Burma Times Correspondent: June 18, 2015
Authorities have instructed village headmen (Aishwaramu) in all villages of Maungdaw and Buthidaung not to issue travel permits until further notice.
The instruction was given on Wednesday morning.
Under the laws of the state, Rohingya Muslims need permission to travel outside their immediate neighbourhood. Without the permsion, Rohingyas risk long term imprisonment spanning years. As work is scarce in many neighbourhoods, many face near starvation circumstances because of the movement restrictions.
The Wednesday order threatens the livelihood of many Rohingyas.
Locals say the order is an attempt to force Rohingyas to accept the green card.
On Wednesday, government officials and Lawaka are set to hold a meeting in Buthidaung on the green card issue.
In a related development, at least six Rohingya community leaders from Akyab IDP camps have been flown into Rangoon for a lecture on the merits of the green card. Authorities are saying that other ethnic groups with the green card don’t face any problems as citizens of the country.
Rohingyas are unwilling to accept the green card as these identity papers are given to foreigners naturalised as citizens of Burma. Rohingyas say they are indigenous to Arakan, a claim contested by the government and many in the country.