Network Myanmar

 

Twelve Basic Documents in the Context of the Rakhine Problem

 

Documents from Myanmar Sources


1.  Address by General Ne Win to the Central Committee of the Burma Socialist Programme Party

concerning the aims and objectives of the proposed Citizenship Law, 8 October 1982

(explains that the provisions for associate and naturalised citizenship will be phased out by the third

generation or grandchildren and that the intention is to achieve full citizenship for all citizens)

 

2.  Statement from the President’s Office after the President’s meeting with UNHCR Antόnio Guterres on

the citizenship of descendants of Bengalis who settled in Myanmar during British rule, 11 July 2012

(explains that the third generation or grandchildren of Bengalis who settled in Rakhine State during British

rule are entitled under Myanmar law to citizenship)

 

3.  Translation of the 1982 Citizenship Law of 15 October 1982 as published in The Working People’s Daily

of 16 October 1982

 

Documents from British Colonial Sources


4.  Chapter XI on “Race and Caste” in Part I of the British Burma decennial Census of 1921, Volume X of

the Census of India, with Statistical Tables in Part  II, Rangoon 1923

( recognises an “Indo-Burman” racial group of quasi-indigenous settlers in Arakan distinct from the “Indian”

group of settlers during British rule)

 

5.  Chapter XII on “Race” in Part I of the British Burma decennial Census of 1931, Volume XI of the Census of India, with Statistical Tables in Part II,Rangoon 1933

(confirms the decision at the 1921 Census to recognise an “Indo-Burman” racial group of quasi-indigenous settlers in Arakan distinct from the “Indian” group of settlers during British rule)

 

6.  Chapter VII on Arakan in the Report on Indian Immigration by the Commission chaired by Financial Secretary James Baxter, Rangoon 1941

(examines the characteristics of Indian settlers in Arakan during British rule. There are only two passing references in other Chapters to quasi-indigenous Muslim groups who are not the subject of this Report)

 

Articles by former British Ambassador to Thailand Derek Tonkin


7.  "Migration from Bengal to Arakan during British Rule 1826 - 1948"

(awaiting publication)

(examines settlement in Arakan from the Chittagong Region of Bengal during British rule and concludes that this settlement was a natural process  encouraged but not sponsored by the British administration)

 

8.  “Exploring the Issue of Citizenship in Rakhine State”, updated version of Chapter 8 of “Citizenship in Myanmar”, ISEAS and Chiang Mai University Press 2017

(concludes that it is not so much the 1982 Citizenship Law which has resulted in the de facto loss of citizenship by Rakhine Muslims but the failure to implement its provisions)

 

Articles by Dr Jacques P Leider of the Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient

 

9.  “Rohingya: The History of a Muslim Identity in Myanmar”, Jacques Leider, Oxford Research Encyclopaedia, Asian History - May 2018

(traces the historical origins of the Muslim presence in Rakhine State and the emergence  after Independence in 1948 of “Rohingya” as an ethno-religious identity)

 

10.  "Rohingya: The Name, the Movement, the Quest for Identity"

Academia .edu -  January 2014

(endeavours successfully to untangle some of the elements that sustain the debate on the Rohingya identity. A key element of contention is the name “Rohingya” which the paper seeks to address.)


 

Articles from other Sources


11. “Refighting Old Battles, Compounding Misconceptions: The Politics of Ethnicity in Myanmar Today”, 

Robert Taylor, ISEAS Perspective - March 2015

(concludes that only by depoliticising ethnicity and race will it be possible to maintain political order and 

reasoned politics)

 

12. “The Mujahid Revolt in Arakan”, Professor Bertie Pearn, Foreign Office Research Department – 31 

December 1952

(concludes that a peaceful solution in the Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships will be very 

necessary unless relations between Pakistan and Burma are to become strained)

 

 

 

 

Compiled by Derek Tonkin

20 November 2019


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