Bangladesh Rakhine Organization Cancelled from Official Registration

Cox’sbazar: The Bangladesh government reportedly cancelled the official registration of the Rakhine Buddhist Welfare Association, the largest organization for the local minority Rakhine community in Bangladesh, on 24 January.

Leaders of the Rakhine Buddhist Welfare Association in a seminar.

U Oo Maung Thein, the present chairman of the RBWA, confirmed the local news report that the organization was annulled from the official registry, but said he did not know yet the detailed reasons behind the government’s move.

“So far as we know, the government’s department called on U Rhee, who served as the chairman of the chairman of the organization in 2009, before they cancelled the official registry of the organization, but we do not know yet why he was summoned and the organization was cancelled. We are now looking into our organizational documents and records of the tenure from 2009 – 2010,” said U Oo Maung Thein.

He said the organization has had no problems during his current tenure from 2011-2012 as the head of the organization.

According to a local newspaper, “The Daily Ajker Deshbidesh,” the Social Welfare Department of Bangladesh has revoked the official registrations for 197 organizations, including the Rakhine Buddhist Welfare Association and 11 other Rakhine social groups from Cox’s Bazar District on the grounds that they have failed to report or show the progress of their work programs being supported annually by the department.

“The RBWA is the most important organization for our minority Rakhine peoples here and we are trying our best to maintain our organization. We still solve the problems of our organization reviewing our activities and through discussion among our members and communities as soon as possible. We hope the government will officially recognize our organization again after reporting its gaps and progresses,” said U Maung Thein.

The head office of the RBWA is based in Cox’s Bazaar. It was established in 1988, and now has over 1,000 members and 21 branches throughout Bangladesh.