Latest news from within Arakan, Burma (26.07.12)
The following has been reported by Restless Beings sources (will remain unnamed for their safety), portraying a harsh picture of what the situation in Northern Arakan has become.
20th July, 2012
Meetings were held in Maungdaw and Buthidaung central monasteries where Buddhist monks and Rakhine civil society members attended to discuss how to the Muslims from getting daily food supplies, mainly rice. It was agreed that all food supply lines for the Rohingya Muslims should be cut. To achieve such objectives, Buddhist monks are playing a leading role to block the flow of rice and other food items to the Rohingya community.
This is believed to have coincided with the start of the Muslim’s holy month of Ramadhan. The idea is that Muslims would face a grave shortage of essential food items like rice, flour, cooking oil, beans and pulses and other items which are integral to the main meals during Ramadan; Sehri (early morning meal) and Iftar (after sunset).
Monks are said to be on duty along the Maungdaw-Buthidaung motor road and Buthidaung jetty to check if rice bags were unloaded in Muslim controlled markets, such as the 4th Mile Market and Shikdarpara. Rice supply is monitored by both Monks and Rakhine vigilantes that keep duty at the truck and bus stations in Buthidaung and Maungdaw in specting the destination of the rice.
Further, in one day, a 50 kg rice bag shot up from Kyats 20000 to 25000 and the price of edible oil from Kyats 1500 to 2000 per kilogram. Other essential food items are also going up day by day.
It is clear that short of burning down the homes and villages of the Rohingya, they are now being starved in the areas where they have very little left anyway.
26th July, 2012
With the start of Ramadan, the holy month observed by Muslims and therfore the Rohingya, a more targeted attack on as many as 70 key religious figures (Imams, Muazzins an teachers of religious schools are included) has begun. The arrested religious figures are being confined to the police station in Maungdaw and Buthidaung and are suffering great torture by the police.
Raids during the early morning and evening time have people living in constant fear, with any kind of congregation of people being attacked. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims congregat for their evening Tarawih prayer, yet to do so, the Rohingya risk arbitrary arrests and torture.
It is said that the police and Lun Htin are very active in the town areas and the Nasaka more so in the rural areas.