DMG Newsroom
8 August 2022, Sittwe

Words about ethnic rights, equality and federalism that come from the mouth of the Myanmar military regime are hollow and will fool no one, critics say.

“He used those words because it would be impossible to hold dialogue with ethnic people otherwise. The current regime is using the same words now. It is talking about peace and federalism only because it is weakened, and in crisis,” said political analyst U Than Soe Naing.

Junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, as he met leaders of the Shan State Progress Party on August 4, suggested ethnic people join the election so that they can press their demands at the parliament.

“Ethnic people must press their demands peacefully, in line with the law,” said Min Aung Hlaing.

Min Aung Hlaing said what he did because he wants to make the election that he promised in August of next year successful, and he can’t defeat the resistance forces militarily, said Arakanese politician U Pe Than.

“The military has 25 percent of seats in the parliament. If the electoral system is switched to proportional representation, it is very likely that the military will form the government then. Ethnic people will only get what the military gives them. They will not get the rights they are demanding [from a military-dominated parliament and government],” he said.

The only way ethnic people can ensure that their demands are heeded is to build strength that draws the regime’s attention, he said.

Min Aung Hlaing, in a speech on August 1 to mark 18 months since the military takeover, said that parliament under the military-drafted Constitution is the only solution for ethnic people to air their grievances and press their demands on the official political stage.

Political analyst U Ye Htun, who is also a former Lower House lawmaker from Hsipaw, said: “In a multi-ethnic country with an ethnic group being the majority, if the Constitution does not guarantee ethnic minorities their rights, it is very unlikely that ethnic people can have their demands fulfilled even if they make demands in parliament.”

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