Government withdraws white card from 2014 riot village, no receipt given
Locals fear beginning of the end
By Burma Times
Government collaborators in Kiladong, Maungdaw South have collected the white cards from local Rohingyas well before the due date of handover.
Contrary to earlier announcements, the Rohingyas handing over the white card did not receive any token or documents that can serve as an alternative. This has created the fear that the government intends to withdraw all documents from Rohingyas and deprive them of evidence that they are residents of Burma.
On Thursday, Shaer Mohammed, a local tabbe, announced over the loudspeaker that everyone should hand over the white card immediately to Noor Kabir, another government collaborator. Anyone failing to hand over the white card will not considered for the green card and will be expelled from Burma, the announcement said.
The move was initiated by Sultan, who is the leading collaborator in the region.
The move to withdraw the white card comes early in Kialodng because it is one of the most troublesome hotspots in the entire Arakan. Authorities fear that Rohingyas in many areas will refuse to handover the white card and struck early in the restive village to deprive the Muslims of the time to organise resistance.
On January 2014, a mob of Rakhines backed by security forces killed scores of Muslims, mainly women and children in this remote village.
Since then the government has spearheaded a campaign to deny the massacre and pursued the survivors of this village so as to prevent them giving eyewitness accounts of the killings. The police also regard Kiladong villagers as terrorists who had killed one of their colleagues in retaliation for the beheading of 8 Muslim villagers last year.
It is not clear whether the trend of not giving any documents in exchange for the white card will be repeated throughout other Rohingya villages. If that happens, the government has indeed embarked on a mission to deprive all Rohingyas of all legal documents.
Locals however say that it is more likely that only Muslims from troubled spots such as Kilaodong will not receive any receipts as they are especially marked for expulsion. Either way, they fear that it the beginning of the end for the Muslims of Arakan.