Rohingyas in Arakan state have to get permission to marry and pay around Kyat 72,000 to state authorities, in a long bureaucratic process which takes up to six-months.
The persecuted Muslim minority can only marry if the Border Security Force in Maungdaw district accepts their request, according to a local leader who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“At first, the couple has to go to the local Nasaka camp and pay Kyat 2,000 for the marriage application. After they need to pay Kyat 5,000 to a local administration officer, who certifies the applicants are in fact locals,” he said.
The couple has to return to Nasaka camp to swear to an four-point agreement: they are not allowed more than two children, not to file for divorce, the husband must be shaved at all times, if the marriage fails they are unable to remarry for three years.
After getting photos from Nasaka camp they submit the marriage form to the Nasaka camp in Maungdaw township. After approval, it’s sent back to the camp. This process can take anywhere between three to six months.
When the marriage permission form is ready the couple has to pay Kyat 60,000 to Lt Col Aung Gyi, the Nasaka camp director, said a local schoolteacher who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The new Thein Sein government claims these marriage restrictions are necessary to control the Rohingyas’ growth rate. But critics believe the marriage law has been enforced to extort money from the community and reduce their population in Arakan state.
Many families can’t afford to pay for their off springs’ marriage registration. This has resulted in many unwed couples.
In other districts in Arakan state, couples have to pay Kyat 150,000 to state authorities for permission to marry.
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