X
UCA News

World

Building a strong and enduring democracy in Myanmar

As Aung San Suu Kyi urges the need for rule of law, violence in Rakhine state may threaten the momentum of reform

Myint Cho

Myint Cho

Updated: June 22, 2012 05:03 AM GMT
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Building a strong and enduring democracy in Myanmar
Share this article :

This month, the world has seen and heard of violence between ethnic Rakhine and "Rohingya" in Burma’s Rakhine State, close to Bangladesh. The resulting deaths, injuries and displacements have led the Burmese government to declare a state of emergency. The state of emergency was imposed on June 10 after a "dusk to dawn" curfew failed to contain the riots. President Thein Sein warned that the clashes could put transition to democracy at risk. "If we put racial and religious issues at the forefront, if we put the never-ending hatred, desire for revenge and anarchic actions at the forefront, and if we continue to retaliate and terrorise and kill each other, there’s a danger that [the troubles] could multiply and move beyond Rakhine state. If this happens, the general public should be aware that the country’s stability and peace, democratisation process and development … could be severely affected and much would be lost," he said. But Burmese activists at home and abroad blame the hardliners in the government and extremist groups for creating the riots. They say the rape and murder of a Rakhine woman by three "Rohingya" men and the murder of 10 Muslim men and women by a group of Rakhine men in Rakhine State are being used as a pretext to inflame tensions. We are gravely concerned that such communal strikes could lead to racial and religious conflict and destabilize Burma’s fragile reform process. The military-drafted constitution legally allows for the army chief to officially retake power in a national emergency. Aung San Suu Kyi has appealed for calm amid the rioting and stated at a press conference in Rangoon in early June that rule of law is essential to put an end to all conflicts in the country. She has also reiterated her view at the press conference after [her] speech at the International Labour Conference in Geneva on 14 June: "The most important lesson we need to learn is the need for the rule of law. Everybody must have access to the protection of the law, and of course they also have duties to abide by the laws of the land. So without rule of law, such communal strikes will only continue and the present situation will have to be handled with delicacy and sensitivity and we need the corporation of all people concerned to regain the peace back we want for our country," she said. Full Story: A Lasting Democracy in Burma Source: Newmatilda.com

UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
Support UCA News
The Pontificate | Make a Contribution
UCAN Ad
 
Contribute and get the Mission in Asia PDF Book/e-Book Free!
Contribute and get the Mission in Asia PDF Book/e-Book Free!
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia