By Saeed Arakani | April 1, 2017
Kyauktaw — The Rohingya community in Kyauktaw unanimously rejected the NV Cards also known as the National Verification Cards on Thursday (Mar 30) after their compatriots in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Sittwe (Akyab) Townships, it has been reported.
The Mrauk-U District Immigration Chief, U Myint Thein; the Kyauktaw Township Administrator and Immigration Chief; and other administrative bodies held a meeting with the local Rohingyas at the village of ‘Khong Touk’ locally known as ‘Hondol’ in Kyauktaw at around 12:00 noon regarding the issue of the NV Card.
During the meeting, the authorities lured the locals to accept the NV Cards. The District Immigration Chief U Myint Thein said “if you take NV Card, you can travel and do all other things. You can apply for citizenship, too, after receiving the NV Cards.”
Meanwhile, an elderly Rohingya man stood up and said “the 1982 Citizenship Law has nothing to do with us. It’s not for us. We were one of the indigenous groups even before the establishment of 1982 Citizenship Law.” As he continued to express his views, the authorities abruptly stopped him and insulted him “are you a lawyer or something? You don’t need to be a busybody. So, be quiet.”
Then, the authorities asked the remaining people in the meeting if they wanted to accept the NV Cards, to which all of the people unanimously replied ‘NO.’
Before leaving the meeting at 1:30 pm, the authorities did try to coax the people saying “those who have National Registration Cards (NRCs) can apply for the Citizenship Cards. Those who don’t have NRCs must accept the NV Cards.” But the people present didn’t seem interested in the inducement.
The Rohingya people as a whole categorically reject the NVC as it is meant to issue to the foreigners recently arrived in Myanmar and valid for only two years. Therefore, accepting these cards will automatically deprive the Rohingya people of their indigenous status with the identity ‘Rohingya,’ disqualify their citizenship rights by birth and deny them their full rights as citizens.
The Myanmar authorities have severely restricted Rohingya movements and access to their livelihoods since March 19 for refusing to accept the NV Cards in order to force them cease their resistance against the NV Cards.
[Edited by M.S. Anwar]
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