Burma Times Correspondent: February 21, 2015
Authorities have intensified surveillance in the nine IDP camps of Akyab following reports that Rohingya Muslims were discontent with the government decision to withdraw identity cards by the end of March.
According to our correspondent, Muslims have been meeting secretly at night to discuss their response to government initiatives to withdraw white cards following protests by Buddhist nationalist groups.
Under the new orders, Muslims are not even allowed to talk to each other, says a local at an IDP camp.
Camp residents are generally not allowed to leave the boundaries. This has created an appalling situation in the IDP camp as no work is available inside the camp. The latest measure will worsen the already dreadful situation.
Rohingya Muslims say that if the cards are withdrawn, the last legal document that proves they are residents, albeit temporary residents is lost. The government has not declared if the id cards will be given back creating confusion over the future.
Most of the Rohingya Muslim population in Akyab presently remains confined in the IDP camps where the population is around 75,000. Before the riots, Akyab used to be a mixed city where Rakhines only had a slim majority over Rohingyas.