Burma’s Junta Urged to Respect Panglong Agreement
10 February 2011: A group of Burma’s ethnic nationalities based in South Korea protested in commemoration of Union Day in front of the Burmese Embassy last Sunday, calling for an end to military rule and the immediate restoration of the Panglong Agreement.
The event – organised by the Chin Democracy and Human Rights Network (CDHRN), in association with other ethnic communities from Burma – marked the 64th anniversary of Union Day, which emerged as a result of the conference held between ethnic leaders and the then interim Burmese government in Panglong Town of Shan State on 12 February 1947.
On the agenda then was the united struggle for independence from Britain and the future of Burma after independence as a unified republic.
A CDHRN statement released yesterday said the Panglong Agreement included vital elements such as equality, sharing together in the country’s prosperity, and setting up a federal system of government in Burma, adding: “Not only did the Panglong Agreement pave the way for the formation of the Myanmar nation, it also enabled the country to gain independence from the British empire.”
The statement also criticised successive military regimes for their failure to implement the Panglong Agreement, and for the lack of respect for ‘Union Day’ since 1962, when the country fell completely under military rule.
Initially, the Panglong Agreement was signed with the aims of forming a federal Burma based on equality and self-determination for all ethnic nationalities in the country.
Burma’s military junta has never honored ‘Union Day’ in its original spirit, and instead has refused to respect the true goals of the Panglong Agreement, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, Burma Democratic Concern (BDC), in partnership with Burmese communities in the UK, is to hold a demonstration in front of the Burmese Embassy in London tomorrow, calling on the Burmese authorities to bring about national reconciliation in the country.
Van Biak Thang