Myanmar’s bitterly-divided Rakhine State saw mass protests on Sunday as thousands of Buddhists, including monks, demonstrated in a show of opposition to a government edict referring to Muslim communities in the restive province, organisers said.
Rohingyan Muslims are an ethnic group who practice Islam and speak a language related Bengali. The origin of this group of people is disputed with some saying they are indigenous to the state of Rakhine in Myanmar while others contend they are migrants who came from Bengal, latterly Bangladesh, to Burma (Myanmar) during the period of British colonial rule. According to the United Nations, Rohingyans are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. Many Rohingyans have fled Myanmar to refugee camps in Bangladesh and to areas along the Thai-Myanmar border.