Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Local Police and Soldiers Take Bribes from Refugee’s Parents Whose Sons and Daughter Resettle in Third Countries

Kyutphru, Arakan State, Dec. 5—Local police and soldiers routinely take money from Arakanese refugees’ parent after the authorities learned the refugees were going to resettle in the United States of America. In small village Kyut Tang in Kyutphru Towship, the community member knew when their daughters and sons called their parents when they were about to resettle in the US. The news was therefore separated to local authority. Then the village head informed nearby police and military station the news. Then they came to the village and asked money from the parents. When the refugee’s parents could not effort to pay lager amount of money, they were detained for several days until their relatives paid the money. This kind of bribes taken by the police and soldiers in the Arakan state is widely reported.

Child Soldiers Recruitment Increasing in Arakan State

Arakan State, Dec. 5—A recent newcomer of Arakanese young man, John Doe-name in anonymous, in Malaysia told this newsletter’s editor that new recruitment of child soldiers in Arakan state are increasing after Burma’s military junta and Bangladesh clashed water territory dispute in Bay of Bangle. Navy from both sides took positions where South Korean’s Daewoo International was drilling gas well in the deep seawater between Arakan State and Bangladesh.

By taking this opportunity, military recruiters went to local Karaoke places in Ponnagyun Township and encouraged young boys to serve in the military. They told that Burma may have wars with the Bangladesh so that Arakanese are responsible to defend their territory with honor and pride as sovereignty defenders. The soldiers showed videos about Burma’s army training with the Chinese made modern tanks and jet fighters. Many young boys wondered and were interested in the shows. Some signed up contract papers without their parents’ consent. The new recruited are age between 14 and 16.

Parents in the town complained the military officers after they learned their children were taking shelters in the military camps. Five boys were released after their parents paid tens of thousands of Kyat, Burmese currency.

The recruitments are taking many towns and villages throughout the Arakan state in recent months, according to John Doe.

Gag Members at Butter Worth Bus Station Robbed 250 RM from a Refugee

Butter Worth, Dec. 7—On the Bus No. 40 at the Butter Worth Bus Station at 4.oo PM, John Doe was waiting to go to Kuala Lumpur, three local gags came up to the bus and looked for foreign look‐faces. As soon as they saw John Doe, they grabbed him took UNHCR card and 250 RM. They did the same thing to other Burmese and then they left the bus.
John Doe is staying at the ARRC Shelter and waiting to go to UNHCR office on Tuesday to report this accident and will appeal for UNHCR card.

Local Gag Robbed Hand-phones and Cashes on the Bus

Puchung, Dec.7—Local gag quickly enter onto the bus No. 574 in 6 Mile Puchung and forcefully took handphones and cashes from the foreigner- passenger. Then, the gag members of 7 men left the bus when it stopped at the next bus stop. It happens usually the bus from Puchung to Kuala Lumpur. ARRC coordinator’s phone and cash were taken by the gag when was coming to the office for weekend meeting.

Rela Raid a Refugee Camp

Puchong‐De.5—Forty Rela men raided a temporary refugee camp with tanks and huts near SKS car factory in 18 Mile Puchong at 1.00 AM on December 5. Thirteen refugees ran and escaped from the arrests. However, the Rela men destroyed tanks, huts, and took all personal belongings, including cooking pots and VCDs.

Rela and Police Raid a Construction site and Arrested 25 Men

Butter Worth, Nov. 28—Police and Rela on November 28 at 4.90 PM entered into a construction site in Butter Worth. The police and Rela gathered 40 men in the site and kicked and bitten the men intensely. Then they checked IDs and passports from the workers.

Fifteen men from Bangladesh and Burma were released later since they held passports and UNHCR refugee cards. Other Burmese and Arakanese were arrested since they did have neither passports nor UNHCR cards.

An Arakanese man, 40, was severely injured after several Rela kicked him by military boots because he could not understand the police’s questions in Malaysian.

Refugee Children School Face Critical in Financial Support

Rawang, Dec. 5—Arakanese refugee children’s school is facing financial difficulty after it has been opened for 5 months. The school is supported by urban refugees. It needs at least 4,000 RM, about 1, 3 00 USD, for monthly expenses in rent, utility, foods, transportation, communication, medicines, and learning materials.
Students, Parents, and Executives Meeting at ARRC Office

The school was opened in August to provide basic universal education for the refugee children when they are waiting to resettle in third countries. The initiation was started after hundreds of children could not go to local schools. They stayed with their parents in small and unsafe apartments, even in worksites where many co-workers live with poor conditions. They children are often left home lone when their parents were going to work. This issue of lack of children’s education was brought to the ARRC executive meeting in May. The leaders widely discussed the issue and decided to open the school. Fourteen children are learning at the center presently—seven boys and seven girls—age ranging from five to twelve. Other children are waiting because the school cannot take more than 14 students.

The live-in school was supported by the Arakanese in Europe and USA to start. Then the refugees and parents in Malaysia donated funds to keep the school running. However, after the world economic crisis sparked, many urban refugees lost their jobs so that their supports became minimal. “If these support of our friends are keep downing, the future of our children’s education center is in somehow affected,” Kyaw Win Naing, Acting President of ARRC and Coordinator of the school, said during the meeting. Parents and executives agree that the center provides the children to learn Basic English and Mathematics. “Not only this, they become very discipline and cleverer; I see my daughter is changing then she lived with me because I did not have times to teach; I works all times to earn a little money to support for our living,” one of the children’s father said during the student, parents and executives meeting in October. The advantages of the live-in school for both parents and children are that the parents can work full time and the children can learn. Older girls look after the younger girls. The older boy take care the younger boys. They do homework together and play together. These responsibilities and sharing make themselves loving and nurturing. . They are now afraid of separating each other.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Eleven Refugees Arrested in Johor Are Still in Jail

Johor-Dec.5--The eleven refugees who were arrested on December 3 in Johor are still detained at Kota Kecil Police station. ARRC caseworker, Khine Kyaw Htoo, is working with the police to get their freedom. Police investigator Officer Adwin told the caseworker that if he got a recommendation fax from UNHCR in which they are true citizen of Myanmar and seeking for protection, they would be released. A report has been sent to UNHCR in Kuala Lumpur on Dec. 5th to get helps. They are still waiting in the jail by the UNHCR actions.

The information of jailed are as follow:





Card. No


Tun Mya





Kyaw Hlaing





Maung Chit





Thein Tun





Thein Naing





Aung Myint





Min M. Naing





Win Khaing





Naing W. Tun





Zaw M. Shwe





Nyi N. Zaw


Age 21

Refugees Arrests in Malaysia Intensified

Kula Lumpur, 5 Dec—within first week of December, four Arakanese have been arrested by police, immigration, and Rela (civilian volunteer corp.). ARRC is still searching for where they have been detained and get no further information yet.

San Lin, UNHCR Ref: 354-08C03681 was arrested on December 3 at 4.20 PM by police. His detention of where about is not yet known. Aung Myint, UNHCR Ref. 354-07C5828, was arrested on the bus to Kuala Lumpur on December 3 at 4.20 PM. Caseworker from ARRC went to nearby police station but got no information. The police referred the caseworker to immigration. Zaw Naing, UNHCR Ref: 03/MLS/07693, was arrested in Butter Worth at 10 AM by Rela. Information of his detention is still not-yet-known. Maung San Shwe, 08/ARK/7515, was arrested by police in Ipoh on December 1. His detention is still not-yet-known.

A report of refugee arrests has been reported to UNHCR in Kuala Lumpur on December 5 and still waiting for further actions taken by the UNHCR.