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Burma Begins Rare Census

  • VOA News

A Burma census enumerator and volunteers walk in a Muslim neighborhood collecting information in Rangoon, March 30, 2014.
Census-takers are fanning out across Burma - also known as Myanmar - to gather data for a rare count of the population. The census has already been criticized for stoking religious and ethnic tensions.

The count was called into question after the government ruled that Muslims had to register as "Bengali" rather than "Rohingya," a stateless group the United Nations said is among the world's most persecuted minorities.

Ethnic minorities fear the detailed questions in the census will be used for political purposes.

Some groups say they will block census-takers from entering their regions, while others said they will boycott the survey.

The census is scheduled to end on April 10.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.