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Offline mayya

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Myanmar losses 9 million in census, Rohingyas denied recognition
« on: September 01, 2014, 22:26:19 PM »
published: 02:44 september 1, 2014 >> updated : 04:07 september 1, 2014

Myanmar losses 9 million in census, Rohingyas denied recognition


Tribune Desk
Conducted with help from the UN Population Fund, the census was carried out from March 30 to April 10

Myanmar’s first exercise to determine the size and composition of its population in over 30 years has produced worrying results, with 9 million people missing.

Figures extrapolated from the last census in 1983 estimated the current population to be in the neighbourhood of 60 million people.

But the new census in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, showed the country had just 51.42 million people.

The country’s state-run media announced the preliminary results on Friday, saying complete results, expected to include detailed information about religious and ethnic minorities, would be released next year.

Conducted with help from the UN Population Fund, the census was carried out from March 30 to April 10.

Correspondents said the poll ran smoothly everywhere except Rakhine state in the west of the country, and Kachin state in the north.

Rakhine’s long-persecuted 800,000 member Muslim minority were denied the right to identify themselves as “Rohingya,” Al Jazeera reported.

In parts of Kachin state controlled by rebels, some people were not counted, the AP news agency reported.
Question number eight on ethnicity was the most controversial on the census.

Rejecting UN calls to include
“Rohingya” as an option in the questionnaire, the 41-question census offered 135 possible ethnic identities to choose from, but Rohingya was not one of them.

Myanmar contends that Rohingyas are illegal migrants from Bangladesh and calls them “Bengalis.”
The UN has said everyone in Myanmar ought to be allowed to choose their own ethnicity and has described the Rohingyas as the most persecuted minority in the world.

Myanmar officials told Muslim Rohingya they must identify themselves as Bengali or they would not be registered.

The Myanmar government views Rohingyas as immigrants and denies them citizenship.
The Rohingya say they are part of Myanmar and claim they are being persecuted by the state.
Buddhist hostility towards Rohingyas has come to a head in recent years, leading to full-scale violence in 2012 that depopulated Rohingya settlements in Rakhine state and contributed to a growing refugee crisis.

Violence has continued and international aid agencies working in the state came under attack last week.

The ethnicity question on the census proved to be a flash point in the ethnically fractured province, with Buddhist Rakhines pledging to boycott the poll if the Rohingya ethnicity was recognised on the census.

“If a household wants to identify themselves as ‘Rohingya’, we will not register it,” the BBC reported government spokesman Ye Htut as saying.






http://www.dhakatribune.com/foreign-affairs/2014/sep/01/myanmar-losses-9-million-census-rohingyas-denied-recognition