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USDP condemns plan to allow Rohingyas right to travel

The USDP denounced plans to relax travel restrictions on Rohingyas at a press conference on 24 April 2018. (PHOTO: DVB)

Burma’s opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has lashed out at a government initiative to loosen travel restrictions for the holders of National Verification Cards (NVCs), which are to be issued to Rohingya refugees returning from Bangladesh.

In a statement released at a press conference on Tuesday, the former ruling USDP called on Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Win Myat Aye to “specify, in a transparent manner, which restrictions will be loosened.”

The statement continues: “Security and rule of law in the nation are at critical risk. The party [USDP] strongly condemns Dr. Win Myat Aye’s statement.”

On 19 April, Win Myat Aye said Rohingya returnees would be entitled to apply for NVCs as a step in the government’s ongoing effort to register the mostly stateless Rohingya. He said those NVC holders would in turn be able to apply for citizenship in Burma within five months after they were “scrutinised according to the law.”

“Those who are entitled to become citizens will become citizens,” he told Reuters.

The minister further noted that the move to issue NVCs was one of the recommendations submitted by Kofi Annan’s Rakhine Commission.

At today’s press conference, USDP spokesman Nandar Hla Myint said his party would submit their objections at an upcoming parliamentary session.