Authorities’ failure to control provocations may lead to further violence

Maung Aye

The Arakanese villagers in Mrauk-U Township in Arakan State said they have repeatedly reported unscrupulous destruction of their cultivations to the responsible authorities, but the authorities have still neglected to look into the destruction.

“We would like to question the authorities as to why they do not take any action for our complaints, and they wish to create more conflicts”, said a woman from Laung Krat Taungmaw Village in Mrauk-U Township.

She said the miscreants are trying to provoke new communal conflicts by destroying and stealing the paddy fields, vegetable cultivations and cattle owned by the Arakanese villagers during the night in the area. The villagers have repeatedly reported the continuous destruction and stealing of their cultivations and cattle to their village administrators and the police department, but no action is so far taken to control those miscreants.

“The paddy fields and vegetable plantations cultivated by the Arakanese villagers are being stolen and destroyed every night here. It is not also possible for the villagers to guard their cultivation due to the security situations. Cultivation of carrots and brinjals are completely uprooted and destroyed. These are suspected to have been done by some Muslims”, added the woman.

Most of the cultivations in the villages of Tha Htay Kone, Zay Ya Wadi, Laung Krat Taung Maw and Pan Pin in Mrauk-U Township are said to have been destroyed.

“The villagers are now planning to hold a meeting in order to prevent such destruction and retaliate. If they retaliate there will be more problems. We are now worrying for the situation”, said the woman.

When Narinjara contacted the Mrauk-U Police Station concerning the matter, a police officer on duty said, “Our in-charge has gone outside. We have not heard anything about that. They are just rumors.”

In a case that happened on 8th of November, an Arakanese villager from Daungprauk Village in Sittwe Township had to collect his stolen oxen from a butcher shop in nearby Thak Kay Pyin Village after giving 70,000 Kyat to the Muslim thieves.

U Aung Mra Kyaw, a lawmaker of state parliament from the RNDP, told Narinjara that if the authorities will not control such lawless activities on time, the conflicts may occur for third time in Arakan State.

“It is certain that the violent attacks will occur for third time if the government will neglect to take decisive actions in accordance with the laws against such provocative perpetrations”, said U Aung Mra Kyaw.

He said such provocations are carried out coinciding the times when the leaders of Burmese government are leaving for foreign countries or when the international leaders are visiting in Burma.

“The first violence was incited by this way. The second violence was done so by carrying out provocative attacks, rapes and murders coinciding them with the time when the international leaders were visiting in Burma. Now again President Obama will come to visit and similar provocations are increasing. We have seen that such provocations are being plotted intentionally to put blame on local residents if they cannot tolerate such provocations and the violence will  explode coinciding President Obama’s visit”, he said.

Paddy sheaves harvested by a farmer in Owe Pyan Taung Village in Minbya Township were burned down and a number of paddy fields that were about to be harvested in the villages of Rhauk Pon Kyaun, Pan Maw and Tha Re Kone Baung in Mrauk-U Township were destroyed few days ago.

Similar provocations widely occurred before the outbreak of second violence. As the authorities did not take any action to control such provocations, the violence finally exploded and resulted in over 100 people killed and over 5,000 houses burned down.