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The Benefits from Citizenship

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    Citizenship help in exercising full scope of harmonious rights which originate from a 
recognised and legitimate authority with legal standing and protection (Kymlicka 2011: 22, Raz 1994). Kymlicka contends that minority rights protection serves to ensure a group against extraneous powers that might look to jeopardise a particular minority through the financial or potentially political intensity of a majority to practice dangerous activities. It provides a legitimate identity for the protection of various rights. Without it, individuals are placed in a dis-balanced position with the government creating an inferior position with other national groups. Discrimination and dominant separation at an official gathering leads to violent behaviour and negative stereotyping. In democracy it provides a mechanism to determine who isn’t a part of the nation as it is extremely hard for the international community to intercede based on nationality laws. The Constitution of Myanmar defines citizenship as “national races” (CRUM,2008: Article 15) and has given its delegation to the legislation (CRUM,2008: Article 346).

    The Legislation has mentioned eight categories for citizenship criteria- “Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Chin, Burman, Mon, Rakhine or Shan” (BCL, 1982: Article 3). The Central Body consists of three ministers who determine the question of citizenship of an Individual based according to the citizenship applications with the help of the Council of State decision (BCL, 1982: Article 4). The Chair of New National Democracy Party proposed the purpose of Citizenship Law 1982 as “ the citizenship law is intended to protect our race by not allowing those with mixed blood from making political decisions [for the country], so the law is very important for the preservation of our country” (Green 2013: 96).

    Rohingya have always been vulnerable whose rights have been violated by majority populations who enjoy the security of the state using citizenship though they have no practical road for practicing resistance nor protection from the state. After considering the situation of Rohingya were placed under the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. Zawacki argued that this convention is vague as it applied to those residing in the territory (Zawacki 2013: 20, UNHCR 1954: Article 1).

    The act classified a legitimate exclusion of One million Rohingya, by denying the nationality rights {8}. The disavowal of Burmese citizenship has resulted in inequalities {12}. One illustration is Emergency Immigration Act of Burmese Law —requiring the ownership of National Registration Certificates by all citizens {13}. Rohingya who’s considered a non-citizens have been given Foreign Registration Cards, which are dismissed by various schools and employers. Rohingya is given the position of “statelessness’ or stateless persons {7}. UDHR subjects right to life (Article 3) and the concept of statelessness as a matter of human rights law {13}. Article 15 states that:

    • everyone should have a right to a nationality
    • no one should be deprived of his citizenship nor should be denied the right to change his citizenship {14}.

    President Their Sein’s position against cancelling or changing the Citizenship Act 1982 is disconcerting. The predicament of the Rohingya won’t improve until the law is deprived of its biased arrangement. The inward auxiliary situation concerning absence of citizenship of Rohingya focuses on the unsafe idea of the reality and defencelessness opposite the state and other adversarial ethnic groups. Bangladesh or Myanmar has not acknowledged the reason of statelessness as an appropriate possibility for citizenship. The Citizenship law 1982 eradicates the history and basic rights to live in harmony in their tribal terrains due to non-acknowledgment of their reality before 1823 and places them into disproportionality powerless situation with other groups in Rakhine state.

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