A confidential source inside Burma reported to the Sentinel Project on the Eid violence which began August 9. The most concerning information relayed is that despite the official abolition of NaSaKa announced by Thein Sein in mid-July 2013, the force, which has been accused of countless human rights violations, continues to operate under the guise of Hlun Tin or other security/police force cover. The Sentinel Project source also reports the denial of medical aid and delay of World Food Program rations to Burma’s Internally Displaced Persons’ camps.
According to news sources, a resurgence of violence in the Oon Daw Gyi (ODG) Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camps near Sittwe in Rakhine State occurred Friday 9 August when two Rohingya, described as boys, went fishing in a nearby river and one was shot by security forces (Hlun Tin). According to other news sources, violence began after the badly beaten body of a fisherman washed up in a stream, ostensibly from the sea.
When IDP camp residents went to demand the body of the shooting victim, dispute ensued with Hlun Tin firing into the crowd to disperse the Rohingya IDPs. The Rohingya then either attacked the police camp or the camp was torched by retreating police. The following are a series of situation reports by a confidential source inside Burma:
10 August 2013 – West Sittwe Muslim Restricted/IDP Area
“The District police (ex NaSaKa) are still at the ODG police station. Today, IDPs have surrounded the station and police have been shooting into the crowd to disperse the Rohingya. The Rohingya have stayed in place. Because of communication shut down there is no news of the police shooting today has injured or killed more Rohingya. The Muslim ODG Village Admin and has been at the police station since yesterday morning. He is surrounded by the police inside the station and has not been allowed to leave. Any of his phone communications has been monitored. So, there is no information about the condition of 2 injured out of 4 kept at the ODG station and confirmation or denial of possible rape and detention of 2 Rohingya women.
The stories about 2 women raped yesterday morning and kept at ODG police station are rumors that have not been proved or refuted. U Shwe Hla, Aungmingalar, a corrupt Rohingya USDP member and military/government informant and co-conspirator who turned U Kyaw Hla Aung in, came to Baw Du Paw (BDP) this afternoon. At the burial of 1 of the 7 BDP victims that died, U Shwe Hla remained in the military vehicle but had an IDP intermediary tell the BDP IDPs at the road blockade that the Yangon Ullama wanted them to take down the blockade because it made them look like terrorists. Because of the fear of looking like terrorists, the BDP IDPs started taking down the road blockade.
Meanwhile the ODG police had detained several IDP Rohingya. This afternoon, Rohingya IDPs found out that a police vehicle took detainees via the Set Tet Maw Gyi (STMG) Road, i.e. around the BDP roadblock, to Sittwe. This morning, that police car was seen in DaPaing and had 8 Rohingya, which included one woman.”
11 August 2013
“On 10 August, Ohn Daw Gyi (ODG) and Sin Tet Maw Gyi (STMG) Muslims did not try to attack the District Police (ex NaSaKa) at the ODG police station. The District Police kept shooting at the Muslims who stayed away from the station. The 10 Aug ODG police shooting into, or near the Muslim crowd did not injure any Muslim. In the evening police took 3 detained ODG villagers via boat to Sittwe.
11 August 2013 at 12:30 am Burmese military and police started coming from outside Sittwe into the Baw Du Paw (BDP) and Oon Daw Gyi (ODG) village and camp area via boat, truck and walking in from north and west Rakhine Buddhist areas. During the early morning IDPs discussed organizing. But, the large number of troops with weapons out-powered and intimidated the IDPs, who did not go out or try to stop the troops.
By evening, approximately 1000 military and police were in the area and had erected and guarded a barbed wire road block at the BDP Market, gone into ODG and escorted the District Police out of the ODG police station and IDP area and were spread throughout the BDP to ODG Village and IDP camps in small groups. Troops set up tents for their housing.
The large number of troops present has created fear in Muslim villagers and IDPs. Troops also brought many large metal drums of petrol. Even though people understand that the security force vehicles need fuel, the multiple large containers has caused many Muslims to fear that Hlun Tin will commit arson attacks on the local Rohingya villages.
The Muslim ODG Village Administrator is still with police at a construction site and is not able speak freely with callers. In the morning, police tried to take 2 ODG women, who were detained since 10 August, to Sittwe but the ODG Village Administrator requested and was granted that the women be allowed to stay near the ODG village.
Casualty Update – No new casualties or injured.
The initial dead body found near ODG police station and 2 of the 4 Muslims shot by ODG police are still in ODG police custody. The condition of the 2 injured at the ODG police station is still unknown, but they are still believed dead. The other 2 of the 4 shot by ODG police that were taken to Sittwe have not been seen and there is no news of their whereabouts or condition. There is growing belief that if these other 2 weren’t dead while taken away from ODG that they would not be saved or would be killed in Sittwe Hospital or police custody. The 5th person shot in ODG by District Police is still in DaPaing Clinic and doing well. The 6 injured at BDP market are healing well.
The Muslim IDP fire fighter beaten by other IDPs was scared to stay more than one day at Sittwe Hospital. The military sergeant doctor said to him, “Why do Kalar [racial slur for Rohingya] come here?” He became frightened that they would kill him at the hospital and left and is at the DaPaing Clinic. The Oon Daw Gyi #2 IDP camp has not had their World Food Program (WFP) monthly food ration delivery and distribution that was due 2 weeks before Eid, about the 25th of July. WFP ration delivery can be irregular but this large gap is unusual and of great concern.”
12-13 August 2013
“There is another previously undeclared Rohingya casualty from the 9 August Ohn Daw Gyi (ODG) police shooting. On 9 August 2013 at 11 am, a Rohingya IDP cattle herder from Sit Tet Maw Gyi (STMG) camp, was shot by ODG police (ex-NaSaKa) when he came to retrieve his cattle from the ODG conflict area. Police detained this injured man until the night of 9 August, when he returned to his family.
On the morning of 10 August the injured man’s family brought him to Medecins Sans Frontieres’ (MSF) Thet Kae Pyin (TKP) Clinic. This man had a bullet entry wound at his waist. MSF doctors determined he needed surgery for which MSF does not have government permission. Therefore, on 10 August, the still-alive injured man was taken to Sittwe Hospital. On 11 August the man was dead and his body was returned to his family with a bandage over the bullet entry wound but no surgical scars.
The whereabouts and condition of the 4 ODG people shot by ODG police 9 August remain unknown. The Sittwe Rohingya community has concluded that all 4 are dead. The fifth person shot on 9 August by District Police entering the ODG conflict area is still in DaPaing Hospital, his condition is unknown. The 6 surviving victims of the 9 August Baw Du Paw (BDP) market assault by police remain at DaPaing Ho
spital and their condition is unknown.
United Nations Human Rights Special Rapporteur Tomas Quintana visited Sittwe Prison and met Y Kyaw Hla Aung. Quintana visited Aungmingalar but nowhere inside the Muslim restricted zone west of the Bumay main security checkpoint. Than Shwe, a Rohingya IDP from Pauk Taw Township now living in Bumay, was arrested, apparently for sharing Sittwe Eid violence information on Facebook.”
Military and Police
“The curfew issued starts at 10 pm but security forces have asked all to Muslims to start at 7 pm. On 13 August, 3 more truckloads of military arrived to the Western IDP area. Military personnel are staying at the Manzi military camp with officers traveling by vehicle between BDP and ODG. The military have asked village administrators for village maps. The nature of the operations is unknown. There is concern and fear that every household will be searched and there will be large-scale material confiscation and theft and arbitrary arrest and extortion and further personal violence inflicted upon the Rohingya.
The Hlun Htin Manzi junction checkpoint is now the headquarters for the area security force operations. Police have taken up positions and have been patrolling throughout the village and IDP area west of the Manzi Junction. Photo of police with machine guns in position-link below As of late 13 August, WFP Rations have not been delivered or distributed in the ODG 2 IDP camp. The 1 month supply once a month delivery was due 2 weeks before Eid, about 25 July. The DaPaing IDP’s have not received their August WFP ration delivery. The DaPaing camp IDPs have been subject to frequent and lengthy WFP ration delivery delays. ”
15 August 2013
“On the 14th of August, the entire police team changed. The entire Police team’s personnel has been replaced with Police from Yangon, Myanmar Police Force Regiment # 31. Police activities of patrolling and occupying fixed positions have not changed. Groups of civilian-dressed on-duty Police personnel carrying Police firearms have been seen patrolling the West Sittwe Eid conflict area Muslim villages and camps in groups of about 20. There is concern from some Rohingya that this action is meant to provoke further Rohingya violent reaction by simulating Rakhine attack mobs.”
Police demand daily food provisions
“As the previous Oon Daw Gyi NaSaKa Camp personnel did, the entire Police force has demanded daily rice and meat provision from Rohingya villages and IDPs in the Western Sittwe IDP area. The acting Baw Du Paw village and camp administrator has been financing the Police food demands through his own private funds. The acting administrator is the son of the Oon Daw Gyi Village Administrator who had furnished the 30 NaSaKa personnel’s daily rice and meat demands out of his own private funds, creating much financial debt. Prior to 9 August 2013, Police personnel made daily patrols into Sittwe Muslim IDP camps and left with food provisions.”
Police interference and harassment at DaPaing Hospital
“Seven of the 9 August Baw Du Paw Market Police shooting victims have been receiving medical care in DaPaing Hospital. 13 August 3 of these victims with more serious injuries were sent from DaPaing Hospital to Sittwe Hospital. The reason for the transfer is uncertain but it was not because they needed surgery.
Police demanded that the 4 remaining Baw Du Paw market shooting victims be transferred to Sittwe Hospital. All 4 patients refused. The Police have demanded that the DaPaing Hospital Health Assistant keep these 4 patients at the DaPaing Hospital, not let them leave the hospital and notify the Police if they try or do leave the hospital.”
Police keep Ohn Daw Gyi Village Administrator surrounded
“The Rohingya Ohn Daw Gyi Village Administrator who came into the ODG police station area with District Police 9 August remains at his construction site compound along with Police. He has been conducting his construction business from the ODG compound. His daughter visited today, 15 August, and asked that he come home at night, which is his usual daily course of action until 9 August. He did not return. Police are present within the compound building and outside.”
Rakhine State Police Officer Meeting with Rohingya/Muslim Community Leaders
“On 15 August, a Rakhine State Police officer called a meeting with all Rohingya/Muslim community leaders. At the meeting several leaders submitted the issue that people have been afraid of all the security forces and patrols. Many have not been staying in their homes at night for hear of nighttime home raids and arrests. The police commander responded that people who are not guilty would not be arrested. This response has frightened the Rohingya community leaders, many of whom have been named, hunted, and some arrested, tortured, and released after heavy bribes since the census team incidents of April 26 [when NaSaKa attempted to register all Rohingya as Bengali]. These hunts and arrests slowed but did not stop when Police started more recent nighttime raids for laptops in the Rohingya villages and IDP camps. Police have made frequent arbitrary arrests of villagers and IDPs.”
Remaining 9 August Sittwe Eid Violence Victims’ Status’
“The fifth ODG villager/IDP shot on 9 August as District Police entered the ODG Police Station area is no longer at DaPaing Hospital and is not at Sittwe Hospital. He is either at home or an INGO clinic. The IDP firefighter beaten by BDP IDPs is at home receiving medical care. The 4 initial shooting victims’ whereabouts and status remain unknown.”
“By the 15th of August, WFP delivered rations to – ODG IDP Camp #2, which had not had their 1-month supply of rations due since about July 25 and Thae Chaung and DaPaing IDP camps, which had not had their August rations delivered.”