KNPP: Local Order Issued by Karenni State Govt, GAD Diminishes Trust

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The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) has criticized a local order issued by the Karenni State government and approved by local authorities this month as having a negative impact on relations with the public.

The order was published on May 3 and endorsed by seven General Administration Department officers in seven townships in Karenni State.

It has 10 points in total, banning the following activities: using ‘contrary words’ in campaigning; distributing posters, vinyl banners, flyers or paintings that ‘insult the country or government institutions’; releasing statements containing ‘misinformation’; insulting the country or government using a loudspeaker; drink and shout in public places; driving a motorbike with excessive exhaust; staying on government land without permission; releasing ‘incorrect’ statements; damaging public property; and circulating hate speech.

“The local order can impact mutual trust. They should avoid it. They should not do more than what is necessary,” Aung San Myint, a central committee member of the KNPP, told Kantarawaddy Times.

Local civil society organizations also described the order as violating basic human rights.

Shadaw Township GAD officer Yan Naing Maung said that the order was issued in response to statements released by organizations about government activities.
“The [state] government and administrative body were worried about it. We assessed that something could happen. So we issued the local order,” he said.

The KNPP’s Aung San Myint said that the state government should have considered whether it was appropriate to release the order amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and to take issues still under discussion peace negotiation talks and create a directive banning them.

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