It has a large Muslim Rohingya community, about 80% of the overall in 2012. The Myanmar Rohingya administration did not accept Rohingya in July 2012 and instead placed him on the government's more than 135 tribal groups in Bangladesh as Bengali state-less. 2 ] Another 20% of the people are Rakhine, Bamar, Kamein, Khami, Daingnet, Mro and Thet.
That dude was supposed to get killed: Escape from a Maungdaw hooligan
Enmity welcomed three reporters who travelled to Maungdaw at the end of last months after the safety operations against the perpetrators of the August 25th attack had begun. IF 10 reporters with national and multinational press organizations, headed by Frontier, came from Sittwe to Maungdaw by boat on August 28, the specialized policemen were everywhere.
The problem started shortly after we departed for Maungdaw. BGP pulled us over at the 6 mile control point outside of Buthidaung. A 25-minute waiting period was followed by an immigrant officer and a town administration officer, who informed us that the county chief had ordered our homecoming to Buthidaung. A member of our group was able to call U Ye Htut, who said he could not allow us to go to Maungdaw because he did not have a Rakhine administration paper to make our itinerary.
Referring to commentaries by Rakhine State Chief Minister U Nyi Pyu and Dr. Win Myat Aye, Union Minister for Social Affairs, Aid and Resettlement, we protested that "nobody is forbidden to go there". All we had had to do was go back to Buthidaung. There was a lockdown from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and shelter was difficult to find because the guest houses and hotels were full of men who fled the Maungdaw war.
When a rumor began to circulate on-line that "terrorists will be occupying Buthidaung tonight," our homeowner took his home to a place he thought was more secure. Next mornings we were called to a meet with U Hla Shwe, the local councillor, who cautioned us that we needed formal permission for a trip and a full account of the situations in Buthidaung and Maungdaw.
In the midst of increasing tension, some reporters returned to Sittwe this afternoons. Enemy rumors about our attendance in Buthidaung were circulating in the newspapers. A rumourmaker alleged to have eavesdropped on us while we planned the journey to Maungdaw so that we could tell pro-Rohingya tales and then receive billions of US Dollar from a moslem organization abroad.
Contributions contained pictures of those who had chosen to come back to Sittwe. Fronttier and two Rakhine reporters decide to go to Maungdaw with three other people. From Maungdaw city centre we went without any incidents to a Rakhine encampment, which was driven out of the fights on August 25th.
She pointed to a journalist and called out that he was producing "false news". She was asked by the interviewer to talk about the false information she allegedly provided and to promise to broadcast the interviewer to his studio. In Maungdaw we knew that there was already some animosity towards journalists because a Rakhine journalist had been approached the night before by furious locals who had led him to erase pictures he had taken from army heliders.
Then we took the three-wheeled bike to a small road connecting Maungdaw city centre with a large Islamic town, Shwe Tsar. When we realized we were being followed by two men, we immediately abandoned the area. The next target was a concentration camp containing tens of thousand of Hindus who had been driven out by the war. When we had spoken to some of the Hindus, we asked our motorcyclist to go back to the places where Rakhine was staying.
It pointed to a Rakhine journalist. Don't you know that no reporters can come to Maungdaw?" he said. We were shocked to realize that the multitude knew of the instructions of the assistant local councillor to come to Maungdaw, which had been given to us orally only 90 mins before.
When the drunken man menaced to murder our young motorcyclist, we quickly evacuated the area and set off for a refugee campsite in Rakhine. We were lucky enough to see Rakhine State MP U Maung Ohn (Arakan National Party, Maungdaw-2) in the outpost. Mung Ohn tried to reassure the audience, but was screamed down by the argumentative drunkard and an arguing arose.
A Rakhine reporter took us to an Arakan National Party agency where one of his buddies was helping us rent a delivery truck. We' ve arranged to settle 50,000 K each for a journey that normally cost 4,000 K and crowded together on the ground of the delivery truck until he has exited Maungdaw Township.
When we visited Maungdaw, we saw no members of the secret service. On the other hand, the city' s roads were full of gunmen and troops who were assigned to some of the towns on the agreed mission when the next government assisted journey took them on.
The meeting in Maungdaw was a particularly discouraging event for the two Rakhine reporter. When they collapsed in the relatively safe position of Buthidaung in their seats, they were unanimous that the rage of the natives against them was different from anything they had seen before. Newsmen who try to deal with the dispute on their own face a number of issues.
It is clear that civil rage at the supposed prejudice of the journalist - even Rakhine Journalist working for the local press - will make our work much more onerous.