Yangon - Myanmar released the final results of its first nationwide census in 30 years on Friday, but the count excluded the country's Muslim Rohingya minority, as well as sensitive data on ethnicity and the religious beliefs of its 51.5 million people.
Most of Myanmar's 1.1 million Rohingya are stateless and live in apartheid-like conditions in the western state of Rakhine. Almost 140,000 were displaced in deadly clashes with majority Buddhists in Rakhine in 2012. They are denied citizenship and have long complained of state-sanctioned discrimination.
Delegates from Southeast Asian countries were gathered in the Thai capital on Friday for talks on the “boat people” crisis, which involves thousands of migrants - many of them Rohingya - floating on ships abandoned by traffickers after a recent crackdown in Thailand. Myanmar said it could not be held responsible.
The Myanmar government had promised international sponsors the Rohingya would be free to identify themselves as such in the census, conducted in March-April 2014, but backtracked a day before it started and said the use of the term would not be allowed.