07 September 2017

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21 Facts about Rohingya Muslims What is the Identity of Rohingya Muslims

21 Facts about Rohingya Muslims What is the Identity of Rohingya Muslims

The Rohingya are often described as "the world's most persecuted minority".
Since the 1970s, a number of crackdowns on the Rohingya in Rakhine State have forced hundreds of thousands to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, as well as Malaysia, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. During such crackdowns, refugees have often reported rape, torture, arson and murder by Myanmar security forces

State Chancellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who is the de facto leader of Myanmar, has refused to really discuss the plight of the Rohingya. Aung San Suu Kyi and her government do not recognize the Rohingya as an ethnic group

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate does not have control over the military but has been criticized for her failure to condemn indiscriminate force used by troops, as well as to stand up for the rights of the more than one million Rohingya in Myanmar.

The international community has labelled the Rohingya the "most persecuted minority in the world".

The UN, as well as several rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have consistently decried the treatment of the Rohingya by Myanmar and neighboring countries.

The UN has said that it is "very likely" that the military committed grave human rights abuses in Rakhine that may amount to war crimes

The Rohingya people are historically also termed Arakanese Indians are a stateless
Indo-Aryan people from Rakhine State, Myanmar. There were an estimated 1 million Rohingya living in Myanmar. As of September 2017, nearly half of them have fled to other countries.
They are an ethnic Muslim group who have lived for centuries in the majority Buddhist Myanmar. The majority are Muslim while a minority are Hindu.
Due to Arakan's proximity to Bengal, it is relatively more influenced by Indian culture than other parts of Burma and Southeast Asia. Buddhism and Hinduism spread to Arakan from ancient Bengal. Arakan and the southeastern part of Bengal (now Chittagong Division in Bangladesh) were often ruled by the same dynasties, including the Chandra dynasty and kings of Mrauk U.

According to many Historians Muslims have lived in the area now known as Myanmar since as early as the 12th century.

The East India Company extended the Bengal Presidency to Arakan. There was no international boundary between Bengal and Arakan and no restrictions on migration between the regions.
The British census of 1872 reported 58,255 Muslims in Akyab District. By 1911, the Muslim population had increased to 178,647. The waves of migration were primarily due to the requirement of cheap labour from British India to work in the paddy fields. Immigrants from Bengal, mainly from the Chittagong region, "moved en masse into western townships of Arakan". Indian immigration to Burma was a nationwide phenomenon, not just restricted to Arakan.

The Rohingya speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, a dialect that is distinct to others spoken in Rakhine State and throughout Myanmar. They are not considered one of the country's 135 official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.

Jacques P. Leider states that in precolonial sources, the term Rohingya (in the form Rooinga) appears in a text written by Francis Buchanan-Hamilton. In his 1799 article "A Comparative Vocabulary of Some of the Languages Spoken in the Burma Empire", Hamilton stated: "I shall now add three dialects, spoken in the Burma Empire, but evidently derived from the language of the Hindu nation. The first is that spoken by the Mohammedans, who have long settled in Arakan, and who call themselves Rooinga, or natives of Arakan. “The word Rohingya means "inhabitant of Rohang", which was the early Muslim name for Arakan

Aye Chan, a historian from Kanda University of International Studies in Japan, states that though Muslims have lived long in Arakan, the term Rohingya was created by descendants of Bengalis in the 1950s who had migrated into Arakan during colonial times. He also says the term cannot be found in any historical source in any language before the 1950s

The Arakan Rohingya National Organization has said, "Rohingyas have been living in Arakan from time immemorial," referring to the area now known as Rakhine.

Majority Rohingya in Myanmar live in the western coastal state of Rakhine and are not allowed to leave without government permission. It is one the poorest states in the country with ghetto-like camps and a lack of basic services and opportunities.

Historian Thant Myint-U writes: "At the beginning of the 20th century, Indians were arriving in Burma at the rate of no less than a quarter million per year. The numbers rose steadily until the peak year of 1927, immigration reached 480,000 people, with Rangoon exceeding New York City as the greatest immigration port in the world. This was out of a total population of only 13 million; it was equivalent to the United Kingdom today taking 2 million people a year." By then, in most of the largest cities in Burma, Yangon, Sittwe, Pathein and Mawlamyine, the Indian immigrants formed a majority of the population. The Burmese under the British rule felt helpless, and reacted with a "racism that combined feelings of superiority and fear".

The impact of immigration was particularly acute in Arakan, one of less populated regions. The Rakine saw themselves as made a minority in their own land by Indian immigration with complaints being made all of the jobs and land were going to the Rohingyas.In 1939, the British authorities, alert to the long-term animosity between the Rakhine Buddhists and the Muslims, formed a special Investigation Commission led by James Ester and Tin Tut to study the issue of Muslim immigration into the Arakan. The commission recommended securing the border; however, with the onset of World War II, the British retreated from Arakan

Several Arakanese Indians were elected to Burmese native seats in the Legislative Council of Burma and Legislature of Burma. During the Burmese general election, 1936, Advocate U Pho Khaine was elected from Akyab West and Gani Markan was elected from Maungdaw-Buthidaung. In 1939, U Tanvy Markan was elected from Maungdaw-Buthidaung. Their elections in the Burmese native category set them apart from immigrant Indian legislators.

According to Human Rights Watch [HRW]=
During the more than 100 years of British rule (1824-1948), there was a significant amount of migration of labourers to what is now known as Myanmar from today's India and Bangladesh. Because the British administered Myanmar as a province of India, such migration was considered internal

The migration of labourers was viewed negatively by the majority of the native population.
After independence, the government viewed the migration that took place during British rule as "illegal, and it is on this basis that they refuse citizenship to the majority of Rohingya," HRW said in a 2000 report.This has led many Buddhists to consider the Rohingya as Bengali, rejecting the term Rohingya as a recent invention, created for political reasons.

Shortly after Myanmar's independence from the British in 1948, the Union Citizenship Act was passed, defining which ethnicities could gain citizenship. According to a 2015 report by the International Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School, the Rohingya were not included. The act, however, did allow those whose families had lived in Myanmar for at least two generations to apply for identity cards.

Rohingya were initially given such identification or even citizenship under the generational provision. During this time, several Rohingya also served in parliament.

In 1982, a new citizenship law was passed, which effectively rendered the Rohingya stateless. Under the law, Rohingya were again not recognized as one of the country's 135 ethnic groups.

The law established three levels of citizenship. In order to obtain the most basic level (naturalized citizenship), there must be proof that the person's family lived in Myanmar prior to 1948, as well as fluency in one of the national languages. Many Rohingya lack such paperwork because it was either unavailable or denied to them.

As a result of the law, their rights to study, work, travel, marry, practice their religion and access health services have been and continue to be restricted. The Rohingya cannot vote and even if they jump through the citizenship test hoops, they have to identify as "naturalized" as opposed to Rohingya, and limits are placed on them entering certain professions like medicine, law or running for office.

In November 2016, a UN official accused the government of carrying out "ethnic cleansing" of Rohingya Muslims. It was not the first time such an accusation has been made.

In April 2013, HRW said Myanmar was conducting a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya. The government has consistently denied such accusations.

According to the most recently available data from the United Nations in May, more than 168,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since 2012.
Following violence that broke out last year, more than 87,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh from October 2016 to July 2017, according to the International Organization for Migration.

In February 2017, the UN published a report that found that government troops "very likely" committed crimes against humanity since renewed military crackdowns began in October 2016.
The country has also denied visas to members of a UN probe investigating the violence and alleged abuses in Rakhine.

nearly half a million Rohingya refugees living in mostly makeshift camps in Bangladesh. The majority remain unregistered.
Bangladesh considers most of those who have crossed its borders and are living outside of camps as having "illegally infiltrated" the country. Bangladesh has often tried to prevent Rohingya refugees from crossing its border.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), formerly known as the al-Yaqeen Faith Movement, released a statement under its new name in March 2017, saying it was obligated to "defend, salvage and protect the Rohingya community".

Aung San Suu Kyi remains an immensely popular figure in Myanmar, where 90 percent of the population is Buddhist and the military still wields enormous power. But her role in shielding the army from scrutiny in Rakhine has tarnished her global reputation, even prompting a letter from 13 Nobel laureates upbraiding her for failing to protect the rights of the Rohingya

20- India and Rohingya Muslims –
BJP government in India said that Rohingya Muslims who have entered India to escape violence in their country have to go back.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju declared: "They (Rohingyas) are illegal immigrants in India." Rijiju said they would be deported to Myanmar.The Rohingya Muslims fled to India after violence in the western Rakhine state of Myanmar.
Around 14,000 Rohingya living in the country are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, while about 40,000 are said to be staying illegally.

The Ministry had directed the States to conduct surveys and prepare to deport them in a “continuous manner”. Its advisory (No. 24013/29/Misc./2017-CSR.III(i)) of August 8 said the State governments were also told that the “powers to identify and deport the foreign nationals staying illegally in the country” had been delegated to them, and that they should “sensitize all law enforcement and intelligence agencies” to the risk from Rohingya.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, counsel for two Rohingya, Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, made a plea to “protect their life and liberty” in Supreme Court of India
The court posted the matter for hearing on September 11.

Since late 1970s, nearly one million Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar due to widespread persecution.
Myanmar -140,000 Rohingya IDPs withing Rakhine State

Rohingya Muslims leaving outside Myanmar-
1-Saudi Arabia – 200,00
2-UAE -  10,000
3-Pakistan – 350,000
4-Bangladesh – 625,000
5-Malaysia – 150.000
6-India – 40,000
7-Thailand – 5000
8-Indonesia – 1000

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

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