Aung Kyaw Min (Maungdaw)
Narinjara News, 11 February:
Around 1,000 ethnic Arakanese staged a protest against the Burmese government for broadcasting in the Bengali language on May Yu FM in Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Rathedaung townships in the Arakan State on 10 February.
The protestors set off from Myoma Sports Ground and marched along Myo Thit Road, U Ottama Road, Myoma School Road, and Myoma Zeygyi Road.
“Since 1 February, May Yu FM has started transmitting in the Bengali language in Maungdaw, Buthidaung, and Rathedaung townships. The local Arakanese are not happy with it so we are protesting against it,” said the protest leader U Wai Saw Wai.
The protestors shouted slogans against the radio broadcast of May Yu FM in the Bengali language and called on the Burmese government to respect the local ethnic people and abolish the transmission in the Bengali language.
“Even the Mro, Thet, Khami, Dainet (also known as Chakma), and Maramagyi, which have been officially recognised as sub-tribes of the Arakan race, do not have the right to broadcast in their own languages. As a result, the traditional culture and languages of the ethnic Arakan tribes are disappearing. Instead of preserving these [cultures and languages], we feel that they are trying to diminish the role of the ethnic people by broadcasting in the Bengali language. That’s why we are holding the protest,” he explained.
Around 50 people staged a similar protest in Toungup from 1 to 2 pm, according to the protest’s leader U Maung Maung Thet.
Although protests were originally planned to be staged in 12 cities in the Arakan State on 10 February, they have only been held in Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Kyauktaw, Mrauk U, Myebon, and Toungup.