Burma: Hardline Buddhists protest citizenship for Rohingya


Burma: Hardline Buddhists protest citizenship for Rohingya
  1. Burma: Hardline Buddhists protest citizenship for Rohingya
    asiancorrespondent.com
    HUNDREDS of hardline Buddhists in Rakhine state took to the streets on Sunday in protest of government plans to give citizenship to members of the Rohingya Muslim minority community. The post Burma: Hardline Buddhists protest citizenship for Rohingya appeared first on Asian…
    Politics

HUNDREDS of hardline Buddhists in Rakhine state took to the streets on Sunday in protest of government plans to give citizenship to members of the Rohingya Muslim minority community.

According to the Associated Press, via Bangkok Post, Rakhine state’s dominant Arakan National Party led the protest in the state capital, Sittwe, where religious violence broke out in 2012 forcing thousands of Rohingya to flee their home.

“We are protesting to tell the government to rightfully follow the 1982 citizenship law and we cannot allow the government giving citizenship cards to these illegal migrants,” protest organiser Aung Htay said.

Under the 1982 law, Burma does not recognise the ethnic minority as one of the national races.

The protest was in response to a suggestion by the Rakhine Advisory Commission, a group set up to propose solutions to the Rakhine state problems, for the Burmese government to reconsider a failed programme to verify Rohingya for citizenship.

SEE ALSO: Burma: Rights group urges prompt action over Rakhine state report

The nine-member panel, led by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, also suggested the government immediately start letting the Rohingya return home and ultimately close rundown camps for the displaced in its western Rakhine state.

More than 120,000 people, mostly Rohingya, have been living in what were meant as temporary shelters for internally displaced persons (IDPs) since bouts of communal violence roiled the state in 2012.

“It’s really about time they close the camps and allow the people in the camps, particularly those who have gone through the (citizenship) verification process, access to freedom of movement and all rights of citizenship,” Annan told Reuters.

Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s commitment to improving the plight of the Rohingya community has been called into question by many abroad. Suu Kyi has often chosen to remain silent on the issue and has at times defended the actions of the military in their brutal crackdown.

SEE ALSO: Amid mounting criticism, is Aung San Suu Kyi still a noble Nobel winner?

On Thursday, however, Suu Kyi’s office issued a statement declaring the government’s support of the commission’s findings and state…

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