I found this fascinating blog post just now from a Burmese scholar who says there is really no ethnic group called ‘Rohingya’ with a longtime claim on the Arakan region of Burma. Here is the conclusion of Khin Maung Saw’s post:
If one carefully scrutinizes all available authentic historical and etymological facts it comes out clearly that there was no ethnic group called “Rohingya” in Arakan as well as in Burma, and it is only an invented name in the 1950’s. All claims of the “Rohingyas” are baseless and found out to be incorrect.
Boat People came direct from Bangladesh and not from Arakan. They were caned by the human traffickers. Just to get asylum in an ASEAN country they have to fabricate some tragic stories and had to claim to be ‘Rohingyas’.
In any case, I have to be very careful to present this article in a very neutral way so that the paper does not read either as an attack on “Rohingyas” or as a polemical piece aimed at “Rohingyas”, nor be seen as a racial writing. The biggest worry for me is: This article might be misinterpreted as an indirect support for the position of the very brutal Burmese Military Junta.
Here, I sincerely suggest to the “Rohingyas” to change their tactics. Instead of attacking all people who do not support their dishonest claims they should attack the Burmese Military Junta only. In the mean time they should learn to speak, read and write Burmese, especially the Rakhaing Dialect, and make friends with other ethnic groups of Burma, particularly with the Rakhaings who are the natives and majority of that state. Instead of demanding for the rights of an indigenous ethnic minority of Arakan by inventing fabricated and fanciful histories and trying to turn the traditional Buddhist land of Arakan into a Muslim state, they should be honest and just request to be granted the right to permanent residential status and then the right to be naturalized citizens of Burma step by step to which the Arakanese people (Rakhaings) will have no objection. [Edit: Emphasis mine]
Why do we have an entire category on the Rohingya? It is because they are using their claims of persecution to get resettlement in the West and they are succeeding.