VOA Burmese Blog

August 16, 2012

President Thein Sein on Rohingyas in an Exclusive Intv with VOA Burmese

This is a blog post that I have been waiting to put up for a very long time. With so many people distraught and in a sensitive state, I’ve refrained a lot from writing my own thoughts. I hope that this interview that VOA Burmese chief, Than Lwin Htun with President Thein Sein discloses the attitude and state that Burma is in. This was the first time President Thein Sein had talked about “Rohingyas” in an interview, and VOA was the first to get this rare opportunity. VOA Burmese Chief traveled to Naypyidaw, and had gotten this interview.

Although this interview has spurred controversy ( for example) on the use of President Thein Sein’s language in calling Rohingyas, ” Bengalis”, many believe that this is a great light for all of Burma. I think these are the four important points of the interview:

1.) On the education system and in implementing schools in Burma- Thein Sein says he will open schools for Rohingyas ” so they can know what is right or wrong” but he does not see them as citizens.

2.) Thein Sein said that the sectarian violence is not a religious issue. He says that it is ignited by the rape and murder of a young girl by Rohingya men.

3.) Thein Sein on Rohingya Citizenship ( direct translation): ” We have the citizenship legislation of 1982, which as far as I know gave protection to those who are living here. Roughly, as I know, these people were brought in for farming; then they stayed here without going back. The 1982 legislation already stated that it recognizes third generation Rohingyas ” Bengalis” as citizens- those who are grandchildren of those who migrated. So by implementing this law again, we will make these societies live in harmony and respect human rights. “

4.) They invite the international community such as the OIC and other organizations to witness the on the ground situation. However, he said that this is a national problem and that international organizations are not needed.

What do you think about the interview? What do you think about what President Thein Sein had said?

In an exclusive interview with VOA Burmese Chief, Than Lwin Htun, Burma’s President Thein Sein discloses that he and his government will open schools for Rohingya Muslims who have accused the Buddhist majority of human rights violations and the persecution of the Rohingya people. Thein Sein believes that through education- the different communities may be able to live in harmony, while noting that Rohingyas should not be given Burmese citizenship.

Write to us and let us know what you think of President Thein Sein’s thoughts on the conflict in the comment section below.

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1 Comment »

  1. I personally think that to not grant citizenship to those who came during the British time shows nationalistic mind. Not that those people are still alive but if they were, who raise their children in Burma and hence no reason to go back deserves citizenship too.

    Comment by Amanda — November 4, 2012 @ 2:58 am | Reply


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