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Aung San Suu Kyi is Correct: The Buddhists are Living with Great Fear

On November 2, 2013, ten Rakhine Buddhist women, from Sin Ai Village near Pauktaw, in Rakhine State, Burma, proceeded to walk to the river a short distance away, and collect clams and shellfish - as they often did. Meanwhile, another event was unfolding in the forest, not far from the group of women on the riverbank. A large group of Bengali Muslims was starting to cut down teak trees. From the nearby Buddhist village, some monks and some villagers approached the Muslims and asked them to stop cutting down those trees - not only was it illegal to cut the teak trees, but the villagers themselves had planted those trees some years ago, and were horrified to see them being cut and stolen!

However, the Bengalis were belligerent and refused to stop. The villagers called the police in a nearby town to come quickly. The police arrived and asked the Bengalis to stop but the Bengalis - who were armed with saws, spears and swords, and greatly outnumbered the police became agitated, loud, and then threatening and violent. The police, under attack, fired several shots, severely wounding one aggressive Bengali attacker. The Bengalis began walking back to their village.

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Over at the river, the women heard the gunshots from the forest, but had no idea what had happened. But, it was highly unusual, and they were frightened. They began walking, quickly, back to their village. Some walked quicker than others and now the 10 women were two groups of 5 women each. Out from the forest came the large group of Bengalis, who then saw one group of 5 Buddhist women, and rushed towards them in a killing frenzy. One woman, Ma Hla Khin, mother of 4 children, was quickly speared to death. A 17 year old girl, Ma May Than Khine, was severely wounded with deep gashes from sword and machete blows, and one arm nearly hacked off. The other 3 women ran in sheer terror and horror and managed to outrun the Bengalis. And, the other group of 5 women were lucky to be out of sight. The Buddhist villagers of Sin Ai rushed the wounded girl to the hospital, in a town on the same river.!

Now a third element came into this situation. The Mdecins Sans Frontires (Doctors Without Borders) works in Rakhine State, but is widely seen as being very biased against the Buddhists - as will unfold here. (in 2012 several of their staff were arrested and charged with aiding and
abetting Bengali Muslims in planning attacks and and providing weapons to be used against the Buddhists. The UN, among others pressured their release before a trial could start.)

An MSF worker, at the Muslim village/camp where the woodchoppers came from saw the critically wounded Bengali man being brought back to their camp, and he heard what had happened, and he proceeded to use a high speed boat to take him downriver to the hospital. He ignored the plight of the Buddhist victims - he could have easily checked, and offered to take one or both victims.

Actually, the 17 year-old Buddhist girl arrived at the hospital shortly before the Bengali man. Her condition was quite severe with huge gaping bleeding wounds, and she was being urgently cared for. The MSF worker and the wounded Bengali suddenly came into the hospital, and the MSF worker loudly demanded that the staff stop treating the women and begin treating the man right away. The man died shortly. The MSN worker got more abusive, and made such a bad scene that monks and other townspeople surrounded the hospital and denounced the MSF.

As this whole event became known, it stirred up more demands that many foreign NGOs should leave Burma now - because too often they support the Muslims, and seem blind to the actions of the Muslims in instigating the violence.

There is already massive misinformation about this incident and many many previous incidents. On the pro-muslim websites they will claim that an innocent party of woodcutters was gathering and cutting wood when they were suddenly ambushed and shot. No mention of the village next to the protected trees, the clamgathering women being attacked in a bloody frenzy, or the bias exhibited at the hospital.

From the more than 100 interviews done in Arakan in 2012:

On that night, (June 14, 2012) about 3,000 Bengalis came to attack our village. The next morning, there was a deadly fight against our villagers with the swords and machete. Are there any Byraiphru villagers who got chopped dead by the Bengalis? Yes, there are five people who got killed by them. How many people from your village arrived here (refugee facility)? There are 156 people. Htwan Oo Zun - Sittwe area ________________________________________________________________________________________ Im a native of Thandwe Township. My parents are mixed. My father is Bengali (Muslim) and my mother is Burmese (was Buddhist, had to convert to Islam), so I am Muslim. Could you explain your experience of the violence in Maungdaw on June 8, 2012? On Friday, June 8, we went to the school where we teach. We came back to the dorm at about 11:30 am on that day. On the way to the dorm, an Arakanese lady told us that the Bengali Muslims were gathering and you should take great care and caution for your security. It was true,there were a lot of Bengali Muslims gathering in the cemetery, while we continued walking to our dorm. So we packed our belongings as soon as we arrived at our dorm. Moreover, we shared the gathering news of Bengalis with other teachers in the village and warned them to be aware and cautious. When we were done packing, we fled and gathered together along with the villagers at the school principals home. After two hours, the Bengali Muslims had finished their gathering and were ready to attack the Arakanese. The Bengalis started setting fire to the Arakan houses. So, we teachers along with the villagers fled to the mountains. The Bengalis chased after us. There were so many Bengalis. When we managed to get high on the mountain, we saw our school principal lying far below. His body had been badly beaten and chopped with machetes by the Bengalis. At 5 pm a senior teacher, Htwan Marm Hlaing and the troops of the NaSaKa (Border Security Force) arrived in the village. We were told to return to the village. At that time, all the houses in the village were burned down. So we had to temporarily stay at a clinic that was not burned down. The next morning, we were brought back to Maungdaw by the army. OK. If so youre a follower of Islam, what would you like to say about the current violence? What I want to say is that the current violence was started by the Bengalis and they burnt down and destroyed Arakanese houses, buildings and Buddhist monasteries. They are wild and cruel, and they are targeting and killing innocent people, and torturing them. It is so disgusting and inhumane. Im not sure that they can be tamed. They cant expel their evil forces. I am not sure if they could ever expel them. We cant teach them how to be kind and compassionate to each other. What is your opinion of the Bengali Muslims and the current unrest? I think that they are so terrible. I have never seen or experienced such a horrible event in my life. I was so shocked. These people are more then terrible. I would like to say that I will keep my teaching position, and I will try to keep doing good things for our country. Aye Su Thi - teacher, Zawmatet Village, Maungdaw Township


As far as we know, Myin-Chaung village was once a Rakhine village. Are there any Arakanese inhabitants in the village now? Yes it was once an Arakanese village, but there are no Arakanese living in the village. It is entirely a Bengali village now. Moreover, there are many. Villages such as Shauk-Kaing, Myin-Chaung, and others, were once all native Arakanese villages. Also Tat Htoe Pyin, Ah-lae-Than-Kyaw and more, used to be Arakanese villages too. The Bengali Muslims destroyed the villages and monasteries and even slaughtered the monks there. Hmwe Tha - 86 year-old grandmother, Nay-Bi-Sate Village, Ratchadaung Township

The Bengali Muslims entered the nearby forest near our village, so we dared not to go into the forests. Our
villagers saw many Bengalis while they were working on the farms. So, they returned to the village, fearing attack by the Bengalis. Our villagers are facing difficulties because we are not able to find vegetables and fish outside of the village. We are scared of attacks from the Bengalis. We work on farms and do road construction. Since individual villagers work in different locations quite further away from each other, they found it difficult to work on the farms because they were fearful of possible attacks by Bengali Muslims. U Shwe Maung - Village Headman, Maungdaw Township

Can you tell us the events in Rwar Tharyar village? Yes. Previously, we have heard that the Bengalis are marching to Rwar Thayar village and we followed them there. When we got there, we saw young Bengali kids and we tried to restrain them. At that time, each side tried to restrain their followers and it ended peacefully. In next four or five days, the Bengali groups merged with other groups and started attacking Arakanese villages. How many Bengalis were there, do you estimate? Around 700 to 1,000 Bengalis were there. Most stayed as back up and they sent 50 men out to the front. When the attack happened, the others came out and joined the fight. They brought knives, spears and catapults. Ko Hla Htay died by a sword stroke to his neck. Was there any similar incident in the past? There were some, but they are not on such a large scale like this. They have tried to damage our lives and properties. We can't accept this. How do you feel about this fight and the conflict? I am a Buddhist. I don't want someone to suffer badly. But I will not be silent, if someone threatens and damages our lives and properties. I am ready to sacrifice my life to defend race, nation and religion. These Bengalis are always selfish and canny. We Arakanese must be vigilant about this. Maung Hla Tin - Rwar Thayar ward, Sittwe

We are afraid of Bengali Muslims. So we dare not go into the forests to get firewood to sell it as part of our
livelihood, and that makes it very difficult to get food for ourselves now. We are frightened of the Bengalis because there are only about 1,000 Arakanese people around here (Maungdaw). But there are more than 100,000 Bengali people around here, and our village is surrounded by many Bengali villages. So we are very worried about our safety because the Bengalis could attack us and be violent to us anytime. So, any of our village people could be killed if the Bengalis come to be violent and fight against us. Aunty - from Maungdaw Township "4

Since 2 pm, the situation was not stable. At first, the Bengali Muslim groups of men were coming to the gathering area at our village Buddhist pagoda. Then they started setting fire to our Buddhist monastery. So, all the government servants gathered in one of the teachers house. The situation became worse and worse. We were all in a dilemma on which way to flee. Mobs of Bengali Muslims suddenly entered the village. People were running back and forth, and in all directions. I was carrying my baby and I fell down the embankment of the village pond and could not get up, and was surrounded by a Bengali mob. When they saw me, some of them said, she is our village teacher. And they also told other Bengalis that were just joining this mob that she is our teacher so dont harm me, and also told them in Bengali language, she has a baby. But, some said that they would kill me, and some didnt want to kill me. Some of my students parents repeatedly pleaded that I shouldnt be killed, since I am their village teacher, and also, that I had a baby. But, I heard some say that I should be killed and beheaded. I was very worried about my life, and my babys life, and I pleaded with them not to kill me, that Im a teacher of this village. Two young Bengali students of mine arrived, and told the others that I was their teacher, and they picked me and my baby up and quietly told me which way to run to escape from the village. Then I fled, passing a man chopped to death. Daw Nyo Nyo Warm, teacher, from Sittwe, transferred to Maungdaw

Q-Why did you move from your village to this refugee camp?
A-We ran away from the Bengalis slaughter. Q-Are you afraid of them? A-Of course I am. Q-Did Arakanese from all the nearby villages have to flee? A-I think all Arakanese from adjacent villages fled too. Q-Do you have any willingness to go back to your villages? A-Yes of course we do. Every villager wants to go and settle back in, but, they are afraid of possible danger and attacks from the Bengalis. Sein Kyawt Phru - 76 year old grandfather, Nay-Bi-Sate village, Rathaydaung Township.

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The lower part of Gudaung village was four or five households. Bengalis came to set fire to those houses, but the villagers didnt have any means to protect themselves. People shouted our houses are on fire! and other villagers quickly ran to help them. But, they ran into a trap that the Bengalis set, and they were chopped and burned to death by the Bengalis Muslims. Were there any security forces in this area to protect villagers from the attacks and massacre? We had requested that security forces be sent to our region. We reported to the Township administrative office about the condition of the area. Kyaw Zun Hla - retired, Gudaung Village. Now is chairman of charitable committee for the refugee camps in Rathaydaung Township. "5

Q-Why did you take refuge in this camp, at this age?

A-I fled my village to escape a probable Bengali slaughter. Q-What kind of threats did Muslims issue to your village to make you leave? A-They burned a nearby village and killed fellow Arakanese villagers there, which made us more than sufficiently believe that we would face the same fate, if we stayed. Q-How many houses were burned in that village? A-About 100 houses. San Tun Phyu - 77 year-old elder, Nay-Bi-Sate Village, Ratchadaung Township ______________________________________________________________________________________ We are afraid of the Bengali Muslims. We are afraid to go out of the village without two or three people to accompany us. They always watch out for a chance to attack us. We work on plantations in the hills, but we dont go to the farms, because we are scared of the Bengalis. Ko Htwan Sein - manual laborer, Maungdaw Township


Q-Why did you move here? A-We arrived here, because were afraid of Bengali attacks. The Bengalis started to fight against us, so we dared not live in our village and we fled to here. Q- What had happened to your houses? A- Our houses were burned down, by the Bengalis, including all the possessions and belongings. Q- What is your family business? A- I worked at an ice factory called Shwe Ngar. All the family members were sent to safety in the city. Only my son and I are working in the village now. Q- How many family members do you have? A- There are 9 family members including one junior monk. Q- Do you have any thoughts about your family future? I dont have any ideas on how to continue our family livelihood. And I dont know what to do for our livelihood. So Im praying that we could live in our village peacefully. I, along with my family, want to live in our village even though we have difficulties, since its our native place where we were all born and grew up. We really wish to live in our village peacefully, as we have a sentimental attachment to this place. Q- What do your children do? A- All of my children, except one, are students. Q- So, how about their education? A- They dont attend school now. Their school and the place where they live no longer exist, Htwan Thein Phru - father, Maungdaw Township !

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More Papers
By Rick Heizman, San Francisco, 2013

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Please see the full 150 page report about the situation in Rakhine/Arakan State, Burma:"
And more:""

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! GOOD VIDEO LINKS IN THESE REPORTS:" !" !" !" ! ! ! ! !