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Published on Sunday, 20 January 2013 22:47
Concern among local residents was growing as the government planned to set up three new sites for resettlement of Bengalis who fled from clashes last year.
Rakhine State Industrial Minister Thar Lu Chay, responsible for relief and assistance for conflict victims and State Development Affairs Minister Hla Han, responsible for rehabilitation and resettlement discussed the issue separately with Kyaukpyu Township Youth Organisation and the local residents on January 6.
However, no solution was reached during the meetings.
Balagyi, a senior member of Kyaukpyu Township Youth Organisation, said it is required to pass a law before resettling the Bengali in the area.
“We are not saying we don’t accept relocation (of Bengali people). But we need a law for that matter. With the law, we can discuss where the Bengali should be resettled. If we agreed without having proper laws, it would cause many negative things later,” he said.
The youth organization did not accept the proposed areas because the future problems at the three sites might lead to the destruction of regional peace, he said.
The officials are proposing the locals to relocate the Bengali in ‘Pyin Pyu Maw’, ‘Nga Thant Thar’ and ‘A Sai Gyi’ islands. Pyin Pyu Maw island is the nearest to the Kyaukpyu Township, and the rest two are located north of the town.
Kyaukpyu Township Youth Organisation said that, in case the government really wanted to relocate the Bengali on those islands, it needed supportive vote on the issue from Rakhine residents in Kyaukpyu Township.
“If the Bengali will be relocated on those islands as proposed by the ministers, the officials need to show their plans on how they will settle the Bengali as well as other Muslim people in the area, and on how they will take the security measures,” a senior member of the organisation said. The officials should take opinions from the local residents in Kyaukpyu, he added.
Other organisations in the region also said that the Bengali should not be resettled near Rakhine people.
“Our opinion is that the Bengali should be resettled in places that are distant from the Rakhine residents. If they are relocated near to the Rakhine communities, they will make troubles to the social and economic lives of the residents,” Myo Chit from Information Central Committee of Rakhine National Network.
“The Bengali and the Rakhine people do not trust each other currently. Nga Thant Thar Island is where the Rakhine people do fishing activities. The two sides may clash again there if the Bengalis are located,” said Aye Thar Aung, chairperson of Rakhine National Democratic Party.