Limiting Myanmar’s Rohingya?

The Rohingya Muslims of Myamnar have been described as some of the world’s least wanted, and most persecuted, people. Now, a government-appointed commission has declared that their rapidly growing population represents a serious threat that makes ethnic Buddhists feel insecure. Hundreds of people have been killed, and many Muslim villages burned down, in communal violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state over the past year.

Rights groups have accused the government of an organised campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya, and now, local officials have limited family size in the townships of Buthidaung and Maundaw to two children and banned polygamy.  The restrictions will apply only to Rohingya Muslims, and not to any other ethnic group. They have been classified as stateless since 1982, and last July, the government did not include them on an official list of 135 recognised ethnic groups.

That means they cannot claim Myanmar citizenship, they cannot travel without permission, they cannot own land, and now, some of them cannot have more than two children.

Watch an AlJazeera special on the issue here, in which they discuss whether it is a violation of human rights or a justifiable means to maintain security.


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