The Junta Military regional command ignores many requests of Rakhine IDPs to return home

Narinjara News, January 27 2023

At least 20 villagers have been killed and more than 100 houses have been burnt down. The villagers of Tinma, Kyauktaw township, have repeatedly written and requested to be allowed to return to their homes, but the Military Council officials have never responded, and remained silent.

Tinma village is a large village of 600 houses located on the river bank between Kyauktaw town and Paletwa town east of Kaladan river in Rakhine state.

In March 2020, a Myanmar military column entered Tinma Thit village after a battle with the Arakan Army (AA) near Tinma village and abducted 8 villagers with blindfolds and ropes. Again on March 16, 10 villagers were abducted from Tinma Gyi village.

Three others who were guarding the monastery were also killed by the military, according to reliable sources.18 were arrested. All the villagers of Tinma Gyi and Tinma Thit villages were scared and fled their homes.

The military started burning the village and destroyed more than 100 houses.The villagers have been living in Kyauktaw and Nyaung Chaung IDP camps for the last 3 years.

On November 26, 2022, the Arakan Army (AA) and the Military Council reached an informal cease-fire. After the fighting stopped, they wrote to the military for the 9th time to be allowed to return home. Again there was no response, the villagers of Tinma said.

A village elder expressed their frustration. “They didn’t answer anything. We have been writing and submitting for over a month. The military officials only say that refugees from the war in Rakhine have been allowed to return, but our villagers are not being allowed to return. They killed the people in our village and burnt our houses, and so now they will not let us go back?

There are nearly 600 houses in Tinma village, more than 100 were torched by the military, and the remaining houses were demolished and dormitories were built for the military. It is also reported that the poles and planks from the big houses are being sold by soldiers and other scavengers.

The village elder continued “I dont know if its because of the military situation that the military is stationed nearby. Weve been living in a refugee camp for more than three years. There is a lot of trouble in the camps, so I want to go back to my community,

A villager who secretly visited Tinma village about a month ago said, When I visited the village, the situation was very bad. There are no boards, pillars or mirrors in the monastery. Only 60 of the more than 300 cows, are still there because the villagers could not take them with them. The entire village has been destroyed, and everything is already a garbage dump.”

As the houses in the village are being destroyed day by day, the crooks, including the soldiers, are taking wood from the good houses and selling them, so the villagers will not want to return to the village.

A local woman from Tinma village said that because the people of Tinma village are currently living in poverty in the refugee camps, they want to return to their place.

The abbot and the villagers have requested our return. We have been living in close to a war-zone for three years. The abbot and the villagers really want to go back. There are more than 100 houses that have been burnt down. Even many houses that were not burnt down, are now destroyed. The nearby residents say that they hear the sounds of houses being demolished every day. We villagers really want to go back. Its hard to live here. So we still want to go back to the village, she said.

Tinma Sayadaw U Waya Minda the abbot said, that although the villagers have repeatedly written and requested to return to the village, the relevant military authorities have not responded to the matter.

According to the abbot The government has not said anything. There has been no notification for a return to the village. Our request is like pouring water on sand. I have to write and submit permission for them to return to their village. But the result is nothing. It is very disappointing that we never get any answer”.

More than 3,000 villagers of Tinma village, who are sheltering in IDP camps, are reported to be have suffered psychological damage to their health form all the experience of seeing the bloodshed the killings and the burning down of their houses in 2020.

The villagers of Tinma Gyi who were killed in secret after being arrested are U Maung Win Gyi (48), U Maung Win Chay (42), U Kyi Lin (36), U Aung Nyunt (60), U Maung Wun Sein (50), U Than Maung Tun (40), Maung Tun Tun Wai. (14) U Yin Maung (38), Ko Nay Lin Oo (25) and U Tun Maung Win (42).

Villagers from Tinma Thit village who were killed by Army are U Maung Seik Gyi (71), U Kyaw Win Maung (36), U Hla Kyaw Gyi (70), U Maung Than Soe (34), U Saw Shwe Than (45), U San Thar Maung (52), U Maung Myint Aye (49) and U Maung Tun Sein (62).

Among those missing from Tinma village are a 14-year-old 8th grade student and a 29-year-old deaf person. Those arrested are aged between 14 and 70.

On March 22, the military started burning the village and destroyed more than 100 houses. Currently After, Tinma villagers have been living in Kyauktaw IDP camps and Nyaung Chaung IDP camps for almost 3 years.

Tima Ywarthit and Tinma Gyi villages are currently covered with bushes and shrubs and the entire village is almost destroyed, the villagers said.