The Rohingya are the world's largest stateless community and of one of its most persecuted minorities.

Using a dialect similar to that spoken in Chittagong in southeast Bangladesh, the Sunni Muslims are loathed by many in majority-Buddhist Myanmar who see them as illegal immigrants and call them "Bengali" -- even though many have lived in Myanmar for generations.

They are not officially recognised as an ethnic group, partly due to a 1982 law stipulating that minorities must prove they lived in Myanmar prior to 1823 -- before the first Anglo-Burmese war -- to obtain nationality.

Most live in the impoverished western state of Rakhine but are denied citizenship and harassed by restrictions on movement and work.

Another 400,000 live in Bangladeshi camps, although Dhaka only recognises a small portion as refugees.

Source: Daily Sabah