Authorities try to stop one of the last livelihood option available to the Rohingyas
Burma Times Correspondent: February 08, 2015
Since his first memories, Faruk Ahmed knew one job, which is to collect wood from the surrounding forests of Firing dong, Rathidaung. That is not possible anymore. On Friday, forest officials arrested him and assaulted him in custody, breaking his hand. He was released the next morning after paying 60,000 kyats, money that the poor man had to loan from his relatives in Bangladesh.
On February 1, an 11 year boy was also assaulted by BGP personal at Khawar Beel n Maungdaw North when he went to collect wood. The day before, three children were assaulted in the same area.
In all instances, authorities warned them never to collect wood from the forests against as the forest belongs to the Rakhines and the country, and they were neither Rakhine nor citizens of the country. These cases are becoming increasingly common in the last few days as authorities crack down on wood collectors.
Rohingyas have few livelihood options as they are not allowed to work outside their villages and collecting woods is one of the last remaining livelihood means for the starving people.
Authorities aware of this are stepping up efforts to prevent Rohingyas from collecting wood. It looks like a deliberate plan to starve out the Rohingyas from the country.
Almost 100,000 Rohingyas have left the country in the last two years alone.