Citizenship for RohingyaNationality for Rohingya
Stark warning: intersectional analysis of citizenship of Rhingya refugee women living in Bangladesh:
Proceedings against Rohingya citizenship
There is no legal dispute that the Rohingya are and were not a Myanmar people. However, for many years Muslims have entered the north Rakhine state unlawfully, especially the Maungdaw and Buthidaung communities. Many Muslims escaped to Bangladesh when the regime ordered an action to stop their unlawful immigration into the state.
Myanmar and Bangladesh have had innumerable negotiating sessions. Several of those who have escaped from regime troops in Bangladesh have been sent to Myanmar under a programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). For the Muslims, the Department of Immigration and National Registration granted limited residence visas.
The UNHCR and other NGOs provided transitional housing, and these Muslims still have residence visas. Nobody who has a residence card can become a Myanmar national under the 1982 Citizenship Act, which superseded the 1948 Union Citizenship Act. Section 3 states that only members of ethnical groups who established in Myanmar before 1823 are entitled to citizenship of the nation.
Paragraph 5 states that any individual who has been borne by a parent who is both a national is also a national from the moment of his or her child. At the time the Act enters into effect, a national is also a national. In the list of section 7 of the Act it is clearly stated how to become a national, an associated national and a naturalized national.
According to the Act, a single authority is entitled to take a decision on a person's citizenship, associated citizenship or naturalized citizenship. Anyone who immigrated to Myanmar before January 4, 1948 - along with their own child if they were originally from within the state - can request naturalization by providing powerful and consistent proof of their state.
When they cannot, they are not allowed to obtain citizenship. It is clear in the case of the Rohingya that they do not comply with either the 1948 or 1982 Acts. This is the primary denial of their right to become Myanmar people. After retiring from the public prosecutor's office in 2001, I was named programme director of the UNHCR Immigration and National Registration Programme, which led and monitored the Rakhine State return mission.
I have learnt a lot about the Muslims concerned in this part. Years ago they joined the North Rakhine state without a unique deed. Therefore, the state is 100 percent lawful if it does not consider it for citizenship.