Rohingya influx rises again
Myanmar police clearance card behind the onrush
Published : Thursday, 2 November, 2017 at 12:00 AM Count : 49
Rohingya Muslims, who did not collect MPC card (Myanmar Police Clearance) have started arriving in Bangladesh in large numbers, sources said. Myanmar police imposed 20 lakh kyat fine on those who could not produce their MPC card. Maj (Retd) Emdadul Islam and former Bangladesh diplomat in Myanmar said Myanmar government made MPC card mandatory for Rohingyas to force them to cross into Bangladesh.
Myanmar government issued a notice to this effect last week. But Rohingyas refused to takethe MPC card for fear of losing their citizenship, a fleeing Rohingya refugees told the Daily Observer on Wednesday. The Myanmar police arrested many male members from the town who whereabouts were still unknown.According to the latest estimates, over 807,000 Rohingya refugees have entered Bangladesh to escape persecution in Myanmar since violence erupted on August 25. Myanmar’s northern state of Rakhine has been emptied of half of its Rohingya population in weeks. More are on the move as insecurity presses them to leave those villages, which have so far been spared the worst of the violence that ripped through the state.
Attacks by Rohingya militants on August 25 spurred a ferocious Myanmar army crackdown that the UN says amounted to “ethnic cleansing”. Authorities have tried to reassure fleeing Rohingyas that they are now safe in Rakhine, the report added, but they want to leave “of their own accord”.
Violence appears to have ebbed in northern Rakhine, although independent reporting is still blocked by an army lockdown. But fear has unsettled many of the Rohingyas who have stayed and are now trapped between Myanmar’s army and their hostile ethnic Rakhine neighbours and cut off from aid agencies.
Myanmar denies citizenship to most Rohingyas and the public in the predominantly Buddhist nation does not want them back. The Burmese has carefully shaped perceptions of the Rohingyas, branding them illegal immigrants intent on imposing Islam via the country’s western gateway.
The refugees are also deeply fearful of what awaits back in Myanmar, with many recounting stories of rape and mass murder at the hands of the army while their villages have been destroyed. Our Cox’s Bazar correspondent prepared this report by visiting majority of the Rohingya camps here and talking to the refugees, and many agencies and individuals working there.