By MYARF/ M.S. Anwar
Sunday, April 11, 2014
Rohingya Fishermen at Work (Photo: kaladanpress/ for illustration purpose only
Maungdaw, Arakan- Rohingya Fishermen in Maungdaw Township are facing crises as they are unable to have free access to the Bay of Bengal. Maungdaw authority charge huge amount of money each time they set off for fishing.
“Maungdaw authority resumed providing local Rohingya fishermen of a few villages access to Bay of Bengal many months after they had blocked it post the violence in June 2012. The authority charged money from Rohingya fishermen every time an engine boat set off for fishing in the Bay of Bengal.
However, authority blocked their access to the Bay of Bengal again after the violence against Rohingyas in Duchiradan (Kilaidaung) village in southern Maungdaw had taken place. Now, the authority restarted the access provided that Rohingya Fishermen pay a lot of money to the authority. Therefore, it has become too difficult for the poor fishermen around the region to live smooth lives.
For example, nowadays, as fund for Administration Office of Security Force (Hlun Htein) (Ye Hmuu Kyouk Yun, formerly NaSaKa Administration Office), Kyat 10,000 for an engine boat or Kyat 6,000 for a paddle boat is charged per outing to the Bay of Bengal from the port of Maung Ni village of Myoma Kayintan village tract. The administrator of Security Force, Colonel Tin Ko Ko, has assigned U Laalu from Quarter 2 of Maungdaw to charge the money from the fishermen.
Besides, Kyat 6,000 for signature of the chairman, U Laal Meah, of Fishing Boats Association and Kyat 2,000 for Disciplinary Maintenance Fees are payable to Hamid, the nephew of the said Chairman Laal Meah. Kyat 2,000 to the in-charge of the camp of Security Force at Maung Ni village and 1 Gallon of Petrol to the Security Force Camp 15 at Maggyi Chaung are also respectively payable. All these charges are payable only for an outing of an engine boat to the sea” said a local Rohingya from Maung Ni village.
“On their way back from fishing in the sea, fishermen have to give four big fishes (worth Kyat around 16,000) to the above mentioned Maggyi Camp No. 15 and more fishes worth Kyat 10,000 to the camp at Maung Ni.
Therefore, the fishermen and the owners of the engine boats face losses as the cost exceeds their income. Years earlier, 50 families were able to comfortably lead their lives with the profits achieved from a fishing boat. Nowadays, because of the inconsiderate charges by the different departments, Rohingya fishermen families are facing extreme difficulties in their livelihoods” he added.