Myanmar`s decision to revoke temporary identification cards for minorities is raising tensions among its 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims, who have effectively been disenfranchised just days after parliament approved a law affirming their right to vote in a referendum.
Dozens of protesters marched in Yangon today against a law giving voting rights to Myanmar's temporary citizens, including hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya, as parliament's speaker referred the fiery issue to a constitutional tribunal.
Nationalist monks and some political leaders in Myanmar have threatened to hold mass rallies to protest a parliamentary decision giving the Rohingya ethnic minority voting rights in a referendum to amend the constitution.
Myanmar on Wednesday condemned a UN official for using the term Rohingya to describe a persecuted minority that the government refers to as Bengali, which implies they are illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.
A top American diplomat Friday decried growing religious intolerance in Myanmar and warned the use of faith for political ends was "playing with fire" in a crunch election year for the former junta-run country.
Police have detained 15 people from Myanmar over a string of gruesome murders in a popular Malaysian tourist destination, and believe the killings are linked to ethnic unrest in their native country, reports said on Friday.
Myanmar`s parliament Friday lambasted UN Security General Ban Ki-moon for using the term `Rohingya`, accusing him of interfering in the country`s affairs during a visit this week that has kicked off fresh furore over the Muslim minority.
Thailand is buckling under the burden of sheltering and feeding hundreds of boat people over the past month, a senior government spokesman said on Thursday, and needs more help from rights groups and non-governmental organizations.
Authorities sealed off villages for months in Myanmar's only Muslim-majority region and in some cases beat and arrested people who refused to register with immigration officials, residents and activists say, in what may be the most aggressive effort yet to compel Rohingya to identify themselves as migrants from neighboring Bangladesh.