Rohingyas: Internally disowned persons

Source: the Nation (Pakistan)

Published on Feb. 15, 2017, 11 a.m.

Rohingyas, the people from a Muslim ethnic group in the Rakhine province of Myanmar (Burma), have aptly been described as ‘the most persecuted minority in the world’ by the UN. The way they are being persecuted is simply unprecedented in the recent world history. First, they were instantly reduced to the status of a stateless nation by the Burmese government through some arbitrary and inhumane citizenship laws. Thus they were made aliens in their own country. For a long time, they have been bitterly persecuted by country’s Buddhist majority group. At present, they are facing a full-fledged state-sponsored ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Myanmar. So now these stateless and homeless Rohingyas are helplessly trying to find a refuge in various Southeast Asian countries.

 

No municipal or international law has yet determined or otherwise defined their status on this planet. Completely denying basic citizenship rights to them, Myanmar’s 1982 citizenship law reduced the status of the Rohingya population to ‘stateless entities’. Ever since, they have been living in apartheid-like conditions in Myanmar. It is quite unfortunate that, despite having lived in Burma for generations, the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have yet not been formally naturalised by the Myanmar government. This practice is absolutely inconsistent with the recognised rules of naturalisation in the contemporary civilised world...

Mohsin Raza Malik

Opinion paper

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