Published on Sunday, 09 June 2013 11:12
Myanmar’s Citizenship Law enacted in 1982 should be reviwed in order to meet international norms, said Lower House MP Aung San Suu Kyi of the National League for Democracy.
The move came from the debate program of BBC at World Economic Forum on East Asia held in Nay Pyi Taw on June 6.
Rule of law must take effect in all parts of the country, that is; the authorities should scrutinize the non-citizens living for some time in the country whether they should be granted citizenship or not. Those appropriate for the legal right to belong to a particular country according to the citizenship law should be granted full citizenship, said Suu Kyi.
Regarding Suu Kyi’s comment on the citizenship to meet international norms, Members of Parliament, experts and ethnic leaders responded that current prevailing political situations and Myanmar’s geographical conditions should be more emphasized.
Lower House MP Thein Nyunt of New National Democracy Party said that provisions and historical background of the law should be carefully studied. The law expressed international norms, Myanmar history’s progress and nationalities. It was well prepared to perpetuate Myanmar’s sovereignty, adding that it had better discuss about the citizenship law in the parliament instead of doing outside it.
Chairman Aye Tha Aung of Rakhine League for Democracy said that the law was not yet for amendment because it was then enacted taking into consideration of the population growth of India, China and Bangladesh. Myanmar’s geographical conditions should be considered rather than whether the law was in conformity with the international norms or not.
The law is right with the current prevailing conditions in Myanmar. Everything cannot be measured through human rights. Our political, economical and social norms are not easy to be the same as international ones and ethnic rights aren’t either, Aye Tha Aung said.
Upper House MP Dr Aye Maung, the chairman of Rakhine Nationlities Development Party, said that if geographical conditions were not taken into consideration, that would violate the privileges of the citizens. Human rights norms were not same in one region to another and one ethnic to another. For example, an 18-year- old person could live independently in Europe, but in Asia that idea couldn’t be accepted.
If we think of norms, European norms are different from Asian, similarly, Islam from Buddhist and Christian from Buddhist. For instance, if a woman breaks social ethics in Muslim countries, she will be killed by throwing stones at her. In this situation, what human rights will be measured for women rights? Dr Aye Maung said.
Jimmy of the 88’s Generation Group said that how much the government could practice the existing law was more important rather than the amendment to the law. That law is so far so good in my opinion. If it is thought to be amended, it needs to seek the desire of the people.
The constitution is of great importance for a country, but custom laws are still in effect. There is a one-child policy in China. That point couldn’t be said it was not in line with human rights. In my opinion, there should be world norms and Myanmar norms separately. Norms look different around the world, said chairman Zo Zam of Chin National Party.
The Union Solidarity and Development Party submitted a proposal to amend the 1982 Myanmar Citizenship Law at the Upper House held in November in 2012, but it was objected and remained recorded.
The citizenship law was approved by referendum after the Ministry of Immigration and Population led by Minister Khin Yi had to draft it for six years.
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