- Editorial from Myanma alinn
We welcome the news that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is planning a meeting with foreign ministers of ASEAN nations. The planned meeting with the foreign ministers will be a step taken in the right direction – a step taken to consolidate the existing friendly and co-operative tradition within the ASEAN family of nations. The use of made-up and ugly photos as a tool to smear the good image of Myanmar abroad shows that there are linkages among the destructive forces inside and outside of Myanmar.
The Rakhine incident probably has its roots with that imagined race those insurgents held out with the intention of imposing on the minds of Myanmar people and international public. There had never been such a race among the indigenous races of Myanmar.
It is learnt that the Ministry of Religious Affairs is planning to prove the non-existence of such a race with the help of unbiased research conducted by respectable historians.
Successive Myanmar governments have seen to it that those foreigners who had stayed in Myanmar within the prescribed period of time in the manner required by its laws had been given the status of naturalized citizenship. But the demands made by those whose citizenship are in question exceeded the bounds of reason. They are demanding that the whole lot of them be recognized as citizens irrespective of the law governing citizenship. Had they been recognized wholesale as citizens irrespective of the law— the next step would inevitably be a demand for a state of their own which is an affront to the whole Myanmar people.
There are only around 3 million ethnic Arakanese in Rakhine State. But the nation on the other side exceeds a population of 160 million. It is only natural for a large number of surplus citizens from that nation to cross the border and settle down in the sparsely populated state next door. Although successive governments have given citizenship status to those who are qualified for it, the whole lot of people who made their way into the state could not be given citizenship regardless of their real status. No nation in the world has ever done such a thing (Myanmar laws promulgated in accordance with justice should gain international acceptance.)
The state has never infringed upon the freedom of faith or human rights of those who entered Myanmar. If the international community really had good intentions to help resolve the conflicts and reduce the tension prevailing in Rakhine State, they should promote peaceful co-existence among differing races of people and differing religious beliefs. They should also create employment opportunities for both communities equitably. That, we think, is the only way to develop and pacify the state and make it prosperous and happy.