Sittwe Correspondent: The Rohingya Muslims of Arakan State, Burma have refused to face National Scrutiny Exercise and to receive National Verification Cards (NVCs) since their ethnicity and religion is not appeared on the cards, said a police officer.
The National Verification Cards are handed over automatically to those who will be scrutinized for eligibility for citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law at a later stage in the process.
The Rohingya residents had rejected the NVCs just after officials explained their advantages, which includes freedom of travel but not all rights like other minority groups, a local said.
A Rohingya headman, Mg Ni of Tarle village who confirmed the refusal by Rohingya residents, told authorities himself that they wouldnt agree to receive any cards until or unless they get the National Identity Cards with their ethnicity and religion on them like other ethnic minority groups in Burma.
The authorities responded that there were no Rohingya in Arakan State and soon returned from the village without further saying.
We were, are and will continue be Rohingya, but it is not stated on the cards, Mg Ni said more.
The government is currently implementing citizenship verification only in Kyaukphyu, Myebon and Ponnagyun Townships of Arakan State. In Kyaukphyu and Myebon, those targeted residents in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, where they were relocated from other locations in Arakan State after anti-Muslim violence in 2012 and 2013.
“You can travel freely with the cards in hand Arakan State Director of Immigration and National Registration Win Lwin told the camp residents.
Aung Lwin who lives in IDP camp in Myebon said that NVCs had been issued to 126 people there on Wednesday but I dont hope we will have all human and national rights with these cards as the ethnicity and religion is not mentioned on them and these cards are not like those which were issued to other ethnic minority groups as Chin, Rakhine, Mon etc.