Govt Spokesman Rejects Calls for Rohingya Citizenship

Minister of Information and spresident’s spokesperson Ye Htut. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

Minister of Information and spresident’s spokesperson Ye Htut. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — A spokesperson for President Thein Sein took to social media on Saturday to reject recommendations that Rohingya Muslims be granted a path to citizenship.

“Our government’s stance is that we wholly reject use of the term ‘Rohingya’. We will grant citizenship rights to Bengali people who have stayed within the boundary of Rakhine [Arakan] State based on the 1982 Citizenship Law,” read a Facebook post shared by Minister of Information Ye Htut, using the government’s preferred term to refer to the stateless minority.

“We will not grant the right of citizenship if it is not suitable to the 1982 law, even when there is pressure on us. This is our own sovereign power. There are laws in America and Britain and other Western countries about the right to grant citizenship. If it is not suitable to the rule of law in their countries, they do not grant citizenship.”

The minister’s comments were made in the wake of the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review, a comprehensive human rights examination comprising recommendations from foreign governments, rights groups and civil society.

The Burmese government rejected more than half of the review’s 281 recommendations, including all those related to restoring civil and political rights to the country’s stateless Rohingya Muslim minority, estimated to be 1.1 million people overwhelmingly concentrated in northern Arakan State.

6 Responses to Govt Spokesman Rejects Calls for Rohingya Citizenship

  1. Even though I am not a great fan of the current ruling party , I commend them on the strong stance they have taken with regard to the Rohingya problem. It is entirely correct to say that they do not have a right to enjoy citizenship just because they make a lot of noise and are supported by both well meaning islamic groups who may not necessarily be well informed and also by extremist groups and news media who come up with their own interpretations.

    The Gypsies in Europe and other parts of the world are very good comparisons where they live and roam in the countries they reside in – but they are not necessarily accorded special rights or citizenship- and they are just happy to lead a peaceful coexistence with their host country. They may be shunned or looked down and discriminated against but the rest of the world accepts that , albeit making some noise here and there, but in general – the gypsies themselves don’t make a fuss about it.

    So- I don’t understand why the western media and NGOs and others have to keep pressuring the Burmese authorities to grant these Squatters of international status any special privileges. Yes I agree they should be left alone, if necessary monitored and dare I say – controlled? – But they should not be persecuted though.

    For those with past status and records to show or prove their longstanding existence in Burma and based on the 1982 laws, – yes they may be accorded a permit to live and work to the point of a permanant resident but not necessarily a citizenship by default.

    As a person from a minority ethnic group I am aware that there are many “Original” ethnic inhabitants of Burma from the many diverse ethnic groups who still wander around with no proper documents let alone citizenship, and if anything were to be done , these people who are internally displaced, deserves the priority for recognition compared to external / aliens who had come to seek refuge in Burma , whether by coercion , forced labour through the actions of the British centuries ago – or by their own choice for security and well being as economic refugees in more recent times.

    I would therefore like to support and urge the present outgoing government to stick to their guns to strictly control this External alien refugee problem and not to submit to the pressures from the international communities and also for the incoming new government to continue maintaining this strict supervision.

    As Mr Ye Htut states- Each country has it’s own rules and regulations regarding citizenship and also for granting that sacred citizenship to any newcomer who deserves it.
    The extra burden of scrutinizing these aliens and screening them to assure that they are worthy to be citizens, permanent residents, stay permit holders etc.. is the tedious task the authorities would have to take on , but – certainly we do not need to keel over and oblige external and international pressure on this matter of granting citizenship at the drop of the hat.

    Concerned Scarag

  2. Yes, Mr. Ye Htut , you are absolutely correct. It is better not to correspond at all if the term Rohigya is used since we do not recognize the name.

  3. I am no fan of Burmese government, but I support Thein Sein government’s stance/policy on so called ‘Rohynja’ problem.

    Burmese government should ask any government that pressure to give citizenship to ‘Rohynja’ people, they should instead give them asylum if they worry about ‘Rohynja’ people.

    Burmese government must never consider any ethnic groups that is not recognized as one of the existing 135 races.

  4. Yes, Mr information minister, I know that you have sovereign power to do everything according to your feeble mind but you know that the history cannot be obliterated and also the the history doesn’t forget and forgive none and it runs on its own way, doesn’t go to the zigzag way, doesn’t know sovereign power and it has own tide. So if you’re one of the fundamental burmis nation, you never follow the Rakhine nation who came from Bangladesh and who want to destroy your own culture, civilization and the fundamental burmis nation. If you follow them, you will fail in the political field as you can measure in the past. The mercy has more omnipotence than the sovereign power. Hope you have understood the matter.

  5. This is recycled joke Burmese and Rakhine singing since 1962 coup. The British settlers’ rule in Autralia and South Africa have never been able to disqualify citizens of aborigines of the soil though systematically enslaved, persecuted and marginalized and deprived for centuries. Similarly, the ancestral sons of Rohang (Today’s Arakan) known as Rohingya might be wandering helplessly country to country at the moment but their right and victory can’t be denied forever. The regime being ruler can brand them as illegal immigrant/infiltrator/peasant laborer/gypsy and many more at wish and at whim, however if you smell the land, your nose will tell you Rohingyas are inhabitants of Arakan. If you listen the leaves of the trees, you ear will tell you The Rohingyas are owner of the land. If you look at the mountain, your eyes will tell you Rohingyas have taken care of them for generations. Dispossessing the entire Rohingya people while possessing their land by force is injustice. It is called land-grabbing. How many original Burmese still residents of Arakan when claiming it is a land belongs to Burma? ZZZZZZZZZZEEEEEERRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOO which means the soil does not belong Burma.

  6. Absolutely a 100% agree with U Thein Sein Government stance on this issue. I am not a fan of USDP government but on this issue I am very proud of them for standing up firm and strong against all kinds of the US , the west and the UN pressures given to the myanmar government. The UN and the US and the West are trying to placate the OIC coutry members for their own self interests at the expenses of myanmar national security. The people of myanmar did not vote for USDP resulting their embarassing lost in the recent election but they are all standing behind the USDP government on this issue. The future NLD Government , if they are smart and intelligent, they will follow the same stance on this issue. There is nothing anyone from outside can do at all if all the myanmar people including various bonafide ethnic people are united against the invasion of so called rohingers bengali, illegal migrannt from the neighbouring Bangladash who are plotting and planning to carve out the western part of Arakan Statae of Myanmar and trying to establish an independent islamic state , a proxy goverment to Bangladash. They are supported in many ways by some OIC countries and various muslim organisations. Look at the recent shameless and cowardly act of carnage of innocent people in Paris , France and in Mali, Africa. Myanmar people and the Myanmar Country will never allow that to happen like that in Myanmar at any times. I am seeing daily news about the gross lies and fabrications about the so called rohingers bengali histoty and news in the western media written by muslim synpathisers and people from OIC country members, duping to the people of the US and the West. Fully aware that these media receiving donations and funding from some of the OIC country members and some muslim organisations.

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