Myan­mar’s Union Day

The Global Digest (English) - - Contents - By Staff Cor­re­spon­dent

Ac­cord­ing to press re­lease, we are a group of eth­nic peo­ple from Myan­mar and a col­lec­tion of other hu­man rights ac­tivists. To­day, we are hold­ing a democ­racy and eth­nic free­dom rights demon­stra­tion in front of the Myan­mar Em­bassy. This is in com­mem­o­ra­tion of Union Day, which started in Pan­g­long Town, Shan State, Myan­mar on Fe­bru­ary 12, 1947.

The “Union Day” is the birth­day of the Myan­mar na­tion, which was for­mally formed as a multi-na­tion state for the first time. On this day, 23 rep­re­sen­ta­tives from four ter­ri­to­ries, which com­prised of the Shan state, the Kachin state, the Chin state and main­land Burma, signed an agree­ment in Pan­g­long to form the Union of Myan­mar. To honor this his­tor­i­cal agree­ment, all Myan­mar peo­ple cel­e­brate the day as a “Union Day” across the na­tion on Fe­bru­ary 12th ev­ery year. This day is the most im­por­tant day in mod­ern Myan­mar’s his­tory.

Th­ese four ter­ri­to­ries are also rep­re­sen­ta­tive of al­most the en­tire ter­ri­tory of the cur­rent Myan­mar re­gion as drawn in the coun­try’s map. Not only did the Pan­g­long agree­ment pave the way for the for­ma­tion of the Myan­mar na­tion, it also en­abled the coun­try to gain in­de­pen­dence from the Bri­tish Em­pire. Sig­nif­i­cantly, the Pan­g­long agree­ment guar­an­teed the peo­ple free­dom in both the eth­nic mi­nor­ity ter­ri­to­ries and main­land Burma, and in­cluded such things as equal­ity and jus­tice, unity and shar­ing to­gether resources for the coun­try’s pros­per­ity. The core is­sue of the Pan­g­long agree­ment was to setup “a multi-na­tions state” to be a peace­ful and pros­per­ous coun­try.

How­ever, the coun­try’s suc­ces­sive rulers, Myan­mar mil­i­tary gov­ern­ments, have never im­ple­mented the Pan­g­long agree­ment and have not re­spected the “Union Day” since 1962, when the coun­try fell un­der the mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment’s rule com­pletely. From that time, the mil­i­tary abol­ished the Pan­g­long agree­ment and the “Union Day” has never been hon­ored in its orig­i­nal spirit since then. In­stead, the mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment wrongly rep­re­sents “Union Day” and mis­leads the peo­ple from the real essence of its goal.

In 2008, the mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment de­lib­er­ately drafted a con­sti­tu­tion in or­der to keep mil­i­tary con­trol over the coun­try, which is against the prin­ci­ple of the Pan­g­long agree­ment, such as 25% of seats re­served for the mil­i­tary in par­lia­ment. Sev­eral eth­nic groups re­quested that the draft con­sti­tu­tion be a gen­uine one ahead of its cre­ation. How­ever, the mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment flatly re­jected this pro­posal. The mil­i­tary and its party, the cur­rent gov­ern­ment, con­tinue con­flict with eth­nic mi­nori­ties in pe­riph­eral ar­eas and con­tinue to carry out hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions. It is clear that the Myan­mar mil­i­tary’s at­ti­tude has been shown to be de­ceit­ful with re­gards to its coun­try’s peo­ple and be­fore the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

There­fore, we, the All Eth­nic Democ­racy and Hu­man Rights Net­work (AEDHRN), de­mand that the Myan­mar mil­i­tary backed cur­rent gov­ern­ment: 1. Stop the mil­i­tary in­ter­fer­ing in civil gov­ern­ment. 2. Re­move the con­sti­tu­tion which guar­an­tees 25% mil­i­tary rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the par­lia­ment and amend the con­sti­tu­tion ac­cord­ing to demo­cratic and in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights prin­ci­ples. 3. Stop con­tin­u­ing war and hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions. 4. Pro­vide hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance to eth­nic mi­nori­ties in con­flict zones. 5. Re­lieve the coun­try from eco­nomic op­pres­sion.

Fur­ther­more, we ask that the Korean peo­ple and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity show staunch sup­port for the end of eth­nic re­pres­sion in Burma/ Myan­mar.

Eth­nics peo­ple protest yearly in-front of Myan­mar Em­bassy

in Seoul on the Union Day which held in Fe­bru­ary

All Eth­nics Democ­racy and

Hu­man Rights Net­work mem­bers protest in-front of Myan­mar Em­bassy in Seoul

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