World Bulletin / News Desk
Buddhist leaders in Arakan, Myanmar, are set to meet in the coming days in the Arakan State capital, Sittwe, regarding a proposal that would see Rohingya Muslims detained in camps unless they can provide proof of their citizenship.
Than Tun, an Arakanese leader and a member of the state’s Emergency Coordination Committee, said a proposal would be sent to Myanmar president Thein Sein as Arakan State restarts a citizenship verification project for Muslims Rohingya, who they claim are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
“This proposal refers to all Bengalis who stay in Arakan, including both those who stay in villages and those in refugee camps. This proposal comes from Sittwe, but it will be presented from all Arakanese,” Than Tun told The Irrawaddy.
Than Tun, an Arakanese leader and a member of the state’s Emergency Coordination Committee, said said Than Tun, adding that both the Rohingya and their children who had been born in Arakan were “illegal settlers.”
A UN-backed Myanmar Census Observation Mission report issued on August 14 slammed the government for leaving the Rohingya, who are also denied citizenship from Bangladesh, out of a recent census, saying that the “resulting undercount will not only have a negative impact on the census results at the state and region levels but also at the national level if the missing population is not included, based on a proper count.”
About 140,000 people, mostly Muslims, live in temporary camps after fleeing their homes amid clashes between Arakanese Buddhists and Rohingya in mid-2012. About a million Rohingya are estimated to be living in Arakan State but are not counted among Myanmar's 135 official ethnic groups.
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