Closely related to the Bamar, the Rakhine inhabit Rakhine state. Although they share the same Tibeto-Burman ancestors as the Bamar, the Rakhine have darker complexions, an indication of the regions 2000 year history of contact with Indian traders, sailors, and settlers.
The Rohingya of Myanmar is one of the worlds most embattled minorities. Living in Rakhine state, the Rohingya number more than one million individuals. The Rohingya are Muslims of Bengali descent who arrived during colonial times, or possibly earlier. They have long been persecuted by the Myanmar government, which denies citizenship and insists they be returned to Bangladesh (a country which doesn’t want them either, and in which most have never set foot).