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How The Rohingya’s Origins Were Erased

By Samin Huq

The Rohingya are an ethnic Muslim minority persecuted in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). They are denied citizenship by the government based on their so-called inability to trace their ancestry to a time before 1823, before British rule [1]. However, the government in reality has been working to erase the Rohingya’s historical presence in the region as a basis for denying them citizenship. The Rohingya’s origins in Rakhine State (once called Arakan) date as far back as the 16th and 17th centuries, well before British rule in the 19th century [2].

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