World

Hundreds protest in Myanmar against voting rights for Rochingya in constitutional referendum

  • Buddhist monks holding placards shout slogans as they march for a protest Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Hundreds of people have demonstrated in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, to protest a government decision to allow people without full citizenship, including members of the Rohingya ethnic minority, to vote in an upcoming constitutional referendum. Parliament recently decided to allow temporary identity card holders, known as white card holders, the right to vote in a referendum for constitutional amendments. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    Buddhist monks holding placards shout slogans as they march for a protest Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Hundreds of people have demonstrated in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, to protest a government decision to allow people without full citizenship, including members of the Rohingya ethnic minority, to vote in an upcoming constitutional referendum. Parliament recently decided to allow temporary identity card holders, known as white card holders, the right to vote in a referendum for constitutional amendments. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)  (The Associated Press)

  • Activists hold placards as they march for a protest Wednesday, Feb.11, 2015 in Yangon, Myanmar. Hundreds of people have demonstrated in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, to protest a government decision to allow people without full citizenship, including members of the Rohingya ethnic minority, to vote in an upcoming constitutional referendum. Parliament recently decided to allow temporary identity card holders, known as white card holders, the right to vote in a referendum for constitutional amendments. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    Activists hold placards as they march for a protest Wednesday, Feb.11, 2015 in Yangon, Myanmar. Hundreds of people have demonstrated in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, to protest a government decision to allow people without full citizenship, including members of the Rohingya ethnic minority, to vote in an upcoming constitutional referendum. Parliament recently decided to allow temporary identity card holders, known as white card holders, the right to vote in a referendum for constitutional amendments. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)  (The Associated Press)

  • Activists hold a placard that reads "We strongly oppose the decision of Parliament on White Card holders to vote in referendum, protest led by Union of Myanmar Citizens" during their protest Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Hundreds of people have demonstrated in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, to protest a government decision to allow people without full citizenship, including members of the Rohingya ethnic minority, to vote in an upcoming constitutional referendum. Parliament recently decided to allow temporary identity card holders, known as white card holders, the right to vote in a referendum for constitutional amendments. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    Activists hold a placard that reads "We strongly oppose the decision of Parliament on White Card holders to vote in referendum, protest led by Union of Myanmar Citizens" during their protest Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Yangon, Myanmar. Hundreds of people have demonstrated in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, to protest a government decision to allow people without full citizenship, including members of the Rohingya ethnic minority, to vote in an upcoming constitutional referendum. Parliament recently decided to allow temporary identity card holders, known as white card holders, the right to vote in a referendum for constitutional amendments. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of people have demonstrated in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, to protest a government decision to allow people without full citizenship, including members of the Rohingya ethnic minority, to vote in an upcoming constitutional referendum.

Most Muslim Rohingya are not citizens, and prejudice against them is high in the predominantly Buddhist nation.

Parliament is debating several constitutional amendments. It recently approved a proposal by President Thein Sein to allow people with temporary identification cards, such as Rohingya, to vote in a referendum planned for May.

Communal tensions have led to violence in recent years which left at least 280 people dead and 140,000 homeless, mostly Muslims confined to squalid camps in the western state of Rakhine.