Michael W. Charney is with Maung Zarni.

I am posting an official reference to the Rohingya as an ethnic group made by the Burmese government in 1954–this is a primary NOT a secondary source cited from somewhere else and it comes from U Nu. It’s rather important because (1) it admits that the Rohingya are national ethnics, (2) it insists on how loyal Rohingyas are to the Union, (3) it clarifies that the Rohingyas were the group who defended the Union from the Mujahadeen.

U Nu Speech

25 September 1954 Official Burmese Government Translation of U Nu Speech Broadcast from the Voice of Burma, translation published 29 September 1954

“Southwest of the Union of Burma is the Arakan Division. Within that division are the two townships of Buthidaung and Maungdaw in Akyab District, and these are contiguous with the frontier of East Pakistan. The nationals of the Union in those townships are Ruhinjas who are Muslims. There are the Mujahids too whose aim is no less than to secede Buthidaung and Maungdaw from the Union of Burma and set up a separate Muslim state… It is well known that most of the population of Maungdaw and Buthidaung are Muslims. Their leaders also give us the pledge that their loyalty to the Government will never be shaken. What is more, they are actually leading their followers in battle with Government arms against the Mujahids. This area would have been the most unruly area were it not for the right policy of religious toleration.”

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