Maungdaw, Arakan State: Burmese Navy rescued 727 boat people – 608 men, 74 women and 45 children – on board were landed in Poungzaar (Ashika Para) Maungdaw at 8:30am, according to Village admin officer of Shwezarr Village.
“The Maungdaw authority ordered to us to arrange the toilets and rest rooms for boatpeople who will stay in the old receiving repatriation camp – refugee of Bangladesh reception center at 2005. The authorities ordered to repair all the restrooms and toilets without paying any money.”
“From Shwezarr, we are sharing for all materials to buy and near all Rohingya villagers will come to work as volunteers,” the village admin officer added.
But, this morning, we received massage from authority, after landing the boat, the boatpeople will stay only for short time and will transport to Taungpyo by road – where most of the Rohingyas’ vehicles will requisition without any service money. In Maungdaw, there are more vehicles from Rohingya and Rakhine community, but, the authority only requisition from Rohingya community. So, now Rohingyas are their vehicles from authority as the owner lost for salary of driver and assistant with their daily allowance, the village admin officer more added.
But, the Burmese government didn’t exposed to public about rescued boatpeople where the authority will transport. “The operation is starting. They will be taken to a safe destination,” Information Minister Ye Htut told to the reporter, adding that the migrants had been provided with food and water. He would not disclose that location due to “security and safety concerns”.
Earlier, Ye Htut had said Myanmar’s navy was taking the converted fishing boat to Bangladeshi waters – prompting its neighbour to underline that it would take back only those who were genuinely its citizens – but he later clarified his remarks to say the verification process would take place first.
Burmese government initially labelled the migrants on the overloaded boat “Bengalis”, a term it applies to both Bangladeshis and Rohingyas, a mostly stateless Muslim minority living in Burma Arakan State.
A navy officer who declined to be named told Reuters on May 31 that some migrants aboard the crowded boat could speak a dialect that is used in Arakan state but not widely spoken in Bangladesh.
In Dhaka, the foreign ministry made its position clear. “Those who are identified as Bangladeshi nationals, we will bring them back to our country,” a senior official at the foreign ministry said, declining to be named. “But we will verify them first.”
Hollywood actor Matt Dillon was in Akyab, the capital of Arakan State, on June 1. He visited a camp for displaced Rohingya and a fishing village from which many migrants had left on smugglers’ boats. “I saw a grim situation, a lot of barbed wire … The residential area was ghettoized,” Dillon told reporters in Bangkok. “I felt that this is a very vulnerable group. These people are the most desperate of the desperate.”
U.S. President Barack Obama on June 1, called on Burma to stop discriminating against the stateless Rohingya. The president said this is crucial for the successful transition to democracy in Burma.
“We were talking earlier about what’s required for Myanmar to succeed. I think one of the most important things is to put an end to discrimination against people because of what they look like or what their faith is, and the Rohingya have been discriminated against significantly, and that’s part of the reason they’re fleeing. I think if I were a Rohingya I would want to stay where I was born. I’d want to stay in the land where my parents had lived, but I would to make sure that my government was protecting me and that people were treating me fairly. That’s what I’d want and that’s why it’s so important, I think, as part of the democratic transition to take very seriously this issue of how the Rohingya are treated, said ” U.S. President Barack Obama told at a gathering of Asian leaders at the White House in Washington, D.C.