The Rohingya American Society (RAS) based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Rohingya Concern International (RCI) based in New York City, USA jointly held demonstrations under the banner of "ROHINGYA KOM-RED GROUP" in front of the United Nations (H.Q.) and Myanmar (Burma) Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York City on the date of September 30, 2014 (Tuesday) to protest against 1982 Myanmar (Burma) Citizenship Apartheid and Black Law.
The so-called 1982 Burma (Myanmar) citizenship law which enacted on October 15, 1982 by the previous military dictator and late General Ne Win effectively denied the basic fundamental human rights including social, religious, educational, political, health care, justice, and cultural rights of the Rohingya ethnic minority in Arakan-Burma (Myanmar).
Under this 1982 Citizenship Law, the Rohingya ethnic minority people were declared as" non-national" or" foreign residents." This law designated three categories of citizens (1) full citizens, (2) associate citizens, and (3) naturalized citizens. Unfortunately, none of the categories applies to the Rohingya people as they are not recognized as one of the 135 "national races" according to the military led current Burmese quasi-civilian government.
The 1982 Citizenship Law was intentionally created to exclude the Muslim Rohingyas from Burma (Myanmar) citizenship, rendering them stateless and without legal and civil rights. From the human rights aspects, this law violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Convention on the Rights of the Child and international norms prohibiting discrimination of racial and religious minorities. It is a fundamental principle that everyone has a right to a nationality.
On the other hand, both level of Myanmar Central and Arakan State government as well as Rakhine ruling party leaders and ultra-nationalist Rakhine Buddhist monks are vigorously forcing the Rohingya ethnic minority who are residing in Arakan State to register as "Bengali" instead of as "Rohingya" in the current national citizenship verification process statewide. To force the Rohingya to accept the term as Bengali is to make them deny their citizenship as Rohingya in Myanmar despite the fact that the Rohingya have been living in Burma (Myanmar) for many centuries even before the date of 1823, the beginning of British colonial rule in Arakan.
The Rohingyas are already citizens by birth according to the 1947 Constitution, the 1947 Burmese Residence and Registration Act, 1948 Burmese Citizenship law, 1974 Burmese Constitution and the 1948 Burmese Independence Declaration according to the Nu-Atlee Agreement. Apart from this, the Rohingyas are also indigenous Burmese citizens according to the British Census of 1826, 1872, 1911, and 1974.
So, the 1982 citizenship law absolutely do not apply for Rohingya ethnic minority people as they are already the Burmese citizens as prescribed above Burmese national historical facts and British Census data and therefore, the protestors in the demonstrations call upon the Rohingya people to boycott and reject 1982 Burmese Citizenship law if Rohingya identity is denied and force the Rohingyas to accept Bengali ethnicity to make them stateless and foreigners on their native homeland of Arakan-Burma (Myanmar).
The protestors also demand the Government of President Thein Sein to immediately stop forcing the Rohingyas to register as Bengali and repeal the controversial and unjust 1982 citizenship law restoring the citizenship rights of the native Rohingyas of Arakan.
Mr. Mohiuddin (aka) Maung Sein, the President of RCI and Rohingya Kom-Red Group General Manager, Mr. Shaukhat Kyaw Soe Aung (aka) MSK Jilani, the President of RAS, Mr. Pual 'Adam" Carroll, the Director of Burma Task Force - New York Branch Office, Dr. Nora Rowley, a Medical Doctor and Burmese Rohingya Human Rights Activist - USA, a prominent American Muslim Attorney Mr. Mohammad Aziz, and Mathida Khatiza spoke in the demonstration event.
After demonstrations in front of UN (H.Q.) and Myanmar Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York City, the protestors led by Mr. Mohiuddin (aka) Maung Sein, the President of RCI and Mr. Shaukhat Kyaw Soe Aung (aka) MSK Jilani, the President of RAS submitted a letter to UN Secretary General Mr. Ban-Ki-Moon through UN Security Agency and a letter to President Thein Sein through Myanmar Permanent Mission respectively.
They also met with Mr. Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific in front of the United Nations Building.
For Rohingya general public information and reference, some demonstration pictures and 2 letters are attached herewith Joint Statement in Microsoft and PDF format.
(Media, Information & Publication Secretary)
Rohingya American Society (RAS)
Contact Telephones: (414) 712 6947, (414) 736 4273, (716) 544 1803, (414) 306 1751