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Rohingyas with NRCs Might Have Suffrage in Upcoming Elections

By Rohingya Mirror

Kyauktaw, Arakan State (Rohingya Vision) — (Rohingya) Muslims holding National Registration Cards (NRCs) might have the suffrage in the upcoming election in Myanmar on November 8, says Rakhine State Election Commission.

The Rakhine State EC has ordered the respective district and township election commissions to list down the numbers of (Rohingya) Muslims holding the NRCs also known as ‘Three-Folds Cards.’ Starting from Kyauktaw Township, the village administrators have been listing down the numbers of Rohingyas with NRCs under the direction of the township administrations.

However, a local Rohingya with NRC said “the government has barred our MP candidates from contesting in the upcoming election. They have banned our brothers and sisters holding white cards from voting in the election. They are only allowing those few people still able to retain the NRCs in their hands.

Therefore, we will not at all vote in the election either.”

The authorities are listing down the numbers of Rohingyas with NRCs only in Kyauktaw Township so far. They haven’t started same process in other townships yet.

The Burmese government issued the National Registration Cards (NRCs) equally to citizens of Burma post 1950 according to the 1948 Citizenship Acts. That is the only card that everyone held as his/her ID Card.

Post 1990s, the former Myanmar Junta upgraded the citizenship status of Bamas and all other ethnic people except for Rohingya  by issuing Citizenship Cards know as Pink Cards. On the other hand, the government not only failed to upgrade the citizenship status of Rohingyas like others but also slowly confiscated or destroyed the NRC cards from their hands. Although many Rohingyas were systematically dispossessed of the NRC cards, thousands of them still have NRC cards in their hands.

Coming to late 1990s and early 2000s, ‘White Cards (Temporary Identification Cards)” were issued to them. The government again confiscated the White Cards by last March and now has started to issue them the so-called Green Cards. From Indigenous ethic group, citizens, nationals to foreigners.

Today, they don’t even have the right to participate in the election for parliamentarian seats nor have they right to vote in the election. The citizenship status of Rohingyas in Myanmar (Burma) is simply backsliding.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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