Leaders from the Karen and Mon ethnic armed groups have called for Burma’s law makers to put in place legislation to protect ethnic minority’s rights.
This follows on the back of the Kutkai constituency representative, U Ti Khun Myat’s, proposal in the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) to safeguard ethnic rights through the law.
The Karen National Union’s vice chairman, Saw David Tharc Kapaw, said.
“There should laws to protect minority groups. Our country has difference ethnic groups and we should not run the risk of the majority groups oppressing those in the minority. Burma needs a specific law to prevent this from happening.”
Naing Han Tha, the secretary general of the New Mon State Party, asked why the Burmese language is the country’s only official language despite the many different ethnic people.
Naing Han Tha, spoke out about self-determination for ethnic states.
“The state ministers were assigned by the President. At the moment ethnic people don’t have the right to self-determination or cannot develop laws that are relevant to their particular needs. We must have these reforms it is the only way country will develop peacefully.”
Naing Han Tha says that government officers should discuss with all ethnic groups to develop the laws for the ethnic people.
“They cannot develop laws for us without our involvement. If they really want to put in place laws to protect ethnic rights, they have to first discuss with all the ethnic armed groups and ethnic political parties.”
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from National League for Democracy party also raised the issue to the Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) that ethnic states have the worst poverty rates and a lack of development.
U Ti Khun Myat’s proposal in Pyithu Hluttaw received support from two representatives from Kachin constituencies, two from Pyin Oo Lwin and Utaya Thri constituencies and one from the Bu Thi Thaung constituency.