Protestors Gather in Yangon to Call for Constitutional Amendment

Protestors Gather in Rangoon to Call for Constitutional Amendments

Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, democracy, reform

About 70 protestors gathered in Rangoon on Friday to demand constitutional changes. (Photo: Sai Zaw / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — Several dozen activists gathered in front of Rangoon’s City Hall on Friday to protest and demand that Burma’s Parliament amends provisions in the Constitution that prevent opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president.

About 70 protestors gathered at City Hall carrying banners on Friday morning and Zaw Win, a member of a small activist group called Democratic Forces, said the demonstration was meant to focus public attention on the ongoing controversy surrounding Burma’s military-drafted Constitution.

The 2008 Constitution is widely viewed as being undemocratic as it grants sweeping political powers to the military and because Article 59 (f) prevents National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Suu Kyi from becoming president.

The article states that a president’s spouse or children cannot be citizens of a foreign country. Suu Kyi was married to British national Micheal Aris, who died in 1999, and she has two sons who are British subjects.

“We don’t want such an article. Without it, we can freely vote for our leader. We want to urge the government to listen to our voices,” said a protestor named Hla Myint.

“We will continue with our demands as we think it is our civic right to choose our leader for the presidency,” said another protester called Kay Thi Nwe.

“The NLD also has many demands for constitutional amendments, but the key is the people’s desires, these must not be ignored,” said Rakha Wuntha, a monk from Magway Monastic School in Rangoon, who participated in the gathering.

Since becoming an MP in 2012, Suu Kyi has called for broad-ranging changes to the Constitution, but the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has thus far dragged their feet on such discussions.

On Monday, however, the USDP announced that it was putting forth 57 amendments to the Constitution, including an amendment to Article 59 (f) that could allow Suu Kyi to become president as long as her two sons renounce their British citizenship and become Burmese citizens.

It remains unclear what Suu Kyi thinks of the amendments suggested by the ruling party, which is closely affiliated with Burma’s powerful military.

On Thursday, President Thein Sein said that he supports efforts to change the Constitution and remove restrictions that currently prevent opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president.

Speaking in a monthly radio address, Thein Sein said “a healthy Constitution must be amended from time to time to address the national, economic and social needs of our society.”

4 Responses to Protestors Gather in Rangoon to Call for Constitutional Amendments

  1. USDP and puppet creates a new tricks and traps on DASSK to force her 2 sons to be Burmese citizenship because those USDP, puppet and wirathu are very much interested in other people’s personal matters such as sex, marriage , citizenship, religious belief and language choice-force to speak and understand less-vocabulary-Burmese language, compared to English and Chinese to be eligibility of Burmese citizenship instead of Kachin, Chin, Karen, Arankanese languages.
    USDP and puppet thein sein appear again in use of slogan of nationalism (foreign or ethnics’ invasion), sovereignty, Buddhinization, de-panlongnization and bamanization again to downgrade DASSK’s vote.

    I would like to suggest DASSK to demand or put the following conditions (political strategies) to those USDP, fox than shwe and his men and cronies who demand DASSK’s sons to be Burmese citizens.
    (1) For studying Burmese language as well as use of foreign language media teaching in Burma for all oversea Burmese returnees (who denounces their foreign passports), USDP, fox than shwe, his men and his cronies (U pie) should donate all of their wealth at once for building new special high schools and universities throughout Burma.
    (2)For medical health, build special hospitals, clinics through out Burma at once particularly for those oversea returnees from the donation of all of the wealth of USDP members, fox than shwe, his men and cronies.
    (3) For the safety of all oversea Burmese returnees because of all oppositional parties related children, Kachin general gum maw will be army commander in chief of staff once particularly her 2 sons denounce British citizenship before 2015 election.

    (4) For implementation of effective social warfare department, particularly for all oversea returnees, those thugs should donate their all wealth to the social warfare department for 50 years in Burma.
    (5) If all oversea returnees are unemployed in Burma, all those thugs’ wealth should be donated to those unemployment oversea Burmese returnees for survival.
    The reasons above is due to the unethical/unfair/ corrupted/ suppressive bama military rulers in Burma in order to become Burma, the world poorest country so they are the responsible of all kinds of care for all oversea returnees who denounce their foriegn passports for residing in Burma again.

  2. Vote
    Dr. Cynthia Maung
    President of Burma
    A Karen
    Not for Suu Kyi, Wife of Aris, A British
    Dr Cynthia
    Thai/Burma Border

  3. People need to give positive and legitimate pressure on USDP to amend the Nargis Constitution. USDP always talks very cheap things. Everything they do is just for their own profit, never for the public. They way of running democratic nation is no way near democratic enough but lawlessness. Rule of law must be provided by ruling party. Since Constitutional law is as weak as mud, there is no way we the people will live under the true rule of law. People must come out and join these activists who try to convince the public. Without the pressure from the public, USDP will gang on to power without achieving what we asked for.

  4. Maung Lu Aye ( Law ) R.A.S.U.1976

    Dear Ex-Gen/ President U Thein Sein, I’ve honor and Impressive of your Address regarding the Necessary Amendment of the 2008 Constitution that you had stated “A Healthy Constitution must be amended from time to time to address the National , Economic and Social needs of Our Society.”
    When you say Something, better mean it. Implement it . Action speaks louder than Words . As such as late Gen Saw Maung had promised & No action ( Building the Castle in the Air ) made No benefits to the People.
    If you really have Benevolence , Kind-Hearted Person, Why not Welcome & Invite Countless of Our Burmese Citizens ( still Black Lists ) abroad who were Escaped or left Burma for Decades, Since 1960s of Ne Win’s Tremendous Danger.

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