(Photo: Sittwe Rohingya Resident)
Sittwe, Arakan -- The Minister for Immigration and Population had a meeting with local Rohingya residents from Sittwe on Monday. According to the local Rohingyas who attended the meeting, the minister threatened them.
On February 17, 2014 the Minister met 47 Rohingya town-elders from Sittwe. The high rank officials from Department of Immigration and Population, State Police Chief and some officials from regional UN and NGOs joined the meeting.
The minister Khin Yee said all Muslims should participate in upcoming census but must be careful in filling in their ethnic name. "All must understand which name will not create problem and which name will have problem." He threatened the attendees that the Muslims will be responsible for any consequence if the name Rohingya is chosen in the census. He meant that the violence against Muslims will take place by Rakhine Buddhists if the name "Rohingya" is filled in.
At the end minister Khin Yee suggests to write "Bengali" but the town-elder Aung Kyaw said our forefathers were Rohingyas and we will fill in the name "Rohingya". He also added that the Muslims in Arakan filled in the name "Rohingya" in the last census that took place in 1983.
After that, Khin Yee said he was speaking according to the government. It was not his own opinion and not to misunderstand him. He added that the Union parliament will decide if the name "Rohingya" is filled in by the Muslims in Arakan.Although Khin Yee is a Union Minister according to the law enacted by Union Parliament on July 29, 2013 for the census in 2014, the Minister has no right to suggest or threaten to fill in anything. He can only urge the people to participate and explain how the census will be.