Nationality of BurmaBurmese nationality
Only Burmese nationality (Myanmar), defended by the Nationality Act.
In the second half of 2011, Burma (Myanmar) saw a dramatic rise in top-down changes targeting democratization and liberalization of the economy. A serious issue are the inter-religious conflict, as evidenced, for example, by the Buddhist attack on Muslims. It sheds light on the backgrounds of these disputes in connection with the issues of the historical comprehension of the Myanmar nation through the Nationality Act, which came into effect in 1982 and reflects a kind of high-end nationality.
Burma, which became UK-affiliated on January 4, 1948, has stressed the importance of Theravada Buddhism and the Myanmar-speaking world. She has also emphasized through a description of her nation's past that Burma's historic home in the old emperor's town is on the mainland, as well as the importance of the overthrow of the rule of the imperialist regime and the fascist regime in Japan.
Behind the country's self-image is Burma's nationism, which was the ideal foundation for the fight for British sovereignty as a British and Japanese occupation during the Second World War. The fight for independency emphasized the creation of the "nation of the Myanmar people (i.e. the ethnical majority) and the Myanmar civilization that they had developed".
Burma's self-image, founded on this kind of nationality, was also systematically illustrated through publications and educational materials during the post-independence processes of nationwide social-inclusion. Consequently, non-Theravada Buddhists (just over 10% of the population), groups of individuals whose first language was not Burma (about 30%), and those who had no particular affective link to the key levels of Burma (about 30%), were placed in the "periphery", which had become a cause of racial minorities related troubles and worship related difficulties (i.e. religion related conflicts).
Of course, it can be noted that financial inequalities between the capitol and counties (especially the states of minority groups ) and the stance to curb the rights of minority groups were also important determinants of minority groups (see Tables 1 and 2 for the Burmese population's percents by ethnicity and religion).
Remark: Both Table 1 and Table 2 are derived from the 1983 survey. Burma's 135 ethnic groups are formally recognized by the Chinese authorities as "indigenous" and are granted automatic citizenship of Burma. Indigenity is governed by the (revised) Nationality Act (Citizenship Act), which came into force in 1982.
This means that those who had already resided in Burma before 1823, the year before the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-26), are considered "indigenous" and those who established themselves in Burma after 1924 are considered "non indigenous". Under this Citizenship Act, Burmans are subdivided into official "citizens", i.e. the 135 ethnic groups who have resided in Burma since 1923, quasi-citizens who have obtained citizenship on the basis of the first nationality act passed in 1948 (mainly from India, China and Anglo-Burma), and "naturalized citizens", i.e. foreigners who have been granted legal citizenship.
Though" quay citizens" and" naturalized citizens" are promoted to" citizens" after three generation, they are unjustly dealt with until then; for example," quasi-citizens" or" naturalized citizens" may not be in a leading public sector role, and they are not eligible to attend the Faculty of Science and Technology or Medicine at a university that receives a substantial amount from the state purse.
Though these" restrictions" are not governed by nationality laws, it is an indisputable fact that the differentiation mentioned in nationality laws was" abused" because of the fact that these groups of persons were actually discriminated against. Although those who have resided in Burma for three generation are recognized as "citizens" when a government agency provides a country register document, it is forbidden to put "Bamar" in the section that indicates one's own ethnic origin, if a individual claiming their Bamar identities is a Muslim or looks like an Indian/English.
Today, most of Burma's citizens have no doubts about this 1823 criteria, which is enshrined in the Citizenship Act. But from a historic point of view, this is a pure delusion created by Burma's nationalist system, because since the time of the Myanmar dynasty in the latter part of the eighteenth century (Konbaung Dynasty, 1752-1885) Muslims, Hindus and Christians, and ethnically speaking Chinese, Indians, Afghans, Persians, Armenians and Portugueses live together with Theravada Buddhists in the capital.
We should also point out that these were not transient people, but people who had lived in Burma for many generation and were recognized and defended by the then King's authorities. Authoritarian royalty at the period did not share its subject by "ethnicity" or "religion"; they recognized the differences between the groups in how strongly imperial power could attain them.
Therefore, at that period there was hardly any concept of separating or discrimination against persons on the basis of so-called "ethnic groups". Ethnic classifications were established at the end of the nineteenth centuary when British Colonies began. From the beginning of the twentieth century onwards, the act of discernment of tribal peoples on the basis of "ethnicity" had become a given in Burmese society, especially among those who were educated under the colonies.
It was with such a trend that Burma's Nationalist movement, aiming to bring down Colonies and establish a new Burma as an autonomous country, was brought into being and gained power, headed by Bamars, who had become aware of being the historic most. Theravada Buddhism' together with the'Burmese language', which was regarded as the heart of the culture of the Burmese nation, was accorded great importance in this kind of vernacular.
It can be verified from historic records that Muslims in Burma have been established in this area at the latest since the end of the eighteenth decade, during the Burmese Empire age. In spite of this fact, the Muslims were "memorized" by the Buddhists, who were mainly Bamars, as "non-indigenous" Indian men who had emigrated to Burma since 1824.
Consequently, they were "marginalized" and tacitly called upon to remain silent as a majority of the "land of the Myanmar linguistic and Theravada Buddhism". Here it is worthwhile to think about how such recollections originated with the Bamar. There was an inbound flow of migrants to Burma during the time of Britain, between 140,000 and 420,000 per year, with the result that by 1931 more than half of Rangoon's inhabitants were Indians.
There is also a "fact" that a group of what were known as chettiars, who were in financial services, loaned funds to Myanmar peasants and confiscated their lands, which were later labelled as absent landlords if they were unable to give the funds back. One can say that this example caused anti-Indic feelings and reinforced Burma's Nationalist Theravada Buddhists.
One interesting point about these unrest is that the dislike of Muslims from India, whose religions had no relation to Buddhism, was greater than that of Hindus from India, whose religions had some similarities with Theravada Buddhism. British Burma's administration, which gained a certain degree of independence under the UK -imposed in April 1937 GOMA, tried to limit migration from India in the face of the after-effects of the 1938 anti-Indian unrest and the powerful wish of Myanmar's parliament.
Even the suggestion of restricting marriages between Myanmar wives and immigrant Indians was made in such an experiment, but what is remarkable is that the emphasis was on the feeling of threat and anxiety towards Islamic migrants ( "but none of the suggested limitations were implemented"). However, looking at the historic proofs, it can be seen that the number of immigrant Indians who actually moved to Burma was not exceptional, as most of them were "expatriates" at the moment, returning to India after about three years.
They should also be reminded that they do not loan funds to Burma's peasants to become landholders in Burma's rurally. These historic facts, however, were neglected by the discourse of the "anti-Chettiars" and "anti-Indians", highlighted by Burma's Burma Nazi movements, which grew in power from the 1920s, when a number of peasants were demoted to "farm workers" who did not own a country.
Theravada Buddhists and Muslims lived together without deadly confrontation after the 1948 war, in part because of the harmonized way of life of the Bamar Muslims, who have "Burmese" themselves through their languages and dressing-style. Nevertheless, as was the case in the days of colonialism, the marriages between Myanmar Buddhist females and Moslem men were viewed with antagonism.
Wahhabism, which has gained influence with the Saudi Arabia's global ascent, has also affected Burma since the nineties. Consequently, some younger Muslims in Burma have began to emphasize their Islamicity through clothing and other means, increasing the Buddhists'"fear" of Muslims.
Against this background, the present administration is trying to curb anti-Islam movement by banning the policy use of Islam on the basis of the rules laid down in this Constitution. But it is far from the case that such an attitude of governance has been systematically mirrored, as the anti-Rohingya and Islamic unrest in North Rakhine State in June 2012 (in which more than 200 persons died) and another anti-Muslim uprising in Meiktila in March 2013 (in which 43 persons were killed) show.
We should also point out that the administration of the site continues to segregate Rohingya and Islamic refugees on the pretext of "protection". On the basis of the year "1823," the concept of the separation of "indigenous" and "non-indigenous" cannot be regarded as something one-sidedly implied to man by the government/nation, since those who are classified as "indigenous citizens", both the Bamars and the non-Bamarian minority groups, unquestionably accepted this criteria.
Represented by such views are the exlusive emotions of Burma's "citizens" towards Rohingya, a Islamic group of individuals living in the northwestern state of Rakhine (Arakan) in western Burma. Rohingya " as the name of an ethnical group did not appear in popularity until after 1950. From a historical point of view, however, there were a number of Muslims in the Kingdom of Mrauk-U who lived in the area between the fifteenth and eighteenth century.
It created a foundation for Muslims who migrated from Bengal (now Bangladesh) to Burma after Britain's reign began in the nineteenth and also during the tumultuous era around the era of war. At the end of the Second World War, some of these Bengali Muslims claimed an identities as Rohingya, an autonomous national group.
Rohingya could be regarded as a "new" ethnical group, but Rohingya itself feels that they have a long histor. The majority of Burma's people do not now regard Rohingya as an tribal ethnical group; they see her as "illegal immigrants" who emigrated from Bengal after the end of the Second World War.
Even if a number of Rohingya have become fugitives because of the oppression they have suffered, Myanmar's inhabitants are inclined to see this as another's problem. Furthermore, there are many who do not even support the use of "Rohingya" and instead call it "Bengali". Many of Rakhine (Arakanese) in particular disapprove of the term "Rohingya".
The Rohingya are not only regarded as "illegal immigrants", but are also subject to religious and racist discrimination because they are the most religious and Muslim in Burma and have a significantly different appearance from local "citizens". Underscoring this stance is the historic view of the Myanmar minority that "the Rohingya tribe did not live in Burma until 1823", which seems to be reflected in the 1982 nationality law.
In the face of the massive persecutions of Rohingya in August 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi, who joined the parliament as a member of the lower chamber in April 2012, suggested an immediate end to the violence and a review of the 1982 nationality law. The suggestion was a source of great cheering from the Burma population, which included those who were their most supportive, and also criticized the Myanmar community oversee.
She emphasized the need to rethink the Iranian concept of "citizen" in the Nationality Law of 1982 (i.e. the division of 1823) and the way "citizen" is divided into three groups. However, the Myanmar population criticized Aung San Suu Kyi by putting her sole mnationalism, which adheres to the "illusion of 1823", above her free will.
In view of this, it is perhaps no overstatement to say that Burma's futures depend on how much they can deliberately manage the extremely exclusive nature of their state. The review of nationality legislation will certainly be a first stage in the implementation of such a review.