Ethnic groups concern about govt’s census taking plan
27 February 2014: In a meeting with Khin Yi, Union Minister of Immigration and Population, held in Nay Pyi Taw today, ethnic representatives raise concerns about government’s plans to review data after taking census.
They asked questions in regards to how the authorities would conduct the March-April census counting based on the government-approved 135 national races, a number that ethnic nationalities in the country do not accept.
Salai Ceu Bik Thawng, members of the Chin National Action Committee on Census 2014, said that the government said the list of national races would be reviewed afterwards by government-formed ethnic affairs committee, adding: “Each ethnic group should be responsible for designation of their own identity.”
Myint Kyaing, Director-General of Population Department, said in the New Light of Myanmar interview that the list of national races was approved in 1973 and 1983, and that no more amendment was made to it.
In a statement released today, the Kachin National Organization said that they are extremely concerned over a plan by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to launch a controversial 2014 Population and Housing Census this Saturday, 1 March.
General Secretary Hkanhpa Sadan said: “We recognise the fact that a census should one day be conducted but it is not the right time, owing to the fighting in Kachin state and Northern Shan State.”
The statement raised doubt about the validity of the government-listed groups of 135 ethnic nationalities, also putting stress on the incorrect coding system and lack of inclusive community consultation and approval in the process.
The Chin National Front (CNF) said in its recent statement that the census should be carried out only after holding discussions with ethnic nationalities in the country, thus calling for the postponement.
The Nay Pyi Taw meeting was attended by 24 representatives from ten different ethnic groups.#