Who Are Rohingyas; Why They Are Stateless

September 13, 2017 2:43 pm0 commentsViews: 27

The Rohingyas are stateless people living in Rakhine State of Myanmar. They were stripped of citizenship in 1982 under the 1982 Burmese citizenship law following unable to prove their forefathers lived in the country before 1823. They practice Sunni Islam and are historically termed as Arakanese Indians. They have restrictions on freedom of movement, civil service jobs and state education as well.

Fresh violence, following military crackdowns in 1978, 1991-1992, 2012, 2015 and 2016-17, the descendants of Arab traders fled in tens and thousands to neighboring Bangladesh.

Myanmar ended democracy in 1962 and this led to the official non-recognition of the Rohingas too citing they are from Bangladesh.

However, it is interesting to know that the East India Company allowed migration of Rohingyans of Bangladesh to Arakan in the early 19th century who were seeking work. In 1872 the British census reported 58,255 Muslims in Akyab District. The population increased to 178,647 in 1911 and the main reason was requirement of cheap labor to work in the paddy fields.

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