Yangon Correspondent: Burma’s Information Ministry has again strictly prohibited government administrators to utter the term “Rohingya” that is used to describe a persecuted Muslim minority in the country.
Buddhist extremist groups in Burma also roughly stand against the uttering of the term Rohingya to describe the minority whom they brand the Rohingya Muslims ‘Bengalis’, illegal migrants from neighboring country, Bangladesh.
“Officials must refer to the persecuted Muslim minority as people who believe in Islam” rather than by their name. Rohingya or Bengali shall not be used during Lee’s visit, Instead, ‘people who believe in Islam in Rakhine State’ shall be used” according to a confidential letter of ministry that was seen by AFP Tuesday.
Burma’s Information Ministry’s order is destined to take off concern during the current visit by UN envoy on Burma, Yanghee Lee.
The UN Special Rapporteur, Yanghee Lee is expected to visit the northwestern parts of Rakhine State, where more than 1.5 million Rohingya Muslims live, at the end of this week. Last year, Lee’s trip was spoiled by Buddhist hardliners who disrespected her for criticizing and disclosing the ill treatment on Rohingya by Burmese government.
“The UN Human Rights body said it had found “an example of gross human rights abuses against the Rohingya which is a widespread or systematic attack … in turn giving rise to the probable commission of crimes against humanity if established in a court of law” according to a report released on June 20 on the ongoing situation of minorities in Burma.
It was also stated in the report that the Rohingya Muslims have been subjected to several and provoked forms of human rights abuses, including denial of citizenship, forced labor and sexual violence. The report urged Burma’s government to start free and widespread investigation into all rights violations against the Rohingya Muslims.