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What is the actual population of Rohingyas?
by Rohingya Human Rights
2009-04-24 08:57:11
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In its Briefing Paper No. 2, 2009 dated 26 March 2009, the Brussels based Euro-Burma Office stated : ' in international circles it (Rohingya) is generally used to denote the Muslim community in the three townships of northern Arakan State – Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung – bordering Bangladesh.'
 
Regarding the population of Rohingyas the EBO Briefing Paper said: 'Today, they number about 800,000 in Arakan State and are classified by the SPDC government as a foreign Bengali Muslim community. In the past, some have estimated up to 2 million Muslims in Arakan State. There are also large Rohingya refugee populations overseas. It is estimated that there are 500,000 Rohingyas living in Saudi Arabia, 200,000 in Pakistan, 200,000 in Bangladesh,  50,000 in the United Arab Emirates and 25,000 in Malaysia'.
 
In fact, the above statement of the EBO Briefing Paper does not present the actual population picture of the Rohingyas.
 
The actual population of Rohingya is estimated to be about 3.5 million out of which about two millions still live in Burma and the rest 1.5 million Rohingyas live in exile mostly as undocumented refugees. And as shown in the EBO Briefing Paper, it is not only the three townships of northern Arakan State – Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung, where the Rohingyas mainly live, there are many other townships of Arakan State where there is a large Rohingya population like Sittwe (Akyab), the capital city of Arakan State, Kyawktaw, Kyawk Phyu, Paletwa etc and different other parts of Burma.
 
With regards to the actual population of Rohingyas in Bangladesh and Pakistan, it is, in reality, at least double of the figure shown in the statement. The population figure shown in the EBO statement is same as the statement of the Rohingya Patriotic Front (RPF) which was issued over two decades back. So, there is every reason to believe that the figure has gone much higher over the last two decades.
 
In fact, the Rohingyas are a hidden population of Burma. The Burmese military regime does not recognize the existence of the Rohingyas in Burma even though the democratic government of U Nu granted local autonomy to the Rohingyas and declared establishment of the Mayu Frontier Administration (MFA), a special frontier district ruled directly by the central government in the year 1961, May 30, which was abolished in 1964, on February 1, by Gen. Ne Win after he seized power from U Nu.
 
However, since the takeover of Gen. Ne Win in 1962, the military regime has been pursuing a systematic ethnic cleansing policy to turn Arakan into a 'Rohingyaless' land. Several genocidal operations have been conducted against them like that of 1978 and 1991 / 92. They have been denied some of the most basic human rights — no citizenship, no freedom of movement, no marriage without permission. Since 1988, the Government has permitted only 3 marriages per year per village in the primary Rohingya townships of Buthidaung and Maungdaw in northern Arakan State. Later the Government extended this edict to other townships of the Arakan.
 
In fact, the serious restriction on the marriage of Rohingya have been imposed as a part of the genocidal policy of the Burmese regime which is aimed to reduce the Rohingya population in Arakan and thus change the ethnic demography of the Rohingyas.
  
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Full of distorts2011-03-21 17:24:56
This is exaggeration and full of distorts. People so called Rohingya are Bengali speaking muslims, actually, they are Bengali, recent immigrant from East Pakistan who want to establish muslim autonomy in Burma.


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