YANGON, Myanmar – Buddhist monks have joined several hundred protesters outside the U.S. Embassy in Myanmar to demand it stop using the term "Rohingya" to refer to a Muslim ethnic minority group.
The protesters insisted the group be called "Bengali" and be regarded as illegal migrants from Bangladesh. The families of many members of the minority have lived in Myanmar for generations.
Myanmar does not officially recognize the Rohingya as an ethnic group, and denies most of them citizenship and basic rights. Conflict over land in the western state of Rakhine, where most of the estimated 1 million Rohingya live, caused violence between Buddhists and Muslims which later spread to other parts of the country.
The U.S. Embassy used the term "Rohingya" this month in a statement of concern about their situation.