The 1982 Citizenship Law was not subjected to any amendment, said Minister for Immigration and Population Khin Yi.
“We have never said that the 1982 Citizenship Law will be amended. Our department has not officially spoken about it. However, I kept hearing this issue when I came back from my trip,” said Khin Yi.
“As I have said several times before, [the Citizenship Law] was drafted for six and a half years with public desire after meeting with the people in regions and states during the administration of the Revolutionary Council,” he said.
During the administration of the current government, a proposal was submitted to the Parliament to abolish this Law, which caused a debate among eight MPs.
The ministry decided that this Law was drafted after taking time and it is effective for the security and benefit of the country.
“So, we will continue to use this Law as it is now. We have official records of this. So, we are not going to amend this Law now and we have never said we will amend it. It was just a misunderstanding,” he said.
Khin Yi also said there are 1.33 million Bengali Muslims living in Myanmar according to the current statistics and most of them (1.08 million) are in Rakhine State, responding to a question raised by a reporter about the Bengali population at the conference.
“On Oct 1st every year, the government used to release the current population statistics of the country. According to 2012 Statistics, Myanmar’s population was 60.98 million. The currently compiled statistics show 1.33 million Bengali Muslims are living in the country. Rakhine alone has 1.08 million of them,” he added
Every Bengalis living in Rakhine will get certain official registration cards if they meet criteria listed in 1982 Citizenship Law, he said.
It’s up to the election commission to decide on whether the Bengalis holding the cards have the right to vote in the coming election or not, he added.
Analysts say that the number of Muslims living in Myanmar may be more than 4% of the country’s population previously released by the government as to the current official statistics of Bengali Muslims.
TRICKY KIN YI NOW THE BALL IS ON ELECTION COMMISSION
HOT ISSUE!! Impact of White Cards holders on Election (Burmese and English)
With what decree and limitations did the ministry issue the White Cards, through which votes could be cast in elections according to Section 6 of Lowe House Election Law passed in March, 2010?
As the guest citizens and those holding White Cards had the equal voting of right of a national citizen, millions of eligible voters lost their voting right at that time. If that law continues to exist till 2015, the 1982 citizenship law will be nothing more than a torn paper.
How will the ministry mainly responsible for the issuance of the White Cards address the issue of Rohingya or Bengali?
For Immigration and Population Minister Khin Yi, who was the second most responsible official in the Home Affairs Ministry, does he have plans to legalize the White Cards or give the voting right to the Bengalis or regard them as citizens? This question is more important than whether the 1982 citizenship law will be amended or not.
Were there any corruption cases in issuing the White Cards?
With what criteria did the ministry issue over 500,000 White Cards (temporary national registration cards) for Bengalis in 2010? Was there any assessment over the citizenship rights in line with 1982 Myanmar citizenship law?
—Impact of White Cards holders on Election
In accordance with the international standards, anyone who hasn’t got the citizenship cannot vote. The white card is the temporary registration card and it means there are people who are living in Burma, but their status of citizenship are still not decided yet.
It is wrong to give White card holders rights to vote. We should stop White card holders rights to vote until their status of citizenship are verified in line with 1982 Burma Citizenship Law.
According to the mechanism of UK government census collection system, British government collect all the data of people living in UK, but they give only British citizens rights to vote but not to guests.
ထိုေၾကာင့္အျဖဴေရာင္ကဒ္ျပားကိုင္ဆိုင္သူမ်ားမဲေပးခြင့္ေပးထားျခင္းကို၎တို႔ႏိုင္ငံသားဟုတ္မဟုတ္ကို၁၉၈၂ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံသားျဖစ္ခြင့္ဥပေဒအရဆုံးျဖတ္ျပီးသည္အထိရပ္ဆိုင္းထားရပါမည္။ ယာယီသက္ေသခံလက္မႇတ္ ကိုင္ေဆာင္ထားသူသည္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲတြင္ ဆႏၵမဲေပးပိုင္ခြင့္ ရႇိေၾကာင္း ျပည္သူ႔လႊတ္ေတာ္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲဥပေဒ၊ အမ်ဳိးသားလႊတ္ေတာ္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲဥပေဒ၊ တိုင္းေဒသႀကီးလႊတ္ေတာ္ (သို႔မဟုတ္) ျပည္နယ္လႊတ္ေတာ္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲ ဥပေဒမ်ား၏ ပုဒ္မ ၆ တြင္ ေဖာ္ျပထားသည္ကိုျပင္ကိုျပင္ဖို့လိုပါတယ္