Rakhine State Going Back to Radio Age While 4 Civilians Killed, Dozen Injured, Dozen Arrested, and 492 Residents Are Infected With So-Called COVID19 in Western Myanmar

Local authorities are proving foods to the villagers in Rakhine State during the lockdown times. 

AN. September 1. 2020

Radio Age 

Local human rights organization, Rakhine Ethnic Congress that documents Internally Displaced Persons and IDP camps conditions, is distributing 1,000 portable radios to IDP camps and some villages where internet services have been cutting off since last year.


The organization said over 200,000 vulnerable refugees need to have updated news of the current Covid-19 outbreak in Rakhine State and to know about personal protection procedures. They are living with verbal news carried by some villagers when they visit to the camps. 


The organization said these radios may help the IDPs get updated news when internet services are block. 


Government Response

Myanmar government announced 492 residents in every township in Rakhine State are infected with Covid-19. 

Thus, The state becomes highest infected region in Myanmar since Augusut 16.


Local physicians reported the Covid-19 infected patients and 100 residents who are placed in quarantine are perfectly well after provided some painkiller pills at the hospitals and quarantine centers at city hall and at an abandon collage building in Sittway. 


The current fastest transmission and the largest outbreak of virus that local people say ‘policy virus’ leads the government to cut off all trading routes between Rakhine State and mainland Myanmar, to impose curfews and stay at home. The government also bans 3.1 million Rakhine people for inter-townships and interstates traveling. 


But the government has not yet lifted the world longest internet restriction in Rakhine and part of Chin State since 2019 while more military troops and supplies are bringing in. 


Local people report prices of foods and commodities are doubling since the supplies from the mainland have been blocked for weeks. 


Some IDP camps are facing shortage of foods due to the water and land supply routes blockage. 


Government provided 20,000 Kyat (about 14 US dollars) to per household in some wards in Sittway. 


Some residents reported the ward authorities kicked back some cashes from the bailouts. 



Yangon based CSO, Arakan National Network (ANN), holds a press conference in Yangon today and says some young Rakhine were stopped by police after military intelligent agents gave orderes and confiscated their national identification cards in Shan State when they were going to look for jobs.


“They are Myanmar national and Rakhine ethnic people. They have rights to travel around the country. This kind of discrimination and confiscating their IDs because of Rakhine ethnic is out of constitutional rights of citizens who are granted free movements. These young men are preparing to walk back to Rakhine State (thousands of miles) because they do not have IDs and are not allowed to ride on the buses,” said Tin Htoo Aung, head of ANN. 


He said such discrimination should not happen in this country when implementation of democracy-federal state and national reconciliation is promised. 

DR Kyaw Thu wrote on social media and urged authority to reopen the trade routes between mainland Myanmar and Rakhine State.


“The blockage of food supplies is suffering the Rakhine people and forcing shortage of foods. It also suffers farmers in Wak Pock, Thi Kone, and Ann Ma villages in (Pago Division), the physician wrote. 


Rakhine ethnic in Yangon, Mandalay, and other cities in mainland Myanmar report they are de facto banned traveling to Naypawtaw and inter-townships. They also report they are targeted and insulted by some residents and say as ‘carrier of Covid-19 and origin of coronavirus.’


Rakhine people hit back the Covid-19 outbreak in the Rakhine State is ‘fake’ and ‘politically motivated’ and branded it “Political-Covid-19.” 


Physician Dr. Shwe Tun wrote on his Facebook account and requested people not to blame the people who have Covid-19 positive.


He said, “What happening now is if patients are found with the virus positives, the patients and their families are ostracized by the community and reported their personal data on social media and urged other people to stay away from the people. Such peer pressure is like the patients are forced to stay at facility-quarantine. This becomes more social problems than the real virus (prevention).


DR Khine May Than, a Rakhine physician working for the largest Covid-19 center at Waibargi hospital in Yangon, broadcasted live on her Facebook and requested Myanmar people not to brand and insult the Rakhine people for the “origin of Covid-19.” 


She said, “Please don’t brand Rakhine people as the origin of Covid-19 in Myanmar. Such insult and prejudice is discriminating against entire Rakhine people. This virus is global pandemic and originated from Wuhan Province in China and spreading globally.”


“But it does not matter where it began, but our job is to work together to prevent the virus outbreak. By keeping labeling Rakhine people as Covid-19 virus people, it is not really worthy,” the physician said.


This prejudice and argument between the two communities become socially separating and long term impact on distrust and disunity. 


Increase of  Civilian Casualties

Local people have reported 4 civilians were killed, 13 villagers injured, 10 residents were arrested since the Covid-19 outbreak in August 16. 


Local people reported Myanmar soldiers shot and killed U Sein Thar Aung, 40, in Kyauk Ta Lone village in Kyauktaw township at 5 pm yesterday. 


The villagers said the military arrested 10 more villagers and families do not have any contact with their love ones since they have been arrested. 


They said 120 Myanmar encircled and searched villagers. Some villagers ran away when the soldiers were entering into the village because they fear they would be killed or arrested. 

U Kyaw Hla, bother of late Sein Thar Aung, said, “The soldiers shot at my brother at outskirt of the village. The bullets went into his stomach and some colons came out. I and the village medic tried to stop the blood shedding. We could not stop it. He died on over bloodshed.”


Local resident also reported Zaw Myo Tun, 37, from Oh Pon village in Ann township, was cut of several piece of his body and out on large bags and buried in the ground on August 28. The villager found his body on August 28. 

Late Zaw Myo Tun was working at lemon firms when he was abducted on August 28. But no one knew who killed him. 


Myanmar soldiers arrested and tortured a second year collage student Maung Nyi Nyi Soe, 18, in Ann township on August 28. His face and jaw were broken. 


Myanmar army shot and killed 2 civilians and wounded 3 women in northern Rakhine State today when Myanmar government is imposing restrictions of stay-at-home and travel ban, and night curfew in every township due to the highest outbreak of Covid-19, reaching the death toll of 4 civilians and injury of 11 villagers since the virus outbreak began on August 16. 


Residents in Kyauktaw reported 60 Myanmar troops entered into to the town after midnight and shot and kill a charity volunteer today. 


Maung Naing Win, 31 and resident of Shan Hwra ward, died with the 6 bullets in his head, chest, and body. His body was handed over to the hospital by the police at 8 am. 


Daw Than Way, sister of late Maung Naing Win, told the local news he lived with his mother in the town. He came to her resident and had dinner with her last evening. Then he was shot and killed at night.  


She said she sees the dead body of her brother at the hospital this morning. 


Witnesses told our news Maung Naing Soe’s head was totally destroyed by the bullets. He was a member of the local charity organization, Thaingaha Let Kan. 


Myanmar soldiers from Light Infantry Division 22 fired guns and shells and killed a female farmer and wounded 3 other villager women in Ah Puck Wa village in Kyauktaw township this morning at 11 am.


Ma Bu May, 26, is hit by bullet on her hip. She was taken to Kyauktaw hospital. She died at this evening. 


Daw Mae Kay, 54, Daw Ma Thein Kyew, 35, and Daw Aye Thein Kyew, 30, are wounded by the shell sharpeners and bullets.  One of the critically injured women is blocked by the military to transport to Sittway hospital for further treatment. 


“They are coming back to the village after they hear gunfire near the railroad. Then Myanmar soldiers ambushing near the village fire the guns and shells directly to women. They are falling down on the ground,” said a villager who does not want to print in the press.  


Seventy years old farmer U Yan Noe Aung from Oh Pon Chaung village stepped on landmine near the military base in Minbya township and killed on August 23.


Myanmar army fired shells into Kyauk Yan Thar Si village in Rathedaung township on August 22 and injured 5 civilians, including a three years old girls. 


Local people reported the Myanmar army based in Ma Nyin Taung village fired several shells into the village randomly without having military clash with Arakan Army on that day.


All five family members, Ma Khaing Myat Myat, 3, Ma Khine Hin Way, 17, Daw Aye Than Nu, 40, U Kyaw Aye, 42, and U Tun, 40, were injured by the shell explosions in their resident. 


Myanmar soldiers stationing on Ka Zu Kaing village in Ann township fired the passenger boat and wounded U Moe Aung, 48 and U Khin Maung Shwe, 42 on August 19 when they were moving to IDP camp in Maybon township. 


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