Government warns Kiladong villagers
Burma Times Correspondent: April 03, 2015
Government collaborators in Kiladong, Maungdaw South demanded that all Muslims in the area hand over their white cards immediately, reports our local correspondent.
The announcement made over loudspeaker also warned that those failing to hand over their white cards will be hunted down by security forces.
The government has declared that all white cards will expire on March 31 and has fixed May 31 as the last date of handover. But in many places, the white card has already been withdrawn. In Kiladong, the white card was withdrawn on March 31, but many in the area have defied the government order.
Locals say that handing the white card will leave them without any official papers providing the government with an excuse to claim they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and push them over the nearby border.
Unlike many other areas of Arakan, local residents who handed over the white card have not been given the receipt that serves as a temporary identity card.
Residents of Kiladong are especially hunted by the government following the massacre of 2014. In one of the worst acts of ethnic cleansing in the Arakan, scores of Rohingya Muslims, especially women and children were killed by an armed Rakhine mob backed by security forces in January 2014.
In the aftermath of the massacre, government closed down the area and cracked down on survivors in an effort to prevent them giving eyewitness accounts of the ethnic cleansing. The aggressive attitude towards Kiladong villagers continues to this day as the government considers it a ‘terror’ hotspot. Now it looks like the government is determined to expel them from the Arakan, a job seemingly more convenient as the Bangladesh border is very close by.
Meanwhile villagers in Kiladong asked the tabbes why they were not given any receipts in exchange for white cards like other villages. The tabbes said that they will look into the matter once all white cards are collected.