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Europe

SETTING

Myanmar President to Visit Europe in March 2013

Saturday, 23 February 2013  |  Super User
Myanmar President to Visit Europe in March 2013

Voice of Rohingya | 22 Feb 2013.


The president of Myanmar U Thein Sein will be on official Visit to the European countries from March 23 2013, state run daily news paper “The New light of Myanmar” announced.

 

The Myanmar president will travel to Norway, Finland, Austria, Italy and Belgium in what will be the first of his official overseas trips of 2013.

The latest invitations come following the relaxa...

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Norway slammed for silence on ‘stateless’ Rohingya

Saturday, 02 March 2013  |  Super User
Norway slammed for silence on ‘stateless’ Rohingya

The Norwegian government has been criticised for failing to pressure the Burmese government on the statelessness of the Rohingya minority during a landmark visit by President Thein Sein to the Scandinavian country this week.

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Education

SETTING

Education

Monday, 25 February 2013  |  Super User

Scholarship

 

 

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Scholarship

Monday, 25 February 2013  |  Rohingya Foundation

GUIDELINES

for applying for merit scholarship grants for Rohingya Students

 

Merit scholarship grants are intended to reward students for outstanding academic achievement in a regular degree program. Within the application period, students can apply for a merit scholarship grant for each academic year of their studies.

 

The applicable requirements for receiving a merit scholarship grant as well as det...

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Burma

SETTING

Who are the Rohingyas?

Saturday, 16 February 2013  |  Firdous
Who are the Rohingyas?

The Rohingyas are Muslims, living in western Burma’s (Myanmar) State called ARAKAN, Rohingya people are known as Arakani also.

 

Rohingya people have been living in the Arakan since the 7th Century (Which is part of Burma now). Arakan was ruled by many Muslim Kings. Experts say that the key to understanding the conflict lies in the unique history of Arakan, a medieval kingdom located at the edge of s...

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Pushed from Burma, Stateless Rohingya Flee by Boat

Monday, 18 February 2013  |  Firdous
Pushed from Burma, Stateless Rohingya Flee by Boat

The Voice of Rohingya- Monday, 18 February 2013
A large chunk of Abdul Rahman’s home is gone, and so is his oldest son, Shakur. The ethnic Rohingya farmer tore down nearly half his home for scrap needed to secure his son’s passage on a boat bound for Malaysia. In the wake of bloody sectarian violence last year that left hundreds dead and forced tens of thousands of minority Muslim Rohingya into cam...

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MP hits back at official denial of Rohingya

 

Voice of Rohingya- 23rd February 2013.


A member of parliament has fired back at claims that Rohingya Muslims do not exist in Burma, after a senior government minister allegedly accused the group of fabricating its history in a parliamentary discussion on Wednesday.

 

It follows media reports that the Deputy Immigration Minister, Kyaw Kyaw Win, on Wednesday formally denied the existence of a Rohingya race in Burma, referring to a stateless Muslim minority isolated near the Bangladeshi border.

But Shwe Maung, who is a native Rohingya, slammed the allegations, quoted in the English-language version of Burma’s state media outlet the New Light of Myanmar, as historically and factually inaccurate.

“We should not simply deny there are no Rohingya, if we do that it would be irresponsible, we need a study,” said the MP, who represents Buthidaung constituency in northern Arakan state.

Shwe Maung is one of only two Rohingya MPs in parliament, both of whom represent the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in Maungdaw district. In recent months, he has played an increasingly vocal role in defending the stateless minority, which is broadly viewed as “illegal Bengali immigrants” and denied citizenship by the government.

It follows two bouts of vicious sectarian clashes between Arakanese Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya in western Burma last year, which prompted senior politicians – many from the military and USDP – to call for the group to be exiled to a third country.

But Shwe Maung told DVB that he is leading a parliamentary initiative, along with two other MPs from Maungdaw district, to promote the rights of Rohingyas. He explained that they have called on the speaker of the lower house of parliament, Shwe Mann, to set up an investigative commission to establish whether or not Rohingyas exist in Burma.

“We [also] shared a separate report with our colleagues and MPs and I’ve received a lot of positive and constructive remarks,” he said. “We focused on the facts and documents, especially printed by government media and the ministry of information. Based on that most of the MPs are impressed and agree that there are Rohingya [in Burma].”

Shwe Maung cited historical research carried out prior to the British colonisation of Burma in 1824, which formally recognised some 30,000 “Rohingya” Muslims living in Arakan state. Both Burma’s first president and prime minister, Sao Shwe Thaik and U Nu respectively, reportedly recognised the Rohingya as one of the country’s “indigenous races”.

They were later stripped of their citizenship by former military dictator Ne Win.

“During my recent visit to Sittwe I have seen a lot of families with birth certificates with the ethnic name Rohingya, but still [some are] denying [them],” he said, dismissing allegations that “Bengalis” are migrating into Arakan state.

“People are not coming in, people are going out,” he said. “In [our language] Burmese Rakhine Muslims are called Rohingya – they are the Muslim people who live in Arakan.”

He also accused the English-version of the New Light of misrepresenting Wednesday’s parliamentary discussion.

“[Kyaw Kyaw Win] did not mention there is no Rohingya in Myanmar, but it appeared in the [English-language] media,” Shwe Muang.

In fact, the Burmese version of the New Light, quoted Kyaw Kyaw Win as saying “there have been cross-border relations since the ancient times”, although he added that Arakanese Muslims were not recognised as natives in the 1973 census. But many government representatives, including the President’s Office Director Zaw Htay, seized the opportunity to slate the Rohingya on social media.

Although Shwe Maung’s increasingly vocal activism represents a significant shift in the USDP’s notorious reputation for silencing dissent, some analysts question its implications for Burma’s political transition.

“I think it says more about the USDP, which is a party that people joined because it gave them a position of influence rather than a party with a particular ideology,” Mark Farmaner from Burma Campaign UK told DVB.

“I don’t think it says much about parliament, which is constitutionally almost powerless. I think it can give people a voice they didn’t have before; and some MPs are using that to represent their constituents whereas others are using it to promote their own self-interests.”

Farmaner added that it was “unfortunate” that Aung San Suu Kyi’s party – the National League for Democracy (NLD) – has still failed to come out more strongly on the Rohingya issue.

But Shwe Maung insists that he will continue to “carry the voices of his constituents” to parliament. He added that he is not necessarily pushing for Rohingyas to be recognized as “indigenous peoples” in Burma, but that their basic human rights must be respected.

“For the time being the most important thing is the people. People are living with a lack of food, they cannot move, they cannot access the market, they cannot access aid from the international community.”

More than 125,000 people, mostly from the Rohingya minority, were uprooted in last year’s violence and many are still denied humanitarian aid.

Clashes erupted late on Wednesday after extremist Buddhists set fire to several mosques

Clashes

Clashes erupted late on Wednesday after extremist Buddhists set fire to several mosques in the city of Meiktila. Police imposed an overnight curfew to control the situation, saying that at least three mosques had been destroyed. 

Read more: Clashes erupted late on Wednesday after extremist Buddhists set fire to several mosques

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