Political Reform Comes at Cost of Ethnic Representation in Naypyidaw


Political Reform Comes at Cost of Ethnic Representation in Naypyidaw

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Burma has had political change but the ruling Burmese government continues to refuse offering ethnic representatives important roles or key position within the national government.

Burmese President Thein Sein, far right, talks with representatives of 14 political parties in Naypyidaw on August 4. (Photo: President’s Office)

Burmese President Thein Sein recently appointed thirty-six ministers for thirty possible ministerial positions within the union-level of government administration, and yet none of these thirty-six appointees is a representative of one of Burma’s seven ethnic groups.

On September 4th, four MPs from Burma’s Lower House, representing different oppositional parties such as the National League for Democracy, the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP), and the Shan Nationalities Development Party, proposed a motion to appoint one ethnic representative to a cabinet of six MPs slated to be nominated to work in the President’s office, at his request.

The proposal, however, was rejected in the Lower House of Burma’s Parliament, which would later appoint six MPs, all Burmese, to work for the President’s office.

“It was time to tell the truth even though we knew that they [Burmese government] would turn down our proposal,” said Ba Shein, a MP from Burma’s Lower House from RNDP.

Ba Shein, who is also a lawyer, reiterated said that the government is talking a lot about the promotion of ethnic rights through media outlets such as radio, TV, and the state-run newspaper, but that the practical truth is that the government is worried about giving a single position to an ethnic representative.

There are thirty ministers in Burma and all are Burmese and were appointed by President Thein Sein after he reshuffled his office earlier this month.

Burma’s state-run newspaper reported today that Burma’s Lower House is working letting ethnic language teaching outside of school hours as a basic, elementary class at government schools.
The ethnic MPs who were at Burma’s Upper House in parliament proposed letting ethnic languages be taught during schools time at both an elementary and advanced, high school level. Ethnic people and their political representatives claim they have the right to be able to learn their mother language.

Under the rule of the Burmese regime, the teaching of the languages of the ethnic people to children was banned. Those who were taught an ethnic language were put in prison, a further plight in the oppression of ethnic people.

Nai Banyar Oung Moe, a member of Burma’s Upper Parliament, said, “We need the right to teach. Our first step is the need to run our own education system. If we have our own education system, it won’t be difficult to later run our own government.”


More articles from issue 05/2 More articles from issue 02/3
More articles from issue 05/2
- Ethnic Political Party Alliance Calls for Federal Cooperation in Peace Process

- New Formed Mon Researcher To Protect Old Kingdom

- Seven Arrested in Lamine sub-Township Drug Bust

- US Delegation Meets Ethnic MPs in Naypyidaw

- Two Mon Parties Reaffirm Agreement to Unite

- A house divided will fail to win power for the Mon

- Questions Arise as Reports of Additional Military Training Surface

- Burma Tour Agency Offers Spiritual Travel Experience

- Reformist Burmese Government Continues to Use ‘Divide and Rule’ Colonial System

- Forty-Three Rohingya Boatpeople Walk Out Freely from Prison in Moulmein

- Federalism Agenda in Burma

- ‘Maintain and Be Proud of Your Ethnic Identity’ Say Suu Kyi amid Whirlwind Trip to United States

- Concerns Grows Over Threat of Increased Drug Use in Mon State

- Government Land-Seizure Investigation Committee Moves to Karen State

- Ethnic Mon in America Welcome Suu Kyi’s Visit With Words of Advice

- First Permitted Commemoration of International Peace Day Marks in Moulmein

- Ethnic Groups Issue Their Own Peace Plan

- Ethnic Mon Monk and Right Activists Make Donation to Insein Prison

- Ethnic Mon Monks Face Accusations of Partiality in Face of Difficult Political Talks

- Political Reform Comes at Cost of Ethnic Representation in Naypyidaw

- NMSP Outlines Party Objectives at 65th Mon Revolution Day

- NMSP maintains “wait and see” Policy

- Ethnic Mon MPs Meet Mon Migrants in Mahachai

- Pa-oh group agrees to a ceasefire with the Burmese government.

- Eight Thai Citizens Facing Prison in Burma

- Ethnic Languages to be Taught in Burmese Schools

- Ethnic Political Party Alliance Requests Reforms to Government Census Lists

- Initial Agreement Reached Between 88 Generation and Two Mon Political Parties

- Ethnic Conference Through to Find out Peace Hopefully (Interview)

- Starting Historic Journal, The Than Lwin Times (Interview)

- KNU says Burmese Government does not Want Real Political Dialogue

- Remembering Mon leader Nai Non Lar

- Mon Curriculum Brought to President Thein Sein

- Ethnic Mon Buddhist Doctor To Teach in Germany

- Mon Leadership at a Crossroads (Opinion)

- Ethnic Mon in Sangkhlaburi Join Buddhist Chanting to Celebrate the Buddhist Lent

- Educational Funding Possibilities Arise as Multi-Ethnic Curriculum Argument Increases

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