Rohingyas Refuse to Take Part in Prejudiced Census
By Rohingya Mirror
Maungdaw, Arakan State (Rohingya Vision) – The Rohingya people in Maungdaw Township have been refusing to take part in the prejudiced census being conducted by the Burmese (Myanmar) authorities against its population since early this January, the local sources.
The census locally known as ‘Swe Tin Sit’ was, unlike the normal census in a country, is a bigoted one especially coined by the now-disbanded ‘Nasaka’ department (the former Border Security Force) to reduce the population of the Rohingyas on different pretext. It has been being implemented and conducted against the Rohingya population twice a year since early 1990s.
Similarly, this time, the departments responsible for the on-going census – the Border Guard Police (BGP) and the Makapha (the anti-illegal immigration squad) – are forcing Rohingyas to accept ‘Bengali’ (instead of their own ethnic identity) as their ethnic identity.
Besides, it has been reported that the authorities have made procedures too stringent for the local Rohingyas to register their new-born babies in the ‘Family Registration List.’ The following documents are made necessary for the Rohingya new-born babies to be registered.
- Birth Certificates
- Testimonials from the village administrations
- Testimonial from Health Centre/Clinic
- Police Recommendations
- Copies of Parents’ Marriage Certificate
- The Biographies of the parents
- Witnesses by two Real Relatives
- Witnesses by four neighbours
- Copies of Family Registration lists
The babies of those parents that cannot meet these requirements will subsequently be black-listed.
“Looking at the requirements we need to register our new-born babies, one can safely conclude that they are conducting this sort of census since decades are just to decrease our population. This kind of the census is not implemented against Rakhine or any other ethnic people but only us. Hence, obviously, it is a part of ethnic cleansing implemented by the government for decades.
Besides, the authorities have forced the people that took part in the census to wear a banner with ‘Bengali’ written on it in their necks. So, we are peacefully refusing to take part in such a bigoted census,” said an elderly Rohingya in Maungdaw.
Till date, the authorities have conducted the census at the villages in northern Maungdaw such as ‘Ngakura (Nagpura), Kyein Chaung (Boli Bazaar) and Kamauk Seik’ and at ‘Inn Din (Aan Daang)’ village in southern Maungdaw. Only few families have come up for the census.
It is expected that the authorities will continue to conduct the bigoted census against Rohingyas in Buthidaung and Rathedaung Townships soon.
[Edited by M.S. Anwar]
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