Friday, May 22, 2009

National ID cards for Hindu community in Arakan

Sittwe (Narinjara): The Hindu community in Arakan has been issued national ID cards by the Immigration Department since the beginning of this month.

“We have received national ID cards of the colour Green. The immigration department will issue the national ID cards to all Hindu people in Arakan state. It is good for us and is better than having no documents,” a Hindu leader said.

The Burmese Immigration Department had not issued any kind of ID cards to the Hindu community in Arakan state earlier as they as they are considered foreign citizens.

“We have been living in Arakan state for a long time. My grandfather and grandmother were born here. So we are citizens of Burma. Now were getting the ID cards and it is great thing for our community,” he said.

However, the ID card issued to the Hindu community is a little different from the national ID cards issued to Rakhine and Burman.

An immigration official from Maungdaw said, “It is a green colour national ID card and it is for only citizens from foreign countries. It is a little different from the National ID cards issued to ethnic nationalities of Burma.”

In Sittwe, the capital of Arakan state, the Hindu community has received the ID cards but Hindu communities in rural areas are yet to receive the ID cards.

However, the immigration official said that the Immigration Department in Maungdaw is taking photographs of Hindu people in Maungdaw Township to issue national ID cards soon.

According to a local source, the Muslim community in Maungdaw is angry and disgruntled with the regime for neglecting to issue national ID cards to them despite having issued National ID cards to the Hindu community in Arakan.

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