As war of words drags on, government in Rakhine State opts for term ‘Rakhine ethnics’

A day after thousands of Buddhist nationalists staged protests across Rakhine State, the regional government issued a statement saying it would call the state’s Buddhist majority “Rakhine ethnics”, as controversy over terminology continues to simmer. The announcement yesterday said the state government would drop the phrase “the Buddhist community in Rakhine State” – as had been previously suggested by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s government – to refer to the ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in the state, after nationalist objections to the broader categorisation helped fuel the July 3 demonstrations. The July 3 protests saw thousands of Buddhists, including monks, turn out in a show of opposition to her preferred terminology.

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