown miscreants on March 10, which was grown jointly by Rohingya and Rakhine Natala villagers with the help of an NGO named CARE, according to Ahmed, a local elder from Maung Nama.
“In 2007, the garden was grown by the said villagers on 100 acres of hilly land with various saplings of trees such as— No. 81, Miziri, Mimzam, Korai (local names) and others with the permission of concerned authorities.”
After planting the saplings, it was divided into 100 families —50 Natala villagers and 50 Rohingya villagers— of Aung Min Gala Natala (Rakhine) villages and Maung Nama (Rohingya) villagers by CARE. So, one family got 500 to 1,200 saplings from the garden, Hamid, a farmer from the locality said.
It is a kind of supporting to the villagers by NGOs and will be benefited by the villagers in long term. But, villagers will need permission from the concerned authority, when the trees will be big enough to be cut.
However, unfortunately, the garden was set fired by some unknown miscreants on March 10, in the evening. So, the both of the villagers (Rohingya and Natala) lost their hope that they will get money after selling the trees in future, Abdul Hamid, a trader from the village said with great frustration.
Some Rohingya villagers believe that the Natala villagers of Aung Thaya village set fired the garden because of enmity with Rohingya villagers. They want to destroy Rohingyas’ properties, anytime and anywhere without any hesitation, an ex-schoolteacher from Maungdaw said preferring not to be named.
“However, Natala villagers denied that they did not set fire the garden,” said Rashid, a local Rohingya villager quoting the Natala villagers.
At present, the Natala villagers of Aung Thaya village are cutting down the trees from the garden and taking away to their houses, but, the concerned authorities do not bar the Natala villagers, the ex-teacher more added.
The Natala villagers are not original old Rakhie villagers, they were brought from many different areas of Arakan, Burma proper and even from Bangladesh recently by the ruling government, a local youth said.