Report to the People on the Progress of the Implementation of Recommendations on Rakhine State
(January to April 2018)
(Continued from Yesterday)
Procedures for application of business licenses were simplified to promote trade. Authorities have reduced paperwork requirements for international trade – with only 3 supporting documents now being required for export license instead of 9 documents previously, and only 3 supporting documents for import licenses instead of 11. Company registration fees were also reduced from 500,000 MMK to 250,000 MMK starting from April 1, 2018.
Automatic meteorological instruments were installed in 12 townships – 10 township agricultural departments and 2 townships hosting Danyawaddi naval base in Rakhine State, as a part of the Disaster Risk Management Project for improved climate resilience and early warning of natural disasters, funded by the World Bank. Additionally, 4 earthquake measuring instruments were also installed in four townships of Rakhine State.
Works such as natural cross-breeding of trees and forests on 525 acres across 7 townships, establishment of 300 acres of commercial ironwood plantation, repair of forest roads for 20 miles, preparation of forest reserve boundaries for 90 miles, preparation of plot boundaries for 80 miles, fire prevention for 1,190 acres of forest, expansion of reserve/protected forest area for 602.5 square miles, and 3 skill trainings with 168 participants for trees and forest conservation were also implemented for improved environmental conservation and climate change adaptation.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, the Rakhine State Government is constructing one 500-ton silo for long term dry-storage of paddy; and this work is now 93% completed.
Seed production plantations were also established across Rakhine State including 55 acres of summer paddy, 20 acres of winter peanuts, 50 acres of winter green grams, 2,500 acres of pure variety wet-season paddy, 1,115 acres of peanut zone and 1,060 acres of green gram zone. Additionally, 330 acres of wet-season paddy, 95 acres of green gram, 350 acres of peanut, 20 acres of rubber, 50 acres of cashew nut and 10 acres of sugar cane were also established as model farms across the townships. Research plots were also established for agricultural research including 3 green gram plots, 2 peanut plots and 5 plots for summer paddy cultivation techniques.
Construction of one auxiliary spillway, 2 check dams and 1 creek dam were completed for improved irrigation systems. Construction works for 9 floodgates, 10 check dams, 2 embankments for prevention of saline water intrusion, 4 embankments for freshwater, 1 reservoir and 5 creek dams, as well as upgrade of 9 embankments are currently in progress.
In this reporting period, a total of 339 people – 87 people that attained 10 years of age and 252 that attained 18 years of age – received their Citizenship Scrutinization Cards, of all the persons who applied to the Central Governing Body for the decisions as to his/her citizenship status in accordance with the Section 65 of 1982 Myanmar Citizenship Law. Those who received Citizenship Scrutinization Cards are entitled to enjoy the rights of a citizen prescribed by the laws of the land, in accordance with section 12 of the 1982 Myanmar Citizenship Law.
Efforts were put in to speed up the national verification process in accordance with the existing laws and regulations. During this reporting period, NV cards issuance alongside with biometric data collection were done for 379 people in Shwezar Village Tract, Myoma (1 Ward and Myoma South Ward of Maungdaw Township, and 1,907 people in Aung Mingalar Ward, Thetkaepyin and Thae Chaung Village of Sittwe Township. As NV Card is the basis for the national verification process, this process was scaled up in Thetkaepyin and Gaungdoteka IDP Camps in Sittwe and Nidin IDP Camp in Kyauktaw as main pilot areas. Arrangements are currently made for NV Card applicants to simultaneously apply for the citizenship scrutinization process.
The timeframe for completing the procedures of national verification process starting from the date of filing the application till issuance of an appropriate type of certificate/card is now set as 5 months.
Applicants who are denied from citizenship can appeal to the Union Cabinet, in accordance with Section 70 (a) of the 1982 Myanmar Citizenship Law. And the Section 70 (b) of the law prescribes the decision of the Cabinet as final. During this reporting period, three persons who were dissatisfied with the decision of the Central Body and appealed to the Cabinet were granted citizenship by the Cabinet decision after review of the cases again. Although a person is not deemed as a citizen, s/he can live in the country by holding NV cards and following the rules and regulations set out by the State if his/her residency in Myanmar can be verified. Regulations for permanent residency is also now enacted for foreigners who reside permanently in Myanmar.
Leaflets that outline the national verification process and encouraging Muslim communities to cooperate in the process were also distributed between 1 January 2018 and 31 March 2018, as part of public awareness campaigns to revitalize the verification process in Sittwe, Mrauk-U, Ponnagyun, Minbya, Kyauktaw and Maungdaw Townships.
Departmental investigations are carried out for complaints against the verification process, and actions are taken as appropriate if these complaints are verified. Additionally, the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission and the Anti-Corruption Commission also investigate complaints that they receive, and actions are taken in accordance with the laws and prescribed procedures.
Freedom of Movement
A road map with a timeline and important milestones is currently being implemented to ensure that all people in Rakhine State – regardless of religion, race and citizenship status – enjoy freedom of movement that will bolster socioeconomic opportunities, in accordance with the existing laws, rules and regulations. As a result, people holding NV Cards can now enjoy freedom of movement in Maungdaw District. Discussions and coordination among relevant departments and agencies were also held to analyze and remove restrictions on movement as required. During the reporting period, there were 58 people (31 males and 27 females) who travelled out of Rakhine State to Yangon with temporary travel authorization certificate (Form – 4). Discussions to raise awareness with on procedures and regulations governing the movements were also held in Aung Mingalar Ward and Thekaepyin IDP Camp in Sittwe on 04/03/2018 and 05/03/2018 and in Budthidaung and Maungdaw Townships on 27/03/2018 and 28/03/2018, with an aim to contribute towards peace and stability of the Rakhine state through increased interrelations and movements among the communities in State.
No (1) Border Guard Police Command Centre of the Myanmar Police Force, Ministry of Home Affairs is also implementing a security protocol to enable the locals travel freely and safely.
Additionally, a workshop with Rakhine State Government officials, MPs, officials from relevant government departments, and representatives of ethnic minorities – Mro, Khami, Daing Net or Chakkama, Chin (Asho Chin, Laizao Chin, Zhotung Chin, Lawhtu Chin), Maramargyi, Kaman etc. was held at Khaine Thazin Hall, Sittwe, Rakhine State on April 7, 2018, to review any laws and local orders that restrict the rights and freedom of ethnic minorities. It was learnt that the representatives of ethnic minorities attending the workshop were quite satisfied with the workshop proceedings.
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
Plans are in place to organize a workshop with relevant government officials on 2 June 2018 in Nay Pyi Taw, for developing a ‘National Strategy for Closure of IDP Camps in Myanmar’ that will outline camp closure processes and timelines. Efforts are also taken to close the IDP camps in Rakhine State the soonest possible, and to promote a peaceful and stable social environment. 50 units of low-cost housing were constructed as a first step for the closure of Taungpaw IDP Camp in Myaypon Township, to which some IDPs were resettled. Another 50 units of housing are currently under construction, as well as other necessary infrastructures like roads and bridges.
Consultations for camp closures were also held with the people living in the IDP camps; and arrangements are currently in progress for resettlement of these IDPs. These consultations took place in Nidin IDP Camp in Kyauktaw on April 4 and 5, 2018, in Thetkaepyin IDP Camp in Sittwe on March 3, 2018, and in Gaungdoteka IDP Camp (1) and (2) on April 6, 2018.
(To be continued)