Demonstrators in Myitkyina Say No Peace Without Constitutional Amendments

Kachin demonstrators demand the military-drafted 2008 constitution in Myitkyina, Aug. 15, 2019

‘The 2008 Constitution is not a democratic structure,’ a political researcher said.

More than 6,000 people in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, held a demonstration on Thursday demanding that amendments be made to Burma’s military-drafted 2008 Constitution.

Protesters came from Myitkyina, Waingmaw and Mogaung townships to participate.

“People have yet to escape from suffering because of this 2008 Constitution. For our people to have a secure life, this Constitution must be changed,” Thaung, an organizer of the protest, told KNG. “Burma won’t have peace until this Constitution is amended,” he added.

Demonstrators carried placards and banners written in ethnic Kachin and Shan languages and Burmese, bearing statements such as “to achieve peace, let’s change the 2008 Constitution” and “We support amendments to the Constitution.”

Those protesting also described the changing of laws “not in line with a democratic system” as “our cause.”

Naing Ko Ko, a political and economic researcher, backed these calls.

“If we are going to build a democratic nation, we must put democratic standards and norms in the Constitution,” he said. “We need to take all of the undemocratic points out of the Constitution. The 2008 Constitution is not a democratic structure. It needs to be in line with international standards and norms.”

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