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Silent Revolution in Myanmar census

                            Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims around 1 million.  [Reuters]

By Aung Aung
The Stateless
March 30, 2014

Sittwe : Rohingya have been being deprived of fundamental rights. Myanmar regime has been trying to make us Bangali since 1965 as they wrote 100s of fake histories, articles and documentaries against us as an effort to change Rohingya’s name into Bangali but they failed in their 60 years’ non-stop struggle against Rohingya. According to Rohingya proverb “A duckling is never changed into chick because whenever a duckling sees water starts swimming, on the other hand, chick is always scared of water.

All revolutions in the World were started by the impotent persons; every human being was the most powerful on Earth when he or she was a baby. A baby’s cry can change the parents’ life. As Rohingya have been living under persecution since 1960s, they have nothing to start a revolution for their salvation from cruel persecution of Burmese regime.

60 years later, when two horrible massacres occurred against Rohingya, they got attention of international community for the first time. Many revolutionaries suggested Rohingya to start an armed revolt against regime but Rohingya had no way for a revolution, God generously provides them abundant wealth of tolerance, they swallowed fire, never became rebellion since 1970s.

Until yesterday, using the term “Rohingya” is a crime in Myanmar for us. 29th March 2014 Myanmar Government Spokesperson, U Ye Htut, said the government would not allow Muslims in Myanmar to register as Rohingya. Today, for the first time Myanmar history, Rohingya has started a silent revolution, more than 1million Rohingya became a single body with a single voice “Rohingya, Rohingya, Rohingya” Who gave this power to Rohingya people? The answer would be International Community’s democratic value, the law of 2014 Census. We appreciate all.

I am going to tell you briefly how did important Rohingya who are being kept under genocidal blockage start the silent revolution:

Up to this morning, Rakhine boycotted 2014 Census against State’s law and Rohingya welcome Census, and aiting for the time to answer the questions. In the morning, Immigration Minister U Khin Yi, Border Affairs Minister U Thet Naing Win, Deputy Border Affairs Minister U Maung Maung Ohn, General Hla Htay Win, Major General Hla Min, Police Chief, other state ministers and military officers had a meeting in Sittwe. We don’t know exactly what did they discuss, we were eager to sit the test, 2014 Census.

In San Pya Ywa of Sittwe, nearly 200 security forces and 100 Census enumerators met Rohingya villagers, when data collecting started Rakhine enumerators stopped asking questions after question No.7-8 because they are about race-name and code. When the Rohingya, Kadir Husein was asked his race name “He answered “Rohingya”, the enumerator said there is no Rohingya in Myanmar, then Husein said “Do you this physical body of mine is none-existence, we have been living here since generations. We should respect the law, 2014 Census.” After that, enumerators left without asking the rest of the questions. There are 41 questions for the 2014 Census of Myanmar.

The same story of Rohingya happened everywhere in the whole Arakan. In Anauk Pyin of Rathedaung, Rakhine enumerators stopped asking question to nearly 50 Rohingya after question No.6 and Kunhali of Maungdaw, nearly 100 Rohingya.

In Bawli Bazar of Maungdaw, enumerators wrote Rohingya and their code 914 for the family of Idris and other 3 of his relatives after half an hour arguments .

In Min Pya, Myaybon, Mrauk U, Kyauktaw, Pauktaw, and other places, Rakhine numerators were asked first by Rohingya that “If they would record the term Rohingya as their race or not, the enumerators refused to record Rohingya. According to some enumerators, Rakhine authority trained them to write Bangali instead of Rohingya.

Rakhine authority uses many 100s of ways to change Rohingya’s name into Bangali; blazing, threatening, blocking humanitarian aids for Rohingya, using bad words everywhere in the whole Arakan but Rohingya are united in one voice “ We are Rohingya” You can kill us but cannot erase our name from the pages of World History”

Today, two houses and one shop of Rohingya were blazed in Aung Siek Pyin of Maungdaw, those houses were beside the road a bit far from the village, as house owners came to the village for Census, Rakhine mob could easily blazed them. In ward-3 of Buthidaung, and Peikthay of Kyauktaw, Rakhine authority threatened Rohingya not to use the term Rohingya.

In the evening, son of Ward Administrator, Maung Maung, from Bawli Bazar of Maungdaw, announced using loud-speakers that tomorrow, everyone can claim their own name of race, even Rohingya.

In short, Rohingya in the whole Arakan started a silent revolution, softer than non-violence, and tried to send a message to the International community that “No more persecution please! Save us from genocidal blockage of Arakan please”