Ethnic Issues

100s Protest in Burma Against Voting Rights for Rohingya

By The Associated Press 11 February 2015

RANGOON — Hundreds of people have demonstrated in Rangoon, Burma’s biggest city, to protest a government decision to allow people without full citizenship, including members of the Rohingya ethnic minority, to vote in an upcoming constitutional referendum.

Most Muslim Rohingya are not citizens, and prejudice against them is high in the predominantly Buddhist nation.

Parliament is debating several constitutional amendments. It recently approved a proposal by President Thein Sein to allow people with temporary identification cards such as Rohingya to vote in a referendum planned for May.

Communal tensions have led to violence in recent years that left at least 280 people dead and 140,000 homeless, mostly Muslims confined to squalid camps in the western state of Arakan.

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