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    Islamic leaders asked to assist in Rohingya census

    Rohingya in Rakhine State. PHOTO: Evangelos Petratos/EU Humanitarian Aid and
    Civil Protection/Flickr
    By Kay Zin Oo
    July 23, 2013
    Myanmar’s Minister of Immigration and Population
    Khin Yi told reporters on July 21 that his office has requested assistance from
    Islamic leaders and international organizations in collating the names and
    numbers of Muslim refugees from the communal violence that plagued Rakhine
    State last year.
    Minister Khin Yi said, “We asked for help from
    Islamic leaders and international organizations to persuade the Bengali
    [Rohingya] people to accept the work being conducted. Many refuse to
    collaborate with the authorities, but accept the non-government bodies and
    international organizations.”
    He said that they must finish this head count in
    Rakhine State before a nationwide census which is scheduled to be conducted
    from March 30 to April 10, 2014.
    “Conducting a census has nothing to do with the
    military or politics,” he added. “It is for the development of the country so
    no nationality has a right to stop it or interfere with it.”
    Mizzima earlier reported that eight suspects had
    been arrested by police in connection with the obstruction of data collection
    among refugees at Thetkepyin village in Sittwe, Rakhine State. The eight are
    due to be put on trial in the near future.