Locals suspicious at sudden government generosity
Immigration officials have paid almost a million kyats per household to displaced families in Mujai, Rathidaung to build new houses in their old areas, according to our local correspondent.
This unparalleled act of kindness, virutally unheard in Arakan has baffled Muslims. They are however suspicious of this sudden generosity. They also say it is impossible to spend the money to rebuild their homes in their old neighbourhoods as the lands have been taken over by Rakhines since the 2012 riots.
Locals say that on Tuesday morning, immigration officials along with police and BGP came to Mujai and asked displaced families to pack up and go back to their old neighbourhoods. When they protested saying that they scarcely have any money to eat, let alone rebuild their old homes, immigration officials pledged a million kyats to each displaced household for building their old homes in their old places. 800,000 kyats were given on the spot while the rest were pledged to be given later.
These people came to Mujai in 2012 when their villages were attacked and taken over by Rakhines from neighbouring areas.
A displaced man speaking on condition of anonymity said that such a cash incentive was unheard of in Arakan. However he regretted that it is impossible to move to their old neighbourhoods as they have been taken over by Rakhines.
Another man said that this was an eyewash by the government to convince the international community of their best intentions. At the same time it was a trap because moving into their old villages would invite the wrath of nationalists.
Many however praised the government initiative.