Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Arakan Burning Again with Bengali Race Riots!

(Direct translations of news articles from Narinjara News Agency and EMG group.)

Pike-thae Bengali Muslim Ward in Min Byar Town burning.
The unsettling troubles started again at the Min Byar town of Arakan State in the late afternoon of October 21 when many houses owned by Bengali Muslims were burned down by unknown persons.

Bengalis said Buddhists did it while Buddhists were claiming the Muslims burned their own houses down to exaggerate the racial problems and attract international sympathy.

According to U Thar Kyaw the member of Arakan State Parliament for Min Byar constituency, altogether eighteen Muslim houses from Pike-thae Bengali village were completed burnt down.

“18 house from Pike-thae were gone. It happened at about 9 in the evening. Bengalis were drunk and they started the fights by attacking a Yakhine with slingshot,” said U Thar Kyaw.

The Buddhist Yakhine attacked by the Bengalis was U San Thein (47) from Kin-seik  Buddhist village right next to the Pike-thae Bengali village.

Later it was reported that Bengali Muslim man Buteeyar did catapult metal spikes with his slingshot at San Thein when the Buddhist man from the Kin Seik Buddhist village came out and looked at them while Buteeyar and his wife Aminar Khartu were quarrelling in adjacent Pike-thae Bengali village. The Buddhists retaliated by throwing Molotov cocktails and burning down 18 houses in Pike-thae Bengali village.

Ferry port at Myaunk-U Town.
According to U Thar Kyaw the Pike-thae Bengalis had burned their own houses down to make the trouble bigger so that the incident would attract international attention and sympathy and they could be listed as the UNHCR-acknowledged refugees.

As soon as the riots started the army and police personnel had arrived and arrested 15 Buddhists and stabilized the volatile situation. But the news of the violence spread to the neighbouring villages and Tha-yet-oat Bengali village near Pan-myaung Buddhist village was attacked and houses were burnt down later that night.

Also there were reports of racial violence between Pu-yein Bengali village and Pu-yein Buddhist village in Myauk-U township.

October 22, 2012 News of Arakan Race Riots

The whole Yai-thae Bengali village in Myauk-U was burning but the Muslim casualties were unknown. Three Yakhine Buddhists attackers were reportedly killed there by the defending Bengali Muslims while two Yakhine Buddhists in Nar-gar-yar village were shot dead by the army trying to maintain the law and order there.

“The fighting’s broken out since this morning. Our 3 Yakhines were killed and many were injured. The injured and wounded were taken to the Min Byar Hospital, but some were sent to Myauk-U Hospital,” said the local teacher U Kyaw Htun Aung. He also added that the whole Yai-thae village was gone but he didn’t know what happened to the Bengali Muslims there.

At the Nar-gar-yar village also in Myauk-U township the army has shot dead two Yakhine Buddhist attackers. “So far now at 5 pm the situation is still tense. We’ve been asking for the bodies of two Yakhines shot dead by the army. But we still haven’t got them yet. They were killed in Nar-gar-yar. Yakhine crowd there is about 6,000 – 7,000 at Nar-gar-yar,” a Pan-myaung local reported.

The Nar-gar-yar Buddhist village also has two nearby Bengali villages also called Nar-gar-yar-out and Nar-gar-yar-pyin. Many thousands strong Yakhine Buddhist mob was still gathering at the Nar-gar-yar Yakhine village.

Wounded Maung Maung Naing at Sittwe Hospital.
There were reports of army shooting dead a few Bengali Muslims attacking the Sam-bi village in Min Byar township. Yakhine State Chief-minister is now said to be touring the attacked-villages and thanking the security forces for strictly maintaining law and order in the affected areas.

Three Yakhine Buddhist severely wounded during the race riots in Myauk-U are now at the Sittwe Hospital. They are U Sein Thar Aung (60) from Lun-taung village, Maung Maung Naing (30) from Maung-thar-kone village, and Htun Sein (25) from Kyaung-taung village.

U Sein Thar Aung has sword-wounds in left hand and chest. Maung Maung Naing has sword- wounds in shoulder and hands. Htun Sein was stabbed from belly through to his back with a bayonet.

At the Pu-yein village battle three Yakhine Buddhists were killed and seven were wounded severely.

                  (Wounded from the Racial Violence at Min Byar and Myouk-U in Arakan)

October 23, 2012 News of Arakan Race Riots

Tens of thousands of people both Buddhist Yakhines and Muslim Bengalis were fleeing their homes in Min Byar and Myauk-U townships.

The Yakhine refugees now arriving in Myauk-U were from the villages of Ywa-houng-daw, Kyauk-twin-gone, Maung-tar-gone, Pi-bin-gone, Nan-kya, Laung-kyet-taung-maw, and Shouk-pone-gyun.

“Since yesterday morning the people from the Buddhist villages near the Muslim villages started moving into town as they don’t feel safe there anymore. And right now the refugees are thousands here in Myauk-U,” said U Kyaw Htun Aung the retired head of Archaeological Research department in Myauk-U.

But the Muslim villagers were said to be fleeing to the Pu-yein Muslim village in Myauk-U township.

“But the Muslims from villages such as Poung-doke and Let-ma are now in Pu-yein, and also the Muslims from Tha-yet-oat and Na-gar-yar villages where fighting occurred yesterday are also crowding at Pu-yein too,” added worriedly U Kyaw Htun Aung.

As the anxiety for the safety of Yakhine villages such as Maung-tar-gone, Pi-bin-gone, and Pri-gone near the Muslim stronghold Pu-yein heightened the Buddhist crowd from the Myauk-U town and the villagers from Tein-nyo and Na-gan are now marching towards Pu-yein.

On the same day there were racial fights between Buddhists and Muslims at the village of Myauk-U’s Yin-thea ward and the fights had spread to the village sof Zi-zar and Na-ga-gway.

October 24, 2012 News of Arakan Race Riots

Kyauk Phyu's Pike-seik Muslim Ward Burning.
Kyauk Phyu town is now burning. Muslims were accused of throwing fire-rings the flammable rings made of combustible materials they have been preparing since the disturbances reappeared in Min Byar and Myauk-U.

The Paik-seik Muslim ward has been burning and many fights broke out between Buddhists and Muslims all over Kyauk-phyu and already there are six Yakhines at the hospital. Muslim casualties are not known yet.

According to an eye-witnesses most Muslim familes had already fled Kyauk Phyu by over 40 motorised sea-going boats. “They could cross the sea towards Bangladesh or even end up at Sittwe,” said the eye-witness. “Most Muslims are gone now, only a very few Muslims left in the town,” added him.

More than 100 houses were burned and many from both sides were killed in Kyauk Phyu and the hospital is now filled with the injured and wounded.

Kyauk Phyu's Pike-seik Muslim Ward burning.
Bengali Muslims fleeing Kyauk Phyu by a boat.
Bengali Muslim boats fleeing Kyauk Phyu beached near Sittwe.
October 25, 2012 News of Arakan Race Riots

Kyauk Phyu's Muslim Ward burning.
The race riots in Myauk-U, Min Byar, Myay Bone, and Kyauk Phyu has now reached the Kyauk Taw town. During the violent confrontation at Pike-thae Muslim village 3 Buddhist attackers were killed. Two Yakhine Buddhist were shot dead by the security forces trying to maintain law and order.

The attacks occured in the early morning at two Muslim villages Pike-thae and Let-saung-gauk and army has arrived later and shoot at the crowd to disperse. But the Yakhine Buddhist crowds are still gathering around the burning Pike-thae village despite the shooting soldiers.