Rakhine State au­thor­i­ties ver­i­fy­ing le­gal­ity of Maung­daw build­ings

The Myanmar Times - - News - YI YWAL MYINT news­room@mm­times.com Nyan Lynn Aung, trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

RAKHINE State of­fi­cials are re­view­ing the le­gal­ity of build­ings in a Mus­lim­ma­jor­ity town­ship as the state gov­ern­ment pro­ceeds with a con­tro­ver­sial de­mo­li­tion plan that could see dozens of mosques de­stroyed.

Build­ings in Maung­daw will be the first in the state to be scru­ti­nised to de­ter­mine if they were legally or il­le­gally con­structed, Colonel Htain Linn, Rakhine State min­is­ter for se­cu­rity and bor­der af­fairs, said at a Septem­ber 24 press con­fer­ence. He added that no de­mo­li­tion has been started yet, de­spite sev­eral so­cial me­dia ru­mours to the con­trary.

“We will con­duct a build­ing ver­i­fi­ca­tion process ac­cord­ing to the law,” said the min­is­ter, who is also chair­ing the com­mit­tee for build­ings man­age­ment and ver­i­fi­ca­tion in Rakhine State. The state-level com­mit­tee was formed on Septem­ber 12, with dis­tric­tand town­ship-level com­mit­tees formed last week.

“If we find that a build­ing was il­le­gally con­structed, we will file a law­suit and fol­low the court de­ci­sion,” he said.

The com­mit­tee is tasked with ver­i­fy­ing build­ings across Rakhine State and picked Maung­daw town­ship for ini­tial scru­tiny be­cause it is si­t­u­ated on a frag­ile bor­der area with im­pli­ca­tions for state se­cu­rity, said U Min Aung, head of the Rakhine State mu­nic­i­pal de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee and vice chair of the build­ings man­age­ment com­mit­tee.

“The build­ing ver­i­fi­ca­tion will be con­ducted ac­cord­ing to mu­nic­i­pal law in every town in the state,” he said.

He added that there are more than 3000 il­le­gal build­ings in Maung­daw. Those found to be re­spon­si­ble for con­struct­ing a build­ing il­le­gally could face a fine or up to two years in prison, he added.

The state’s de­mo­li­tion plan has prompted crit­i­cism among hu­man rights groups and self-iden­ti­fy­ing Mus­lim Rohingya or­gan­i­sa­tions.

On Septem­ber 23, 11 in­ter­na­tional Rohingya groups signed a joint state­ment de­mand­ing the gov­ern­ment in­ter­vene in the slated de­struc­tion “un­der the pre­text of il­le­gal con­struc­tion”.

Haji Maung Bar, a Mus­lim com­mu­nity leader from Maung­daw town­ship, told The Myan­mar Times that he did not un­der­stand why the gov­ern­ment would be in­ter­ested in de­stroy­ing mosques and Mus­lim schools built in re­sponse to state-im­posed re­stric­tions pro­hibit­ing groups of more than five peo­ple from as­sem­bling in Maung­daw and Buthi­daung.

“If the gov­ern­ment de­mol­ishes such ‘il­le­gal’ build­ings, they should make other, bet­ter build­ings for us to con­tinue to be able to pray, go to school and so on,” he said. – Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.