Joint Press Release: Concern on Narinjaras concocted news linking Rohingyas with Taliban
24th March 2011
We, the undersigned Rohingya organisations, strongly condemn the Narinjara News Agency for its disinformation of describing the innocent Rohigya people as suspected Talibans.
According to a pre-plan to extort money from the Rohingyas, the Nasaka collaborators informed the Nasaka of the area that some insurgents had entered in North Maungdaw and held a meeting with people in Kamaung Seik village (Fokira Bazar) whereupon, taking advantage of opportunities and circumstances, the Nasaka started arresting and torturing the innocent villagers arbitrarily. So far, about 50 innocent Rohingya villagers were arrested under false and concocted allegation of having link with insurgents which Narinjara fabricated as Talibans in its news on 20 March, 2011. It has exaggerated news giving cry wolf mentioning the name of one imaginary Taliban Maulvi Harun as imparting combat and bomb making training to the villagers in the jungles. It further concocted that a seal and documents, which identified them as members of the Taliban, were seized. According to Irrawaddy news of March 22, 2011, the Narinjara editor Khaing Mrat Kyaw said, “Nasaka told us about Maulvi Harun, who entered the country from Bangladesh and had given training.” It hints his involvement in the plan of the Nasaka against the innocent Rohingya villagers.
To make the matter worse, Narinjara embroidered this false news by putting on it an unrelated picture of masked Afghan Taliban fighters holding RPG with intent to confuse them with Rohingyas and thereby to mislead the minds of the people. The head of the Thailand based Arakan Project Chris Lewa told DBV that “there was no evidence to link the group to mujahideen groups”. This is a blatant lie, without any evidence, and is a politically motivated report aims at discrediting and tarnishing the image of one of the world’s most persecuted, underrepresented and voiceless peoples – the Rohingya -- for being Muslims. We demand Narinjara to put up any evidences to substantiate its misleading report that it stage-managed by taking advantage out of the Rohingya people’s tragedy created by Nasaka and vested interest groups that resulted in the serious human rights violations by the regime.
Despite Narinjara’s callous effort, on 21 March 2011, the director of Nasaka Lt. Col. Aung Gyi, said in a public gathering of 300 people at the Maungnama Madrassa (religious school) in Maungdaw Township, which was attended by village authorities, elders, and religious leaders, that the rumour of “Taliban link” was a fake report and was a creation out of the enmity between the local members of the Union Solidarity Development Party (USDP) and the Rohingya political party of National Democratic Party for Development (NDPD) both of which had contested in 7 November 2010 national elections. He continued that all innocent people who were arrested on suspicion will be released soon on the recommendations of the village authorities, elders and religious leaders after the completion of enquiry.
Despite protests from Rohingya civil societies time after time, the Narinjara News is still actively engaged in making false news against the Rohingya people thus contributing persecution of Rohingyas by the regime’s brute forces like Nasaka, army, police and other repressive functionaries.
We are dismayed that the Burmese Section of the BBC World and other media made similar reports based on the concocted news of Narinjara. Despite concern raised with BBC about the bias report of Narinjara’s editor Khaing Mrat Kyaw, who is also a BBC correspondent in Bangladesh, BBC continues to relay sensitive news that he incorrectly reported about the Rohingya people without proper investigation.
Meanwhile, we invite the attention of the media groups, human rights and democratic organisations, including Burma News International (BNI), to the fact that the activities of the Narinjara is objectionable, particularly in matters relating to the promotion of human rights, democracy and ethnic harmony in Arakan.
National Democratic Party for Human Rights (in exile) (NDPHR (in exile)
Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO)
Arakanese Rohingya Community in Thailand (ARCT)
Burmese Rohingya Association in Japan (BRAJ)
Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia (BRCA)
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK)
Rohingya Community in Norway (RCN)
For more information, please contact:
AFK Jilani +880-1674811079
Hla Aung + 33-629258793
Zaw Min Htut + 8180 30835327
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