Does Non Buddhist have a future in Myanmar?
By မင္းမင္း | Posted on February 22, 2017
Min Min / Yangon, Myanmar
There is a problem when people are thinking about the greater quantities too much. When the majority of people are normally making the dangerous decisions that can harm the minority people, what can happen?
This question is one of the serious issues during the democratic transition time in Myanmar. Every government of our country standardized Myanmar as a Buddhist country.In Myanmar, 80% of the populations are Buddhists. The appointment rate as the high ranking officers in government team is lower than 1% for people with different religions. But every government announced that there is religious freedom in Myanmar.
In the government schools, students have to pay homage to Buddha in the classrooms since the basic education levels. There are Buddha statues in every school but nothing for other religions. It is one of the reasons that Hindu, Muslim, Christian and other non-Buddhist students get the depression because of the religious discrimination. In the past Burmese history, the Kings built many pagodas as bigger as they can and their purpose is to show that their power and influence is ultimate.
Myanmar’s political system and administration style was changed when it was colonized by British in 1885. But when Myanmar got the independence and self-administrative power, the new government officers followed the old methods of the previous Kings again. They made many pagodas and built Buddhist religious buildings around the whole country.
Actually, government officers should not give pressure to the people about their religions because it can make the different-religion people terribly upset.
The religious leaders whom were given favors by government are thinking that they are always greater than the others. This is a weakness in Myanmar. Some un-honest people are using this weakness as a tool to create the horrible conflicts.
In 2012, the democratic transition time, there was a terrible issue that made our country disgraceful. It was the conflicts between the Buddhist and Muslims in Rakhine state and this conflicts related with religious discrimination. It is a proof that the culture of globalization does not work in Myanmar until now.
The violence creators became forever heroes because of the pronouns such as Crony, Bourgeois, Guidance and Ordinary which are put prior to Democracy and Globalization.
We hoped too much for the good transition. Every citizen with different religions such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christian, Folk also hoped a lot for this transition. The people who lived in the hopeless lives for very long time got the chance to see the positive changes in 2010.
But in 2012, when member of different religious groups started asking for their rights and freedom, the nation’s democratic transition was nearly backward. Although the meaning of the Democracy is representing two words, People’s Rules, Democracy from Myanmar is representing for Buddhist citizens. Under the military regime, people had to live in the darkness for long time. That is why Myanmar people need to have more knowledge about Democracy, Globalization and Human Rights. But we still need more time until now.
It is important that Nationalism must not represent only one ethnic group. The more important thing is not to represent a certain religious group. There are many influential people who are involving in their different sectors in every country. These influential people need to guide ordinary people in the right way. They shouldn’t make brainwash to people by implementing Mobocracy instead of the real Democracy. If they are not honest, democratic transition of Myanmar will be being delayed.
The main threatening thing for Burmese people is that the leaders of the country are wasting the time without necessary. That’s why current government should make more effort for the development of the country and should take actions to know the truth mindset and purposes of influential political activists. Finally, an all-inclusive political system is being required for the visible development of our nation.
Min Min is chief editor and general manager of the Root Investigative Agency (RiA) based in Western Burma. After a bomb exploded outside his home in Sittwe on March 10, he moved to Yangon for safety reasons. His family fears further attacks and is in hiding.
The article was published in the Daily Our Time, Bangladesh Newspaper on february 9th 2017.