Chairman of Arakan League for Democracy-ALD U KyawMyint presented the party’s policy, stance and work program from radio and TV on 23 September.
The following is a translation of the presentation.
May you all enjoy happiness.
I am U KyawMyint, Chairman of Arakan League for Democracy-ALD.
The party will stand for the 2018 by-election in three constituencies. U TheinMaung will stand for No 2 Constituency, Rathetdaung Township, Rakhine State Hluttaw, DawThetThet Aye for the PyithuHluttaw seat of Tarmmwe Township, Yangon Region, and U MaungHlaKyaw for 2 Constituency, Seikkan Township, Yangon Region.
The party emerged during the 1988 democracy uprising. It was founded under the leadership of Rakhine-Myanmar Pandita U OoThaTun and Dr U Saw MraAung. It has adopted a policy with the belief that only a true federal union based on democracy, equality among all the ethnic races and self-determination, will serve the interest of the Rakhine people. In the 1990 generation elections eleven of its candidates were elected, thus becoming the third highest winner of the election in Myanmar.
The party will achieve success only if it joins hands with other nationalities in implementing its policy. So it has joined and is playing a leading role in the United Nationalities League for Democracy-UNLD. The UNLD and the National League for Democracy-NLD issued the Bo AungKyaw joint statement on 29-8-1990 to build the future Union which fully guaranteed racial equality, political equality, self-determination, democracy and human rights.
After the years following 1990, the party took part in the Committee Representing People’s Parliament-CRPP and tried to realize its policy.
Its registration was abolished in 1992. The Arakan League for Democracy applied registration for the second time in 2012 to continue implementing its original aims. It actively took part in the United Nationalities Alliance-UNA.
As a proof of its respect for the aspiration of the entire Rakhine people and with the belief to serve the interest of Rakhine people more, it joined hands with Rakhine Nationalities Development Party. In 2017, the party was formed for the third time and applied for registration.
Since its formation in 1988, it laid down 16 work programs under the policy adopted bythe leaders. I will present only the important work programs.
The problem that occurred in northern Rakhine State has become a national issue. The problem of illegal Bengali migrants grew larger together with the weakness in policies that were adopted under the post-independence condition, weakness in the rule of law and corruption. The problem has now become a national concern. Local Rakhine people are the first to be hit hard by any wrong move. Preceding events stand witness to the fact. So, cooperation with locals is required in solving the problem. In this regard, the party adopted a work program prioritizing the task of safeguarding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country.
We can say that Myanmar is facing external dangers. So, there must be unity among all the national races. We must stop the internal conflicts and restore peace without fail. The main stakeholders – the government, the Tatmadaw and armed ethnic groups – must hold dialogue with tolerance and wider outlook for national interest. The powerful group must be the first to show its high-mindedness. The party adopted the task of ending the internal conflicts and restoring eternal peace as a priority work program.
The 2008 Constitution needs some amendments to the provisions that are not agreeable to the basic democracy principles and the federal principles. The party adds such constitutional amendments in its work program.
Farmers in Rakhine State are also facing hardships because of land seizures for various reasons. As Rakhine State is an agro-based region ALD regards the work of protecting farmers as its utmost important task. Land problems are one of the most important isues of the ALD.
Youths in Rakhine State are migrating to other places of the country and foreign countries for various reasons including the shortage of job opportunities. So, women are working in the male-dominated jobs. We believe in generating decent jobs for Rakhine men to return home and earn their living together with their family. So, it is one of our priority tasks.
Indiscriminate felling of trees and quarries in Rakhine State are destroying its ecosystem, particularly, the colour of Thanzit river at Kyaukphyudeep-sea port has become brown. We haven’t seen any action taken against this matter yet. ALD has laid down plans to protect the natural environment in cooperation with local civil organizations and local people.
Decent policies can harness the international investments in the interest of locals, but indecent policies cannot. The people will suffer from ill consequences of the investment projects that exploit natural resources and make social changes. So we need effective laws and principles and also the strict observance of such legal procedures, and this is one of our priority tasks.
We have laid down a work project to set up a system that invites public participation and voices in the trade and production sectors for the interest of the locals.
Drugs problem among youths of Rakhine State has reached an alarming situation. Sadly, drugs available even at roadside betel shops are destroying the future of local youths and the state itself. So, we will cooperate with the relevant departments for the enforcement of the law to end this situation.
The work programs of ALD also includes the task of protecting the rights of youths, workers, women and children, promoting education, health, social and economic opportunities and rediscovering and preserving cultural heritage.
Rakhine State has been in the list of the poorest states of Myanmar for over ten years. Sadly, Rakhine State cannot free itself from impoverishment despite its rich natural resources and geopolitical and geo-economical location. It is so unreasonable and regretful. Hence, the party will practically implement its policy and work programs to free the state from poverty. We urge the locals as well as Rakhnes who are in other places to harmoniously join hands with us.
Visionary persons like Rakhine-Myanmar Pandita U OoThaTun and Dr U Saw MraAung laid down the policy and work programs of ALD. Vote for ALD as it will fully safeguard the interest of Rakhine people, ensure self-determination and protect Rakhine people from the dangers of aliens.
People of Rakhine State, rise up in unity for acquiringthe right of self-determination.
Translated by TMT