The police in Arakan state are planning to charge some social activists who recently led a protest against the authorities plans to build a permanent homes for Muslim refugees who left their homes in last year’s Arakan conflicts, said a women activist Ma Nyo who is in the list of those to be charged.
The activists held the demonstration on 8 March in Sittwe, Mrauk U and Kyauk Taw where the demonstrators demanded the Burmese authority scrutinize the Muslim community with 1982 citizenship law to determine whether they are Burmese citizens or not.
However the demonstrations were not allowed by police even though the activists sought permission from them.
“ We staged the demonstration without the authorities permission. We knew we could face trouble if we did it without their permission. But we have not avoided it because it is important to protect for our land and our people from aggressive people,” Ma Nyo Aye said.
The police authority in Sittwe police station No 1 summoned Ma Nyo Aye and Ko Kyaw Zaw Oo to the police station in connection with the demonstration after the demonstration was over. The police officers forced them to sign a paper. Later the police sent them back home.
“We did not make any mistakes. We held the demonstration to demand the authorities scrutinize the Muslim people with the 1982 citizenship law. If some of them are Burmese citizens, the authority can build the homes for them. If some of them are not Burmese citizens, they should be placed in refugee camps. We believe those who are not Burmese citizens can live in Refugee camps. We totally oppose the plan of the authority if they build homes for those who are not Burmese citizens,” Daw Nyo Aye said.
In Sittwe, over 10000 people including monks and women participated in the demonstration. During the demonstration, the crowds marched through the streets shouting with many slogans.
In Kyauk Taw, located at upper Kaladan river, there were four activists sued by the police for illegally demonstrating in the town without the authorities permission.
They were identified as U Thein Naing, U Maung Win, Daw Hla May and Daw Tin Tin Aye.
It was learned that the police authority has not announced the dates they will bring them to court.