The last remaining district of Rohingya Muslims in Sittwe, Rakhine state in Myanmar is under a defacto siege. Meanwhile, hardline Buddhists are protesting a government plan to issue some Rohingya citizenship.

Rohingya at the Mansi Internally Displaced Persons camp on the outskirts of Sittwe, Rakhine state in Myanmar.
Rohingya at the Mansi Internally Displaced Persons camp on the outskirts of Sittwe, Rakhine state in Myanmar.

The last Rohingya in the capital of Myanmar's Rakhine state are living under what amounts to a seige. About 4,000 Rohingya Muslims are clinging to their homes and life in the Aung Mingalar district of Sittwe.

Aung Mingalar is the only district in Sittwe where Rohingya still live after anti-Muslim violence broke out in 2012.

Before then, thousands of Rohingya Muslims lived throughout the city.

Violence against Rohingya since 2012 has driven about 140,000 people, predominantly Rohingya, from their homes, herding them into camps for the internally displaced, where most remain.

The Rohingya face severe discrimination in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Many Myanmarese in Rakhine State and elsewhere in the country consider Rohingya to be illegal migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, even though they have lived in Myanmar for generations.

TRT World's Alican Ayanlar went to Aung Mingalar to see the conditions in which the Rohingya now live.

Hardline Bhuddists protest against Rohingya citizenship

Hundreds of hardline Buddhists took to the streets of Sittwe on Sunday to protest against a government plan to give citizenship to some Rohingya.

"We are protesting to tell the government to rightfully follow the 1982 citizenship law and we cannot allow the government giving citizenship cards to these illegal migrants," said Aung Htay, an organiser of the demonstration.

The protest took place just days after the Rakhine Advisory Commission, led by former UN chief Kofi Annan, urged the government to give the Rohingya citizenship, and to remove restrictions on freedom of movement.

Rakhine is one of the poorest states in Myanmar, and home to more than 1 million stateless Rohingya.

Myanmar's civilian government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, welcomed the commission's proposal.

Suu Kyi's office said that most of the commission's recommendations would be "implemented promptly."

The UN has continued to call for Myanmar to lift all restrictions on the Rohingya living in Rakhine state.

But the government has not yet disclosed its policies.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies