Myanmar’s Union Day
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