To All international NGOs in Arakan state, Burma
I am an Arakanese named Aye Maung from Rakhine State of Myanmar and I am hereby would like to voice my grave concern relating to your misbehaviour and insensitivity towards Arakanese people in Arakan state of Burma/Myanmar.
I have been hearing an earful of verbal complaints from my local Arakanese about your discriminatory practices in our state. However, as I understand clearly about your aims and goals and your great works that are supporting those people in need all over the world, I would like to tell you that I have a deep respect on your work.
I do not think that NGOs in Arakan State including UN agencies aren’t supposed to destroy their humanitarian image and instead are expected to bring harmony towards all communities inhibiting in my native land. As you are now on our soil, you are eating our food, drinking our water and breathing our air. Thus, I do not think this is a good human behaviour of you to discriminate against my people at the same time. You all are thought to remain grateful to sons of our Fatherland regardless of their faiths.
Buddhist communities in Buthidaung and Maungdaw Townships, northen part of Arakan, have requested me to relay their deep concern over you unacceptable harassment behaviour on their behalf. Reports have been surfaced about the allegedly detention of some NGO staffs in Arakanese State under the suspicion of their direct involvement in recent deadly arson and murder attacks against non-Muslim communities. Our local Arakanese were just compelled to take reactionary measures when facing attacks from them.
Narinjara News Agency and many domestic Myanmar news agencies said that some local employees of the NGOs were arrested by the authorities because they played a major role in instigating the recent violent unrests. By exploiting their advantage from having Internet access at your NGO offices, these local workers downloaded online news and photos and distributed them with their fabrications to the Muslims community in Maungdaw which led to brutal rioting and destructive attacking against our Arakanese.
It is a shame, and off course quite annoying, that NGOs in Arakan have been conspiring with the religious extremists, may be unwittingly, to build up the violent attacks towards our peace loving Buddhist community in Arakan. Furthermore, NGO staffs, especially local ones, are misusing their power as well as UN properties to mistreat our people which could be tantamount to human rights abuses on our Arakanese people. You also employed local staff selectively by side-lining non-Muslim people.
In addition, I have heard that NGOs in Arakan are facing boycott and intense dissatisfaction responses from our people when our locals turned down your assistance and contributions. Because you all have been supporting Bengali Muslim immigrants since you have descended on the areas of Buthidaung and Maungdaw over a decade ago, our local people have developed a sense of disgruntled feeling from your brazenly displaying of discriminatory practices. This is our time to show our dissatisfaction upon you.
NGOs in Arakan should realise that the recent violent have left nearly 90,000 Arakanese people homeless, hopeless, outrageous, and fearful. They are in need of everything. We are, however, encouraging our people to go for self-help system by showing our sturdiness.
It was learnt that NGOs just showed up yesterday ( 05.07.2012) to help Arakanese after weeks of absent. But locals didn’t care about your help that came too late to them.
NGOs in Arakan should not encourage racial hatred and should not act to be a one-sided organisation. Supporting only Muslim communities and disrespecting native is totally unacceptable. I therefore would like to encourage NGOs in Arakan to stop creating religious and racial tension in Arakan to avoid further violent.
Just try your best to foster a mutual respect towards all communities in Arakan and remain sensitive towards all cultures. It is imperative for all NGOs staffs to exercise anti-discriminatory practices in order to promote your work with everyone in Arakan.
Before I stop, my last demand to all NGOs, UN, UNHCR, BAJ, AZG in Arakan is to leave my state if you keep showing your unacceptable manners towards non-Muslim communities. We have nothing to feel bad about from your leaving. You have caused us enough pain. Now enough is enough.
Pauktaw, Arakan State