Around 500 Yanbyal locals protested against Bengalis registering themselves as Kaman ethnics on January 12.
The protest centered over the accusation that despite Bengalis hailing mostly from the Kyauk Ni Maw area, agreeing to go through the national verification project, they’ve now registered themselves as one of Rakhine’s native ethnicities.
They also claimed that it is a well-known fact that Kaman ethnics number under 100 in the region. However, immigration officials had accepted the registration of false information from at least 1,000 Bengalis.
Phyu Lone, one of the protestors, said “We’ve been hearing that Bengalis in Rakhine are secretly plotting to gain citizenship cards. We are protesting against attempts by the Bengalis in Kyauk Ni Maw to become Kaman ethnics as well as for immigration officials to follow the 1982 citizenship laws. We have to protest because the groups that have been conducting field data collections lack transparency in how they do things.”