Network Myanmar

Legal Texts and Commentaries relating to Citizenship and Statelessness

Compendium of Legislation relating to Immigration and Citizenship - Online Burma Library

1982 Burma Citizenship Law and related documents

·         Letter to the FCO from the British Embassy commenting on the Law - 25 November 1982

·         Memorandum to the DFA from the Australian Embassy on the Law - 16 November 1982

·         Text of Burma Citizenship Law dated 15 October 1982 and of the 1983 Citizenship Rules

·         A more authoritative translation of the Burma Citizenship Law dated 15 October 1982

·         Burmese text of the 1982 Burma Citizenship Law dated 15 October 1982

·         Speech on the proposed citizenship law by General Ne Win on 8 October 1982

·         Letter to the FCO from the British Ambassador commenting on the draft law - 12 May 1982

·         Text of draft citizenship law: Public Consultation document - 'The Guardian' 21 April 1982

·         Text of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma 1974

1948 Union Citizenship Act and 1948 Union Citizenship (Election) Act and related documents

·         Permanent Residence of a Foreigner Rules 2014

·         Compendium of Laws on Citizenship and Residence 1864-1956 R.J. Verma 1961

·         Residents of Burma Registration Rules 1951

·         The Residents of Burma Registration Act 1949

·         Text of the Union Citizenship Act of 1948 (as amended to 1 December 1960)

·         Text of the Union Citizenship (Election) Act of 1948

·         Text of the Constitution of the Union of Burma of 1947

·         Text of the Burma Immigration (Emergency Provisions) Act 1947

·         Text of the Bangladesh Citizenship (Temporary Provisions) Order 1972

·         Bangladeshi Nationality Law - Wikipedia

Miscellaneous related documents

·         Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

·         Convention and Protocol on the Status of Refugees 1951

·         Text of Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons 1954

·         Text of Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness 1961

·         Text of Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 

·         Text of Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness 2006




Thant Myint-U: The Hidden History of Burma – Atlantic Books London 2019

Extract Page 17: “In 1982, a new citizenship law was enacted. There is a common perception that the Rohingya were stripped of their citizenship by this law. That’s not true….”


Problems with the Kofi Annan recommendations on citizenship - 16 December 2018

Why the Myanmar Government may have difficulty while accepting 81 of the 88 recommendations


Comment: "Myanmar's 'Rohingya' Problem by Anthony Ware and Costas Laoutides - 27 September 2018

A critical analysis of some aspects of this important publication


Exploring the Issue of Citizenship in Rakhine State - September 2017

A fresh look at the claims of Rakhine Muslims to citizenship under the 1982 Law 

National Races and the Exclusion of Rohingya from Taingyintha: Nick Cheesman 2017

How in Myanmar "National Races" came to surpass citizenship and exclude Rohingya


Problems with facts about Rohingya statelessness - Nick Cheesman December 2015

After the 1982 law passed the legislature, initially not much happened. Burma’s bureaucracy embraced it with characteristic creative inertia, doing nothing.

A genealogy of 'taingyintha', Myanmar's national races - Nick Cheesman podcast 27 October 2015

Discussion on 'taingyintha' at the Coral Bell Scool of Asia Pacific Affairs


Rohingyas 'have the right' to apply for Burmese citizenship: Mizzima - 13 September 2012

Minister of Immigration Khin Ye on eligibility for citizenship for Rohingyas of the third generation


President Thein Sein explains to UNHCR Antόnio Guterres the ‘Third Generation’ rule - 12 July 2012

At their meeting on 11 July 2012 President Thein Sin explained that the descendants of Bengali migrants during British rule were entitled to citizenship from the third generation.

Report on Citizenship Law: Myanmar: José María Arraiza and Olivier Vonk - RSCAS October 2017

An historical review of citizenship law in Myanmar, with emphasis on the current situation

Lists of Ethnic Groups

The 2014 Census: Enumeration Code Book

Population and Housing Census - Ethnicity/Foreign Nationals

Pyithu Hluttaw statement on the origins of the 135 races

In Burmese. See summary in English in Nick Cheesman's article in 2017 above

Speech by General Saw Maung on 5 July 1989

Includes passage on division of 135 national races into groups

List of 135 national races first published in Working People's Daily (Burmese) on 27 September 1990

List of 144 ethnicities used at the 1973 Census

Tables on Race and Language published in the 1931 Census Report

Cecil Lowis: The Tribes of Burma 1919