(Narinjara, March14 , 2014 ) / Myochit Khine ( kyaukphyu)
Protesting against some ‘Bengali’ people’s initiative to change their titles in the nation-wide Burmese census, many city dwellers of Kyauk Pru in Arakan have decided to demonstrate their resentments.
The central Burma government has planned to conduct the nation-wide population census starting on March 30 to culminate on April 10 next. It would be the first Burmese census in three decades as a national census was conducted earlier in 1983.
U Thanda Maung, a community leader of Kyauk Pru, informed that the angry residents have applied for permission for the demonstration. U Kyaw Than, a community leader from Pip Sake ward has already written to the city police on March 11 asking for the permission.
“If we get the permission from the relevant authority, we will stage the demonstration on March 16 next,” said U Thanda Maung. Besides Kyauk Pru, similar demonstrations are expected in many other parts of Arakan on the same day.
Talking about the controversy, the community leader explained that the name/term of Rohingya remained a matter of controversy, as the Burmese people in general do not recognize them as an indigenous community of Burma.
He also added that they were trying to insist on preventing anybody to put different titles in the household assessment list. According to the Code 16 (B) of Household Law, which is prepared by the Burmese Immigration Ministry, no name unless it is identical to any ethnic groups of the country, is legalized to put in the assessment list.
The Burmese immigration & population minister Khin Yi had recently announced that ‘if one says he or she is Rohingya while answering queries during the national census 2014, the answer will be recorded’. But he or she may not be recognized as a citizen of Burma. Because Rohingya is not included in the list of 135 ethnic communities of Myanmar designated. In the census, there will be no codename for Rohingya, asserted the minister.
The proposed rally should include 10 monks, 110 men and 30 women which is scheduled to start from the southern Bayargyi yard and then march through the Bayargyi monastery street, Market street and Bochoke street.
“We are expecting the permission soon,” revealed U Thanda Maung adding that the government normally allows the peaceful and non-violent demonstrations. But even though it would depend on the authority’s will, concluded the community leader.