Thu 14 Mar 2013
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
The official number of Naga people in Myanmar is dropping because they do not have identification cards, said the president of Yangon Naga Student Association at a conference on March 11.“Ethnic Naga people live happily in the mountains and don’t really care about ID cards,” said Naw Aung San. “But this is now leading to population loss.”
Rev. Sein Maung, the secretary of the Naga Baptist League, said that he wanted an exact and accurate census conducted next year.
“As far as I know, there are more than three million Naga people who do not have ID cards,” he said.
Zaw Wint Phyo, the secretary of the Naga Mountain Range Development Network, said it is important that the government prioritizes the collection of exact data on the Naga population and allocates ID cards.
Only those from Layshee, Layhel and Nan Yoon have official ID cards, he said.
Myanmar’s Deputy Minister of Immigration and Population came under fire earlier this week when he stated that the Naga people were in fact a sub-group of the Chin.
Myanmar’s first census in 31 years will be held in April 2014. Previous figures and registers are notoriously outdated; at the 2010 general election thousands of people complained that they were not allowed to vote because their names did not appear on the register, which is in turn taken from the same official database as the census.