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Myanmar census takers make final rounds in controversial exercise

Published on Apr 10, 2014 8:29 PM

YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar census takers made their final rounds on Thursday in the country's first population tally in three decades, which triggered international concern over a refusal to recognise the stateless Rohingya.

More than 10 million households have taken part in the survey, according to official figures for the first 10 days of the 12-day exercise, which is designed to plug widespread information gaps in the poverty-stricken nation.

But the census has come under criticism from its own backers in the United Nations and Western governments after authorities decided not to allow minority Muslims to register their ethnicity as Rohingya following a fresh wave of unrest in the western state of Rakhine.

This has meant potentially tens of thousands of Rohingya have gone unrecorded, while thousands more in conflict-torn northern Kachin were also missed out after ethnic minority rebels refused to allow enumerators into their territory.

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