YANGON: Myanmar will examine a controversial ban imposed on Rohingya Muslims having more than two children, a top official said on Monday, after criticism from the United Nations and rights groups.
Authorities in the strife-torn western state of Rakhine said last month that they had reaffirmed the longstanding rule—which was first introduced during the junta era—in two townships.
“The central government did not announce that policy. We will look into it,” said presidential spokesman Ye Htut. “The population in that area is much higher than in other regions so there are some social and economic problems within each family.”
He said that, the government planned to implement a population policy in the future that would take international standards into consideration.
The United Nations has called for an end to the ban, which it said was discriminatory and an infringement on human rights.
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been accused by activists of failing to speak up for the marginalized Rohingya minority group, last month criticized the policy as counter to human rights.
But highlighting the pressure she faces from within her movement, eight NLD offices in Rakhine have written to the party headquarters expressing support for the two-child policy, citing national security.
Up to 140,000 people—mainly Rohingya—were displaced in two waves of sectarian unrest between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine last year that left about 200 people dead.