Thursday, December 8

State & Federal Constitution Study Project

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Description

Burma/Myanmar has political problem, especially on the constitutional crisis since it regained Independent from British Colony in 1948.  Even Burmese political leader, Gen. Aung San, and the ethnic leaders in Frontier Area of Burma, agreed to establish the newly independent Burma, as Federal Union, by sharing equal power among the State Governments and the Central Government.  But the Independent leader, Gen. Aung San was assassinated before Independence.  However, the remaining leaders drafted and approved 1947 Constitution (See the link in RESOURCE).

The first Burma’s 1947 Constitution was abolished in 1962 after a military coup by Gen. Ne Win. Gen, Chief of Staff of Burmese Army.  Gen. Ne Win drafted 1974 Constitution and replaced to 1947 Constitution.  Ethnic people, those were guaranteed by the former Burmese political leaders, were attacked.  Finally, Chin, Shan, Karenni, and Kachin ethnic groups formed up their owne armed resistance groups and fought against the central government.  In 1988, there was popular uprising in Burma, and then the Burmese Army took power from the people again.   Pro-democracy students have joined the ethnic armed resistance groups, and fought against military government. re

During 1990s, the lawyers from both pro-democracy movement and ethnic armed groups considered to draft a Federal Constitution based on the nature of Burma, which has diversity of ethnicities, based on democratic principles.  Then, during 2000s, each ethnic people have tried to draft their own State Constitution, in their own ethnic armed controlled areas.  They have held many constitutional consultants with their own ethnic academics and civil society organizations (CSOs).

Therefore, seven main ethnic groups (except Burmese or Myanmar ethnic groups) completed the DRAFT constitutions, and it means that they are ready to form Federal Union of Burma/ Myanmar, based on the principle of racial equality and the rights to self-determination.

The objectives of this Project are:

  • Analyse on the current 2008 Constitution and encourage for constitutional reform for more democratic and separation of powers to local governments
  • Research on the Federation of foreign countries and their State or Region or County Constitutions or State-building and provided these knowledges to publics and to law-makers.
  • Conduct public consultation and public forums on constitutions appropriate to State/ Region and Federal Union.
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