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New in Myanmar Voa today 2015

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The Rohingya Mobile Reporter Network collapses in Myanmar

Rohingya press agencies and rohingya groups say they are in trouble collecting details of Myanmar's actions in Rakhine, especially as a five-year-old Rohingya cell telephone reporter system has become largely malfunctioning. Spokespersons for Rohingya around the globe say this has resulted in a shortage of precise reports on what the Burmese army did in Rakhine.

The Rohingya honorary cell reporter or cell reporter are young congregation members who have used their cellones to report allegations of abuse in Rohingya communities in Myanmar, also known as Burma, and to broadcast the information from the countryside via the web. The Rohingya fugitive Jafar Arakane, who publishes the Arakan Times communal website, said that 90 per cent of Rakhine's newsreports had become idle since the end of August, after the Myanmar army had stepped up its "evacuation operations" in the area.

"On behalf of the evacuation operation, the Myanmar army is carrying out fire raising, rape and murder of the Rohingya. The trickling of information from Arakan, which is very low this case, mostly due to the lack of our moving reporter, is quite impoverished our cover of violence," said the Saudi Arabia-based Arakane.

The Myanmar military and civil rule, under the leadership of de facto Aung San Suu Kyi, have emphatically rejected claims that their troops are committing acts of atrocity against the civilian population by doing what they can to prevent collaborative harm, and insist that breaches be examined when adequate proof is presented to them.

As most Rohingya communities in the north of Rakhine are abandoned, most mobilized journalists were compelled to escape with everyone else to Bangladesh, said Ko Ko Ko Linn, a Bangladeshi local church director from Rohingya. Rohingya speakers say there have been few journalists from recognised intelligence organisations on the stage to tell what is going on.

Myanmar's administration has limited public relations activities in the area, apart from organised accompanying missions. In June 2012, an alleged raping of a Buddhaist women by Rohingya Muslims sparked municipal unrest between the two municipalities in the state of Rakhine. When Myanmar proclaimed a state of martial law and urged the army to take action to stop the unrest, the Rohingya Municipality leader lodged a complaint about the use of force for torturing and abuse.

Church rulers say that the safety force assisted the Buddhist hooligans in attacking the Rohingya. At that time, claims emerged that the Myanmar press had suppressed the message of abuse. Rohingya young members in Rakhine have been mobilised to discretely collect proof of abuse of their cell phone to get it out of the countryside via the web and via local socially oriented networks, Linn said.

"We' ve mobilised the Rohingya youth in Rakhine to use their cell phone to gather accounts of the abuse of photographs, video and audiovisual material, as the MEPs do. There was a great resonance from them and we soon managed to build up a clever team of young journalists who acted as journalists in Rohingya villages," said Linn.

Last year, when Rakhine was hit by violent outbreaks, Rohingya's roving Rohingya news media did send "good reports" of the militarily conducted raids in the Rohingya community across Rakhine, and the whole community knew what was happening there, Linn said. But most of our portable reporting staff are not on duty there.

Thus many acts of violence, tortures, killings, etc. are not reported in Rohingya villages," he said. After the Myanmar military started a raid in October last year to take out "Rohingya fighters" after a fatal assault on a policeman post, rape, murder and incendiary accusations were brought against the Rohingya troops, but outside the mainstream their entry into the area was limited.

Consequently, the Rohingya leadership claims that the real history of suppression has not come into the realm. Myanmar's administration has in recent months brought groups of journalists to the area and rejected accusations of Rohingya use. However, because of the safety conditions, journalists say they are unable to move around the area and collect information.

Few messages come from Rakhine, so the service of Rakhine's traveling journalists is in high demand with respect to humanitarian groups and the press, said Rohingya fugitive Mohammad Rafique, who lives in Ireland. "A number of non-governmental groups and correspondent organizations gathered information about violations of the law and other related information from Arakan via the Rohingya-environment.

They' re all hungry for information from Rakhine now," says Rafique, who publishes the Rohingya message board A number of groups have designated the Rohingya observers as such. Human Right Watch Assistant Asia Executive Artistic Advisor Phil Robertson said that the courage and skills of Rohingya law enforcement observers who document injuries in their area and their capacity to network their reporting, photography and video to the whole globe were very important to show what was happening in the past year and in the first few day after August 25.

"These Rohingya monitors' hearing and sight have been the last witness to what is going on because human aid organisations, reporters and world observers are still excluded from access," he said. "Burma's authorities have completely closed these areas and they are systematic violations of Rohingya law - and no one is left to see them."

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