‘It’s unacceptable,’ the KNPP general secretary says.
By KANTARAWADDY TIMES
The Karenni State government prohibited a gathering of people at the office of the state’s Ethnic Literature and Culture Department to discuss indigenous literature last month, prompting condemnation from the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP).
The event—hosted under the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs—was scheduled for June 29, but on June 28, local authorities informed event organizers to report the details of the discussion agenda, including speakers and information to be read.
It was then announced by the government that it had been called off.The KNPP general secretary told Kantarawaddy Times that the state government—headed by the National League for Democracy (NLD)—was violating its own laws on indigenous rights, as well as the 2008 Constitution.
“The current NLD government imposed this indigenous people’s rights protection law,” the KNPP’s Shwe Myo Thant said, referring to a statute passed in 2015.
“It’s meaningless to block this event because ethnic people are holding it under this law. It’s like they are breaking their own law. In my opinion, it’s unacceptable,” he explained.KNPP released an official statement on July 1 “strongly condemning” the Karenni State government’s decision.
“We are trying to build a democratic federal country in this transition period,” the statement said, adding that the blocking of the event could “lower mutual trust and damage the peace process because NLD government ignores ethnic rights.”
Kayan Literature and Culture Committee vice chairperson Thein Moon said that he still didn’t know why the event had been canceled, and that they never received an official reply after reporting it to the authorities.
“In my opinion, they should not block the event of literature exchange of indigenous people,” he told Kantarawaddy Times.