Rohingya not recorded as Myanmar citizens in census
February 12, 2014
Myanmarian minister says the next census does not mean that Rohingya will be recognized as citizens of Myanmar.
The Myanmar census, which is scheduled to begin on March 30, will include the Rohingya but that does not mean that they will be recognized as an ethnic group or as citizens of Myanmar, the Union Minister for Immigration and Population U Khin Yi said.
The Rohingya, an ethnic group of Muslims living in the Rakhine State close to the border with Bangladesh, are not recognized as citizens of Myanmar, and are seen by the government as “Bengalis” who have crossed illegally from the neighboring Muslim majority country.
According to Freedom daily, the minister said: “They say that their race is Rohingya. When a person says that his race is “B”, because he doesn’t want to mention his race as “A”, that means that race “A” no longer exists, but the race “B” is a new race. Since race “B” is a new race, there will be questions, such as “how did the race enter (the country)?” or “are they encroaching here?” When things become radical, I worry that it could harm peace and stability,”
The minister added that there is no recognized term for Rohingya as one of the 135 ethnic groups in Myanmar and no code number for Rohingya will be given during the nationwide census.
“We will record what the person says. If he says “A” then we will fill the form as “A”. The result will be, like I said before, that even if that term “A” is Rohingya, we will not recognize Rohingya as one of the 135 ethnic groups in Myanmar,” the minister said.