Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Villagers forced to relocate to Arakan State

by Nyein Chan

Dhaka (Mizzima) – About 300 people from proper Burma have been resettled to Arakan State under the government’s border region developmental projects.

The group of people, who belongs to Rangoon, Mandalay, Pyinmana, Prome and Bassein, have reportedly migrated to “model villages” built in Maungdaw and Buthitaung Townships by the authorities under its Development and Resettlement Project of Border Regions. The group of people are the third batch to be resettled to the region.

“They came here with their whole families including men, women and children,” an official of the border security force, also known as Na-sa-ka, in Kyikanpyin told Mizzima.

Earlier in January and March, about 300 people (150 households) and 500 people (150 households) have arrived these villages.

These Na-ta-la villages are located in Buthidaung and Maungtaw Townships since 2001 and contains about a 100 houses in each villages. Under this plan, a total of 100 such villages will be built in this border region. About 2,500 households are believed to have arrived in these model villages.

The authorities gave these new settlers a 80’x60’ plot of land each, a house, farmland, cow and food for six months, a local resident of Aungmingala village said. But a rumour has spread that the authorities collected money from these new settlers for this project.

Buthitaung and Maungdaw Townships is predominantly occupied by Rohingya, a Muslim minority, whom the government of Burma does not recognised them as citizens.

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