Eth­nic Rakhine vil­lagers protest against fake IDS

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page - NAW BETTY HAN naw­bet­ty­han@mm­times.com

Eth­nic Rakhine vil­lagers com­plain that na­tional reg­is­tra­tion cards are be­ing is­sued to il­le­gal mi­grants and have called on the gov­ern­ment to ver­ify all of the cards is­sued since last year.

ETH­NIC Arakan and Ka­man res­i­dents in south­ern Rakhine State claim that thou­sands of il­le­gal mi­grants are ob­tain­ing cit­i­zen­ship cards through il­le­gal means.

The res­i­dents said that 3306 il­le­gal peo­ple from Bangladesh have ob­tained Na­tional Reg­is­tra­tion Cards in Ram­bre town­ship.

“Non-res­i­dents should not be get­ting cit­i­zen­ship cards iden­ti­fy­ing them as Ka­man (eth­nic Mus­lim res­i­dents). We sent a com­plaint let­ter to the (Myanmar) pres­i­dent’s of­fice,” U Tin Htoo Aung, chair­per­son of the Arakan Na­tional Net­work, told a re­cent press con­fer­ence in Yan­gon.

If the gov­ern­ment does noth­ing to stop this, it might lead to more il­le­gal mi­grants in the area, he added.

U Tin Htoo Aung said the au­thor­i­ties must ver­ify the au­then­tic­ity of cards that were is­sued be­tween De­cem­ber 2017 and Au­gust.

The Ka­man Na­tional Pro­gres­sive Party also said that Ka­man and Arakan eth­nic peo­ple ob­ject to im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties is­su­ing cards to 3306 peo­ple who claimed they were Ka­man de­scen­dents in Ram­bre.

“These peo­ple were given cards even though they are not Ka­man,” said U Tin Hlaing Win, party sec­re­tary.

The Ka­man Eth­nic Ap­praisal com­mit­tee was formed by order of U Thein Shwe, min­is­ter of So­cial Wel­fare, Re­lief and Re­set­tle­ment. There are about 40,000 eth­nic Ka­man in Myanmar, ac­cord­ing to the party. Eth­nic Ka­mans, ma­jor­ity of whom have been Mus­lims for hun­dreds of years, speak the same lan­guage as Rakhines and have very sim­i­lar cul­tural traits.

U Tin Maung Oo, an MP in the state par­lia­ment, sub­mit­ted a pro­posal to the state and Myanmar gov­ern­ments on Wed­nes­day call­ing for the ver­i­fi­ca­tion of Ka­man cit­i­zen­ship cards start­ing with num­ber 11/Ya­bana (N) in Kyauk Ni Maw vil­lage.

He said, “In Fe­bru­ary, I and a team from the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment went to the vil­lage to check re­ports by res­i­dents of fake Ka­man. We found that most of the peo­ple listed as eth­nic Ka­man were il­le­gal.”

U Thein Shwe said on Wed­nes­day that the Ka­man cit­i­zen­ship cards were prop­erly is­sued, but of­fi­cials will re-check them in Kyauk Ni Maw.

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