Too early to say for white card issue: ARNO president

Nurul Islam, the president of ARNO (Arakan Rohingya National Organization) said it is too early to comment) about the announcement of white card by President Thein Sein.White card is automatically invalid from 31 March 2015. The announcement says nothing about issuing other identity cards in place of white cards, or in case of issuing what type of cards.  According to various Immigration Act/Rules and National Registration Act/Rules white cards are issued to nationals (not foreigners) whose could not be issued Nationality Cards under various circumstances, or for loss of National identity, or whose citizenship status could not be determined for any reasons (e.g. in the case of 1982 oppressive Citizenship Law defining 3 categories), he more added.

Being not aliens, it is not, therefore, unjustified to grant the white cards holders voting rights as the Maghs (Rakhines) and racists are barking with ill motive.

He is afraid in the absence of white cards; they might try to determine citizenship status of the Rohingya under 1982 Law. This will be supported by NLD. Again the question of Rohingya will be made in question, the ARNO president said.

When the Burma was separated from British-India in 1935, the people who were within the territorial of Burma were given chance either to choose citizen of British-India or British-Burma. The people of Northern Arakan (Rohingyas) opted to be citizen of British- Burma, a Rohingya historian inside Arakan said preferring not to be named.

In 1936 election, Rohingyas exercise right to vote and right to be elected. According to 1947 constitution Act (11), in 1948 Burma citizenship Act 3, 4 section (2),   Rohingyas   are citizen of Burma.

In 1949, according to citizen Act 4 section (2), Burmese government issued NRC (National Registration Card) to the Rohingyas as citizen of Burma.  But foreigners were issued FRC (Foreign Registration Card). At that time there was only two categories of people namely citizens and foreigners, the historian more added.

However, present Burmese government accused Rohingyas as the emigrants of Bengal during the British period and named them as Bengalis by coercion and intimidation. As mention above, how the Rohingya become stateless people. According to constitutions and rules, Rohingyas are bona-fide citizens of Burma, a Rohingya leader from Buthidaung Township said on condition of anonymity.

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