Published On: Sun, Jan 4th, 2015

The Rohingya Muslims and Myanmar

Rohingya Muslims
The Rohingya are a Muslim minority population living mainly in the state of Arakan, in Myanmar. Recently, the United Nations general assembly adopted a resolution urging Myanmar to grant citizenship to its Rohingya Muslims minority and grant them equal access to services.

The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution Monday urging Myanmar to provide “full citizenship” to its Rohingya Muslim minority and to allow them to move freely throughout the country.

The 1.3 million Rohingyas are denied citizenship under national law and are effectively stateless and have almost no rights. Myanmar authorities want to officially categorize them as “Bengalis,” implying they are illegal migrants from neighboring Bangladesh.

After Myanmar started a transition from dictatorship to democracy in 2011, newfound freedom of expression fanned the flames of hatred against the Rohingyas by the Buddhist majority. Violence by Buddhist mobs left up to 280 people dead ? most of them members of the religious minority ? and chased another 140,000 from their homes. The Rohingyas now live under apartheid-like conditions in camps or in restricted villages in Rakhine state.

The resolution, adopted by consensus, stressed the assembly’s “serious concern” about the government’s treatment of the Rohingyas, sending a strong message from the 193-member world body that the international community is united in wanting change in Myanmar’s treatment of its minorities.

The General Assembly urged the government to allow the Muslim minority to call itself Rohingya

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