Myanmar bans ‘Rohingya’ term in census

March 30, 2014 - 6:34:33 am

SITTWE:  Myanmar said yesterday that Muslims would not be allowed to register as “Rohingya” in its first census in three decades despite UN assurances, on the eve of a survey that has fanned sectarian tensions.

The move came as Buddhists in an unrest-hit western state vowed to boycott the census over fears it could lead to official recognition for the Rohingya, viewed by the UN as among the world’s most persecuted minorities.

“If a household wants to identify themselves as ‘Rohingya’, we will not register it,” government spokesman Ye Htut told reporters in Yangon.

He said people could call themselves “Bengali,” a term used by the authorities who view most Rohingya as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.

Four charged in Kunming attack

BEIJING:  China has laid out charges against the four surviving suspects in a knife attack in the southwestern city of Kunming this month that left at least 169 dead or injured, the official People’s Daily newspaper said.

The charges against the suspects of the March 1 attack, in which 29 were killed and about 140 injured, include organising, leading and participating in a terrorist organisation and murder, the newspaper said on its microblog.

The four surviving suspects are likely to be given the death penalty, judging by the crimes they are accused of.

Ma, Xi to meet despite protests

TAIPEI:  Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday student protests over a controversial trade pact with mainland China will not affect the potential for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Taiwan’s parliament building has been occupied by hundreds of protesters for almost two weeks over the government’s decision to agree to a deal that would open 80 of China’s service sectors to Taiwan, and 64 Taiwanese sectors to China.