UNHCR and INGOs’ Conspiracy in Rakhine State
By Tun Aung
Sittwe : 24 October 2012 : Coral Arakan News : [article]
My name is: Tun Aung.
My parents were originally from a remote village bordering with Bangladesh in Maungdaw district of Rakhine State. The village was robbed of and part of it was torched to ground, cattle, poultry and farm crops were taken away by the illegal Bengali (Kula) migrants residing in the neighboring villages during the year 1970 when Bangladesh was being liberated from the then East Pakistan. After the robbery, most of the villagers left for Maungdaw and Sittwe in fear of repetition. My parents also left for Sittwe as we have some relatives already living there.
The rapid increase of Bengali population in this part of Rakhine State is either due to the high number of birth rate among them (one man with multi wives, particularly the Mullah) and illegal intrusion of Bengali Muslim into this part of Rakhine State squeezed the local ethnic minority in terms of economic, culture and social security of ethnic minority was in hazards due to the Muslim religious terrorism. On the other hand, the Nasaka (border security forces) and the departmental personnel, especially some of those from the Immigration Department serving at the border area, also contributed to the emergence of the Rohingya* problem by accepting bribes and issuing National Registration Cards to the illegally immigrated Bengali Muslims.
There were more than 200 Rakhine villages in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships before the Second World War. During the wartime riot, most of the Rakhine inhabitants left their homes due to Muslim threat and after the war only about 60 villages were resettled by the Rakhine, and the remaining villages were occupied by the Bengalis (Kula) and some of these villages had the growth of population up to one or two hundred thousand Bengali Muslims.
Since 1992, I have been working with INGOs in Myanmar in various positions including Program Manager. During my tenure with the INGOs, I have got the opportunity to work in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships as WASH Manager and got extensive travelled to many remote villages and knew about the people in the areas. As a senior INGO staff, I have got the opportunity to work/coordinate with UNHCR and other partner INGOs working in the areas. I would like to mention here, what the UNHCR and the INGOs have been doing in this part of Rakhine State in the name of humanitarian works spending billion of US$. Are they really honest to spend this huge amount of dollars for humanitarian activities or development of the areas? Or are they doing some heinous acts under the cover of refugees and humanitarian organizations that led to the current conflict in this part of Rakhine State? How much the ethnic minority such as Rakhine, Burmese, Chin, Mro, Dhinet, Thet and Marmagri (Borua) are
benefitted from their developmental or humanitarian programs. It seemed to me, all the INGO’s activities are intended for Bengali Intruders or the so called Rohingya, may be less than 1% of their budget is for the ethnic people of Rakhine State. In INGOs, local staffs are not allowed to know the
budget, for me although my position is senior managerial level, I do not have the opportunity to know how much budget is spent for WASH‐activities and other program activities and if there is any surplus/unspent budget, where it is gone (to Muslim Charity Organization/Islamic School/Madarasha/Mosque Committee etc). We all should know their heinous motives in this part of Myanmar and how they are using this huge US$ for a particular group of people’s interest under the cover of humanitarian activities. Myanmar government needs to do an investigation into the INGO’s works and needs to be careful of their activities in Rakhine State and these INGOs and UNHCR should be kept out of the Rakhine State for the sake of the country as they are no use to ethnic people of Rakhine State rather they played a pivotal role as the instigator for recent violent conflict although they shed crocodile tears during the conflict.
In this regard, I would like to cite some examples how the INGOs and their master UNHCR are involved in instigating racial violence/the conflict in Rakhine State. In their code of conduct, it is mentioned that they are non‐religious, non‐political, non‐discrimination, equal right etc., but in reality how they misused all these terms to side with the Bengali Intruders or the so called Rohingya.
In UNHCR and INGOs employment vacancy announcement for Rakhine State, one requirement attached for candidates is need to speak the Bengali language (In practice, UNHCR & INGOs do not refer these people as Bengali rather they refer them as Muslim so why not Muslim language, is there any Muslim language?). This requirement in the VA is an excuse to give priority in job opportunity to the Bengali Muslim, to deprive ethnic people of getting the job as most Rakhine cannot speak Bengali. UNHCR and INGOs intentionally make confusion between the terms Muslim and Bengali. I do not think, these INGOs are so ignorant that they cannot differentiate the two terms as the word Bengali is for nationality/race and the word Muslim is for the people who believe in the religion of Islam.
In UNHCR & INGOs offices, non‐Muslim are not allowed to eat pork and pork products but the Bengali Muslim are allowed to eat beef or whatever they like in INGOs or UNHCR Offices. Is this not the discrimination between the staffs? Or giving favour to a particular section of people. I would like to
mention a little more regarding INGOs public holidays in Rakhine State. For Buddhist people, Kasom/Waso full‐moon days are very significant day, in all government offices in Myanmar, it is public holiday but when I was in Maungdaw as INGO staff, these days were not the public holidays but for
Muslim, all their religious festivals considered to be holidays. If the INGOs are respectful towards other religions and human right, why is this special privilege for this particular people?
In WFP and INGO’s target/beneficiaries lists, there are 99% target villages and beneficiaries are Bengali Muslim. The INGOs have little care for other ethnic minorities of Rakhine State although there are many underprivileged people, poorer households and malnourished children in ethnic villages. Nutrition programs of INGOs are thoroughly for Bengali children although very few Bengali children were seen malnourished comparing with other children during my field visits in the areas. The Bengali children who benefitted from WFP and INGOs nutrition programs 18 ‐ 20 years ago are the main rekindling force of the recent violent conflict and terrorist acts of Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships.
Influx of Bengali Muslims Into the Rakhine State is politically motivated with conspiracy of some Muslim Arab countries to disintegrate this part of Rakhine State to create an Islamic Terrorist State. They have been doing all types of terrorisms to expel the ethnic people of the area by increasing the number of Muslim population to alarming number. The Mullah (Islamic Religious Leaders are used to encourage the Muslim men to have many wives to give birth as many children as possible. There is a saying in the area that there is Allah and UNHCR or INGOs to feed them). So it is the Bengali Muslim (Kula) policy to occupy land by increasing population and the vicious circle is behind them to encourage the policy. In 1988, the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) along with other Islamic terrorist organizations active in the border area led a heinous plan to eradicate and burnt down Rakhine and other ethnic villages and Buddhist monasteries or temples in the Maungdaw and Buthidaung Townships but the plan was foiled by the Security force. During the time, the terrorists were out in Maungdaw town and shouted against Myanmar sovereignty (although they live and feed in Myanmar), wanted to create an Islamic State in this part of Myanmar. They also hoisted the Pakistani Flag in Maungdaw area and shouted “Pakistan Zindabhad” (Long‐live Pakistan) in favour of Pakistan, now a lawless country, which gave safe shelter to international Islamic terrorists including Bin Laden (although Pakistan itself broke into pieces in 1970 and already the eastern part of it became independent Bangladesh from notorious Pakistani Military Junta who burnt, killed, tortured and raped thousands of innocent people most of the victims were the Hindu and non‐Muslims of the then East Pakistan).
Flood in Buthidaung and Maungdaw: As we all know there was a pour‐flash flood in Buthidaung and Maungdaw in 2010. During the flood, most part of the Buthidaung Township was immersed by the flood waters. In terms of severity, it was big flood in the area as there was no such big flood in the township in the recent years but in terms of floods in the countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Thailand, this flood cannot be considered so severe and devastating. In Myanmar, more severe flood than that of Buthidaung occurred almost every year in many parts of Myanmar. We do not see any such big relief response or operation from INGOs that they did in Buthidaung and Maungdaw (why they are so interest to work in these parts of Rakhine State, to serve a particular section of people?). The UNHCR and INGOs gave so much exaggeration to the flood in Buthidaung and gave and create such images to international media that this devastating flood severely destroyed the township particularly to Bengali Muslim or the so called Rohingya populated area who were totally helpless without getting any help from the authority with the intention of getting so much international attention and donations particularly from Muslim Arab countries and OIC. These Muslim countries are eager to provide a lot of donations to these international organizations who work for these Kula Muslims. After the flood in the area, relief materials from UNHCR and INGOs were overflow in the areas. But to everyone’s surprise, these relief items were distributed entirely among the Bengali Muslim. Every Bengali household got so many relief items that most of the items they sold out in the market and became richer than pre‐flood period. No Rakhine, Thet, Myo, Burmese, Chin, Marmagri, Dhinet ethnic people got the relief materials although many of their villages also equally affected in the flood. Is it not the discrimination of so called humanitarian/human right advocates? Are their humanitarian works for only Bengali Muslim? If this is their heinous motive in Rakhine State, let them get out of Rakhine State as the Bangladesh Government did against some of INGOs (including Islamic Relief of UK, this UK‐based INGO was accused of supporting Islamic Terrorist Groups in Bangladesh) working in refugee camps and in border areas along Myanmar.
Conclusion: The final cause of the problem directly concerns the Rakhine people. UNHCR and INGOs have been working in the northern part of Rakhine State for a particular group of people’s interest in the name humanitarian organizations. They are either directly or indirectly involved in instigating the Kula intruders against the ethnic people of Rakhine State. Rakhine people do not need the UNHCR and INGOs as they are now unwelcome trouble makers rather than humanitarian organizations for the people of Rakhine State. They should be aware of the real feeling and the realities of the nationalities. They should avoid such shortsighted and irresponsibility became these things are very grave concerns of the nation.
Now it is time for all the patriotic people of Myanmar to be constant vigilant what these INGOs and UNHCR have been doing in this part of Rakhine State to carry out their evil motives and how they are instigating the Bengali Muslim or the so called Rohingya against the Rakhine people of Myanmar. So, before it is being late, the Myanmar Government takes appropriate action to expose their evil motives and stop all types of INGOs’ heinous activities in Rakhine State particularly in Buthidaung, Rathidaung and Maungdaw Townships.
*As a matter of fact there has never been a Rohingya race in Myanmar. There is no such name as Rohingya in the Census of India, 1921 Myanmar compiled by S.G. Grantham, I.C.S., Superintendent of Census Operations, Myanmar or in the Myanmar Gazetteer, Sittwe District compiled by R.B. Smart. Since these were written for administrative purposes, needless to say they were objective. Even in 1951 when the Bengali Muslims in the land of Rakhine held the “Alethankyaw Conference”, they did not claim that they were Rohingyas. Instead they called themselves “Rakhine Muslims”.