Burma Times Correspondent: August 11, 21015
The local administration in Pauktaw has declared a blockade for the area in an attempt to force both Rohingya and Kaman Muslims to accept the green card. The declaration was made on the demand of the Lawaka officials who conducted a green card drive in the area on Saturday.
The overtures of the Lawaka were defiantly resisted by Rohingyas who refused to be identified as Bengalis.
Meanwhile, many Kaman Muslims are saying they too are being forced to identify themselves as Bengalis. Unlike the Rohingyas, the Kaman ethnicity is recognised by the government. However the Kamans are increasingly been targeted in a hostile anti Muslim society.
Kamans are saying if the Bengalisation drive continues, one day there will be no Kamans left in the country.
Lawaka officials however seem adamant that all Muslims, both Rohingyas and Kamans must accept the green card as Bengalis. They are refusing to accept the argument of the Kamans stating they have been full citizens of the country since independence.
The green card is given to naturalised citizens. Rohingyas however say they are indigenous to the country. The Kamans on the other hand had held the pink card for decades but many lost their id papers in the riots. When they register, the Lawaka keeps insisting they are Bengalis, though they have no cultural or linguistic connection with Bangladesh.