Shan State citizens rally for peace and ethnic rights

Shan State citizens rally for peace and ethnic rights

Hundreds of people in the Pa-O and Danu self-administrated zones in Shan State held demonstrations on Wednesday calling for peace in Burma.

Around 400 Danu people marched through the town of Pindaya in western Shan State, carrying placards with demands for peace and for the recognition of all ethnic groups, said Chit Sein, chairman of the Danu Literature and Culture Association.

“The demands included calls for the government to take charge of the peace process; the country’s development; ethnic affairs in Shan State; to include ethnic representatives in amending the Constitution; and objections to the proposed sexpartite dialogue,” he said.

The march was also joined by the Pa-O Women’s Organisation and several other civil society groups.

Chit Sein added that the demonstration was organised by the Danu people, without influence from the government or any political party.

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He maintains that although Danu Pindaya and Ywarngan are within the Danu Self-Administrated Zone, its locals not do not enjoy full autonomy due to the administrative system being dominated by Burmese government officers.

On the same day, around 2,000 Pa-O people from Hsihseng and Hopong towns of the Pa-O Self-Administrated Zone marched in the Shan State capital Taunggyi with a similar list of demands.

“We have five demands: the government must accomplish implementation of the internal peace process; undertake swift development and reforms; include the demands and rights of ethnic nationalities in the law; to facilitate ethnic nationalities to extensively take part in the effort to amend the Constitution; and to immediately implement these points,” said Khun Maung Baw, deputy-public relations coordinator of the Pa-O National Organisation, which organised the event.

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