Govt urged to use ‘Karen’ for ethnicity in Burma
12 January 2014: The central government of Burma and the central census commission have been urged to use the word ‘Karen’ rather than ‘Kayin’ when referring to Karen ethnic nationality in English.
A statement released on Friday by Karen representatives from across the country said that the original English word ‘Karen’ is to be used in mentioning the Karen people.
It accused the authority of using the word ‘Kayin’ without the Karen people’s approval in place of ‘Karen’ for their ethnicity.
270 Karen representatives from different states and regions met in Pa-an town of Karen State on 9-10 January 2014, ahead of the upcoming 2014 Population and Housing Census.
Topics discussed at the meeting included a review on the way in which Karen and its sub-groups are categorized and classified in the 2014 Population and Census Enumeration Plan.
The statement said: “In the previous census enumerations, there were no true representatives of the ethnic nationalities among the ethnic leaders and academics, who designated the names of sub-groups of the ethnic nationalities, and the process was carried out without the sub-groups’ approval of the names given to them.”
It also said that some of the Karen sub-groups are found to be included in the list of other ethnic nationalities.
The meeting called for reviewing and amending the Immigration and Census laws, and providing protection for the rights of ethnic nationalities in Burma.#