Rohingyas Say Banning the Term ‘Rohingya’ In Census By Ye Htut Is Illegal
March 29, 2014
Myanmar presidential spokesman is violating the census law, enacted by union parliament on July 29th 2013, and is forcing the Rohingyas not to register as Rohingya, but Bengali.
Rohingyas responded by saying that the statements by Ye Htut are illegal and Rohingyas will participate in the census according to the census law. Today Myanmar presidential spokesman told the local media in Yangon that if a household claimed the term Rohingya, the enumerator will not register it, but will only register if the household claimed Bengali.
Many Rohingyas in Arakan State told RB News that they have been living in Arakan for many centuries and they are an indigenous ethnic group of Arakan State. They welcome the census, which starts on March 30th, after three decades since the last time one was taken. Many have said they won’t accept being forced to register as something which they are not. They have said they will not work with the enumerators if they will not register the term Rohingya. They will only answer the questions if the enumerators accepted the term Rohingya.
What was said by Ye Htut to the media was illegal and it was against the law. The census law article 16 (C) clearly said no one can threaten or persuade the people to write something in the census form.
Therefore, the Rohingyas are ready to answer according to the census law, but they will not answer if the term Rohingya is not allowed, many said even if they are threatened with guns.
The authorities are not only violating the census law, but they are collecting money from the Rohingyas in Arakan like robbers for census fees, even though the required funding for the census is sponsored by Myanmar government, UN and western countries.
Today the meeting with President Thein Sein and 63 political parties in Yangon was to negotiate for the peace in the country and to develop the economic in the nation. And also to dialogue with all parties for the nationwide ceasefires and peace in the country but the president didn’t even mention a word relating to the upcoming census.
However, Ye Htut had collaborated with the media to fuel the tension in Arakan state and told the media about the census which is not his business and his announcement was contradicted the law.