The Rohingyas, often called as the most persecuted people of the world, can at best have only Myanmar under the country’s current law, according to 1982 citizenship law article 6.
After Myanmar independent, the government differentiated three kinds of people. (i) Foreigner (FRC) (ii) Citizen, not Indigenous (UCC) (iii) Indigenous ethnic (NRC)
1. Foreigner Act and Foreigner registration Law were promulgated in 1964 and 1940 respectively .To register foreigner residing in Myanmar foreigner Registration rule was created in 1948 and foreigner registration cards (FRC) were issued to foreigner registration law and rule. Rohingya were not included in the course of this so, it is proof Rohingyas are not foreigner.
2. In 1948 Citizenship (election) was enacted to issue Union Citizenship Certificate (UCC) to the persons who were not born within territories of Myanmar but they were born in the British Majesty, entered and resided in Myanmar before 1942 .If they resided in Myanmar eight years continuously out of ten years, they seem to be citizen of Myanmar. This law was for the people of non-natives. Rohingyas were not fallen under this frame because of indigenous ethnic.
(3) In 1948 Myanmar resident law , 1949 residents registration law and 1951 Resident Registration Act(1) Rohingya and all ethnic applied for NRC(National Registration Card- form – 2) with documentation. With those documents Rohingya and other ethnic was recognized as Myanmar original ethnic. After registration According to 1951 Article 12 our ethnic Rohingya and all ethnic got NRC (National Registration Card- form 2) This cards became from indigenous ethnic categories. So, we Rohingya were the same indigenous ethnic.
So, Rohingya was recognized as an ethnic group by cabinet decision on 25 September 1954. It was announced by “Prime Minister U Nu” that Rohingyas are nationality of Burma and 75 % are residing in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships. He also expressed that they are Loyalist on the country. Rohingya’s language was granted by cabinet decision of 5 May 1961 to broadcast from Myanmar official radio under the national races program but it was stopped on 1st October 1965. By the cabinet decision of 15th November 1961, majority of Rohingyas residing areas comprise of Buthidaung, Maungdaw and western part of Rathidaung townships was promoted as Mayyu frontier area and administrate directly from central government. Mayyu frontier area was handed over to minority of Home Affairs on 1st February 1964 and was kept under the Sittwe (Akyab) district according to cabinet decision. Therefore, we noted that Rohingya was a recognized ethnic group by successive government till 1965, but denied it now. It is one of involved factors which force the Rohingyas to displace and finally, it happened.
(4) In 1990 all ethnic including Rohingya applied for citizenship identity cards to change NRC according to article 6 of 1982 citizenship law. All ethnic got citizenship Identity cards. But we are Rohingyas not by discrimination. In 1995 military ordered to took NRC by saying to change resident cards according to 1982 law. But instead of identity red cards government gave us white card according to 1951 law article 13(A) People who were already registered by government but need time conditionally can’t give Identity card so, for temporary need to provide white card (Temporary Identity card- form -3). So, white card became from indigenous ethnic categories. But In NRC had no ethnic identity and religious identity. In the white card the government had written that with master policy. At that time they wrote RACE, Muslim after sometimes wrote Bengali so, we were fought for that.
Article 42, 1982 Citizenship law, Naturalized Citizenship persons who have entered and resided in the state anterior to 4th January 1948, and their offspring born within the state may, if they have not yet applied under the Union Citizenship law 1948, apply for Naturalized Citizenship to Central Body, furnishing conclusive evidence.
In 2014 President U Thin Sein told white card is expired according to 1851 law article 12 .At that law had, when white card expired must give identity cards but the government gave us brochure by opposition the law.
(5) Today the government has being trying For NVC (National Verification for Identity Card).
In 1951 Citizenship law article 7 .People who are unregistered before and wanted to stay for temporary with limited time (Foreigners) those people must register to government by three copies form-1.But in that had no mentioned type of card (NVC). We Rohingyas were already registered according to 1951 act 1 and got NRC with article 12 .How can we take NVC ? We are not foreigner.
Article 6, 1982 citizenship law.
A person who is already a citizen on the date this law comes into force is a citizen. So we are already citizen before 1982 law.
Article 42, 1982 Citizenship law, Naturalized Citizenship persons who have entered and resided in the state anterior to 4th January 1948, and their offspring born within the state may, if they have not yet applied under the Union Citizenship law 1948, apply for Naturalized Citizenship to Central Body, furnishing conclusive evidence. We are already registered.
Chapter 8, 1982 citizenship Law article 76
(A) and (B) 1948 citizenship law was cancel .
Note : Law was canceled but people who were already citizen not cancel. So we Rohingya got every right legally with indigenous ethnic categories.
(Secretary of Arakan Rohingya society for Peace & Human rights)-ARSPH
Based on Rohingya Refugee Camp, Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh arrived after 2017.