Minority Rights in Ethnic States of Burma

March 12, 2011

According to the new constitution, Burma is divided into 7 Burman dominated Divisions and another 7 ethnic States for Kachin, Karen, Chin, Shan, Karenni, Mon, and Arakanese areas with some special ethnic regions for the Wa and others.  Although the recent military regime pretended to form an ethnic Union of Burma, a real union would provide equal rights to all ethnic nationalities in the country.

During the long course of civil war in Burma, the ethnic people have been the people to suffer the most for decades.  They never obtained any political rights and fundamental freedoms like the majority population in the country.  They are never the decision-makers for their natural resources in their homelands.

The military regime and the Burmese Army have operated intensive military operations against these ethnic minorities and committed gross human rights violations on a daily basis.  Thousands of ethnic people have had to flee from their homes.

The new government elected from the November 2010 election is as same as the previous government.  But if this government wants stability and economic prosperity, they must cease their decades old civil war and offer the possibility of ethnic rights to the minorities according to international principles.  The population of all combined ethnic nationalities is about one-third of the total population of Burma, and they occupy half of the country’s area. But their rights and the benefits from their land are limited.  If the government continues to ignore the rights of these minority people, this will lead to continuous civil war.


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