Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has criticised plans by authorities in western Burma to revive a two-child limit on Muslim Rohingya families, a policy that does not apply to Buddhists and comes amid accusations of ethnic cleansing.
Authorities in strife-torn Rakhine state (also known as Arakan state) said they were restoring a measure imposed during past military rule that banned Rohingya families from having more than two children. Details about the policy and how it will be enforced have not been released, sparking calls for clarity and concerns of more discrimination against a group the United Nations calls one of the world’s most persecuted people.
The government has not made any statement about the policy since Rakhine state authorities quietly enacted the measure a week ago.
“If true, this is against the law,” said Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She has faced criticism for failing to defend the Rohingya following two waves of deadly sectarian violence last year. She told reporters she had not heard details of the measure but, if it exists: “It is discriminatory and also violates human rights.”
The two-child policy applies to two Rakhine townships that are about 95 per cent Muslim. Nationwide, Muslims account for only about 4 per cent of Burma’s roughly 60 million people.