MIPS Launches Book on Principles of Democratic Federal Union

The Myanmar Institute for Peace and Security (MIPS) launched a book titled ‘Discussions on the Principles of the Building of the Democratic Federal Union of Myanmar” at the Orchid Hotel on January 18 in Yangon.

Dr Min Zaw Oo from MIPS, who participated in the drafting of the research paper, said the ethnic armed organizations have federal principles while the Tatmadaw, the government, and political parties also have their own federal principles so the paper aims to assist in the negotiation between opposite sides.

“We have discussed about how to avoid confrontations and overcome problems during the negotiations. We are not suggesting what they should choose. We have presented the proposals for everyone to consider. These proposals aim to overcome confrontations,” he explained.

During the book launching ceremony, officials from MIPS explained the reasons of writing the book and its contents. U Aung Min, a former union minister who led the peace process in the previous administration, and Yebaw Myo Win, secretary of the Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC) and member of the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF) gave opening remarks.

“I received a draft copy of this book when we were unable to negotiate the principles on building the federal union during the second session of (the 21st Century Panglong Conference). It would have been better if this book was sent to me earlier because it would have been very useful for the discussion. But, it’s not too late. We still have a long journey ahead,” said Yebaw Myo Win.

The book features 18 chapters on the principles of the federal system and contains a comparison with the agreements of the Union Peace Conference and the 2008 Constitution.

“Surprising points have been found when we draft this paper. A 45-point federal principle was proposed and discussed [at the Union Peace Conference]. Then, an agreement was reached on 37 points. Nine points remained [without agreement]. So, we tried to match the 37-point agreement with the 2008 Constitution. Some of them match. Twenty-one points matched [with the constitution] on principle and essence, but the phrasing is different. Among the nine points that have not reached an agreement, four points match on principle with the 2008 [Constitution]. So, it’s questionable whether or not the people who took part in the dialogue have read the 2008 Constitution,” said Dr Salai Ngun Cung Lian, who led the research.

According to the MIPS, the book covers discussions of various groups at the Union Peace Conference, study on the 1947 Constitution, 1974 Constitution, and the 2008 Constitution, study on international constitutions, and discussions on the principles of a democratic federal union.

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