Of course they are a Burmese ethnic group and if there were DNA tests you would find they have been here for centuries.
The Burman generals are inherently racist. One is not an economic migrant (from "Bengal" -- Bangladesh -- if one has been in Burma "less than a century" That was the 1975? definition used by the military junta using the Burmese annexation date of 1886.)
Here is an unedited comment from a dissident email list:
The Rohingyas are bonafide citizens of Burma.
The Military Coup detat of General Ne Win had changed their status as he is too much anti Muslims and anti Islam.this is the only point to remember by the justice loving world.
They will not be persecuted if they profess Buddhism. Ne Win had made wrong against these humanity being and now his family members are suffering under Than Shwe. Where is Khin Nyunt now, who terrorized the Rohingyas?
There are new Burmese settelements in Arakan as the Jews did in Occupied Palestine.
There are gross human right violations in Arakan.The absent of world electronic media,the world is silent on Arakan and Rohingyas. I will ask BBC,VOA,Al JAZIRA to visit inside Arakan to see physically .