Myanmar charter bars federalism: ethnic leaders say

Yangon (Eleven Media/ANN) - Leaders from different ethnic parties said establishing federal system is impossible in accord with the 2008 Constitution during the second day of Myanmar Constitutional Democracy Workshop, held in Micasa Hotel Yangon.

Ethnic leaders mainly pointed that the delegation of the Constitution does not give full autonomy to the ethnic groups and military taking 25 per cent of the parliamentary seats are the main barrier to the federalism.

"All we need is to understand and accept the federalism. Actually, the parliament can change the Constitution even within a day. I think military personnel will accept when they understand about federalism indeed. But we still have to overcome the obstacles," said Zo Zam, the chairman of the Chin National Party and the spokesperson of the ethnic brotherhood parties.

According to Zo Zam, the government will organize a conference in 2014 like the Panlong conference. The national race leaders are making effort to amend the Constitution before 2014 conference. If prior amendment could not be happened, triumph would be again in 2014 conference.

Equality is important since Myanmar is composed of different national races. The main essence of Panlong agreement signed by the General Aung San and ethnic people is the "equality".

"Because we couldn't implement the fact containing in the Panlong agreement, civil were uncontrolled. The current constitution does not match with the basic principle of democracy, not showing exactly the rights of the ethnic people," said Aye Thar Aung, chairman of the Arakan League for Democracy.

Aye Thar Aung commented that amendment or changes must be done in order to firm the democracy foundation prior to 2015. If not, it will fail to meet the public expectation.

The national races prepare data for the draft the Constitution.

"In fact, the 2008 Constitution was drawn for the intention of the military regime perpetuity. Although the country is transforming into democracy, the lower level actually is not effected the reform processes," said Naing Ngwe Thein, chairman of the All Mon Democracy Party.

Federal system can be shaped by the delegation of autonomy between the union government and the regional governments. The delegation system must be defined in the constitution. Independent courts have to judge the arguments between the union government and the regional governments.

There are 28 countries used the federal system out of 192 members of the United Nations. Federalism is likely to be exercised in the countries with many ethnic groups, having large country area.

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