Both different approaches to same goal
Both different approaches to same goal, says Shan leader
Union constitution vis-a-vis state constitutions
In response to questions whether concurrent draftings of federal and state constitutions were going in opposite directions, the chairman of the Shan State Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC-S) replied today the two were parallel approaches to the achievement of federal democracy in Burma.
"The non-Burmans' aim and objective are
the same as those of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi," Sao Sengsuk told the
13-member commission at its 18th meeting, "that is, to rebuild Burma as
a genuine federal democracy."
The draft union constitution has been charted by the National Council of the Union of Burma's Constitution Drafting Committee since 1999. State constitutions, meanwhile, are in the process of being written by non-Burman groups known as CDCs (Constitution Drafting Committees or Commissions).
"The workings of the federal CDC and state CDCs are complementary to each other," Sao Seng Suk said "The federal CDC's work is equally as important as those of the state CDCs."
Chao Tzang Yawnghwe of the National Reconciliation Program, agreed. "(Some think) the non-Burman leaders... should be more focused on the federal constitution than on state constitutions because the latter is ... rather divisive. I argue that one has to focus on both, and both should however not be carved in stone at the moment, before a real political settlement is achieved," he added.
The recent report of the CDC-Shan State that was elected at a conference, 8-11 September 2000, sounds rather optimistic.
"The response from the grassroots, despite security problems and capacity differences among diverse communities, is positive," it says. "The CDC also conducts capacity building trainings and awareness raising campaigns," which it claims are producing encouraging results.
The report however noted that "a peaceful political environment" was necessary in order to achieve its goals.