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US criticizes Myanmar invalidation of temp citizen cards

February 12, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is criticizing Myanmar’s decision to invalidate temporary citizenship cards for minority Rohingya Muslims.

Top State Department envoy on human rights, Tom Malinowski, registered his concern in a tweet Thursday.

He wrote that invalidating the so-called white cards is counter to hoped-for reconciliation in Rakhine State and inclusive elections.

Many Rohingya have been left homeless in deadly violence with majority Buddhists in that region.

The cards were instituted by the former ruling junta for minorities in the process of applying for citizenship.

Myanmar’s president declared Wednesday that the cards would be invalidated at the end of March. That negated an earlier decision that would have allowed card holders to vote and had prompted Buddhists to protest.

Myanmar may hold a constitutional referendum this year, before national elections.

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