Rohingya people

Rohingya people

Ethnic group

poptime= 3 Million, Est [ [ State of Myanmar's Rohingyas 2007] ]
popplace= Myanmar (Arakan)
Bangladesh, Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Thailand
langs=Rohingya language, Burmese language
rels=Sunni Islam
related-c=List of ethnic groups in Burma

The Rohingya are a Muslim Ethnic group of the Northern Rakhine State of Western Burma. The Rohingya population is mostly concentrated in two northern townships of Rakhine State (formerly known as Arakan):


It is thought the history of the Rohingya people dates to the early 7th century in Arakan State, where Arab Muslin traders settled, however there is little historical evidence. [ [ Assessment for Rohingya (Arakanese) in Burma] ]

Rohingya people are physically similar to South Asians, and they are descendants of the Arabs. Some of the Rohingya settling in Arakan are descendants of Arabs, Persians and Pathans who migrated to Arakan during the Mughal Empire and most Rohingyas came to Arakan during the British rule of Burma from Bengal.fact|date=July 2008 Wealthy and influential Rohingya, Sultan Mahmood, was the political secretary in U Nu’s government and was later appointed as Health Minister. Other Rohingya Muslims in U Nu’s government as parliamentary secretaries were Sultan Ahmed and Abdul Gaffar. Abdul Bashar, Zohora Begum, Abul Khair, Abdus Sobhan, Abdul Bashar, Rashid Ahmed, and Nasiruddin (U Pho Khine) were also members of Parliament of U Nu’s cabinet.fact|date=July 2008

Human rights violations

According to Amnesty International, the Rohingya people have continued to suffer from human rights violations under the Myanmar junta since 1978, and many have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh as a result: [ [ Myanmar - The Rohingya Minority: Fundamental Rights Denied] , Amnesty International, 2004.]


Subsequent waves of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled Burma and many refugees inundated neighbouring Bangladesh including 250,000 in 1978 as a result of the King Dragon operation in Arakan. In 1991, following a crackdown on Rohingyas, 250,000 refugees took shelter in the Cox's Bazar district of neighbouring Bangladesh. However, most of them were later repatriated back to the nation that denied them citizenship. Some are still in exile, living in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, UAE, Thailand and Malaysia.

As of 2005, the UNHCR had been assisting with the repatriation of Rohingya from Bangladesh, but allegations of human rights abuses in the refugee camps have threatened this repatriation effort. [cite web
url =
title = UNHCR threatens to wind up Bangladesh operations
publisher = New Age BDNEWS, Dhaka
date = 2005-05-21
accessdate = 2007-04-25

Despite earlier efforts by the UN, the vast majority of Rohingya refugees have remained in Bangladesh, unable to return because of the regime in Burma. They now face problems in Bangladesh where they do not receive support from the government. [ [ Burmese exiles in desperate conditions] ]


The Rohingya language is the modern written language of the Rohingya People of Arakan (Rakhine) State in Myanmar formerly known as Burma. The first written Rohingya language was recent. During the long colonial period under British rule, Urdu, Persian and English were the main languages used. Since then, scholars have written the Rohingya language using Arabic, Urdu, Burmese and Hanifi Scripts; the latter being the new alphabets derived from Arabic, Latin and Burmese Scripts. It has been developed using only Latin alphabets to make it compatible with modern technology. Rohingya language has been successfully written using Roman scripts, known as Rohingyalish which has been recognized by ISO with ISO 639-3 "rhg" code. [ [ ISO 639 Code Tables - SIL Internationl] ]


Religion is particularly important to the Rohingya people, who are predominantly Muslim. Mosques and religious schools occupy most villages. Traditionally, men pray in congregation and women pray at home.

ee also

*Rakhine people
*Islam in Burma
*Burmese Indians



*cite web|title=Rohingya|work=Banglapedia, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh|url=|accessmonthday=June|accessyear=2005
*cite web|title=A Short History of Arakan|work=Mohammed Ashraful Alam|url=|accessmonthday=June|accessyear=2005
*cite web|title=Myanmar, The Rohingya Minority: Fundamental Rights Denied|work=Amnesty International|url=|accessmonthday=August|accessyear=2005
* [ Amnesty International (English)]

External links

* [ Arakan Rohingya Co-operation Council Europe]
* [ Free Rohingya Campaign]
* [ Rohingya Times]
* [ Rohingya Sprache]
* [ Rohingya News] ( [ Burmese] )
* [ Golden Arakan]
* [ Arakan Rohingya National Organization]
* [ Kaladanpress Network]
* [ UNHCR Homepage]
* [ Rohingya League for Democracy]
* [ Rohingya Students Development Movement]
* [ Arakan Today News in (Arabic)]
* [ Arakan Today News in (Urdu)]

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