In defence of democracy, respect the judiciary

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  • Myanmar is going through a critical period of transition. The government is dealing with social, economic, legal and judicial challenges.
    To ensure this process is smooth and successful, it is very important to respect the judiciary system, and indeed to strengthen it with our support and trust.
    Judicial power is distributed to the Union Supreme Court, State/Region High Courts and Courts of Self-Administered Regions and Zones, along with the Justices, Judges and Law Officers assigned to those courts to provide justice and court administration. All those in the judiciary sector are responsible for the establishment of a free, fair, trusted and beneficial judiciary system for the people.
    But it has been found that when prominent persons or journalists are arrested in Myanmar, criticisms come internally and externally, and the country is accused of being undemocratic.
    In a democracy, no one has the right to interfere in the judicial sector. At the same time, we must respect the full rights of the accused, and those of the judiciary as well. The rights of the accused include complete access to a lawyer so that they can prepare their case. The case must be brought to the court in a timely manner to avoid delays as much as possible. Throughout this process, what is of utmost importance is that we should be working in accordance with due process and rule of law.
    Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, the two journalists who are facing trial, are accused of breaking the Official Secrets Act. Whether they are guilty or not is for the judiciary to decide.
    Everyone who has been following the court proceedings has witnessed that the two men have had free access to their lawyers and to the court proceedings.
    The country follows due process and everyone is free to follow the court proceedings to find out whether or not they are fair, and whether or not they are in accordance with the rule of law.
    It is vital that all in the community strive to maintain respect for the courts and uphold the rule of law because the rule of law and judicial affairs are essential for peaceful coexistence, the development of Myanmar and our people.
    The reform activities taking place in Myanmar are being done with the intent to provide genuine peace in people’s lives. Stability, after all, leads to development. To achieve these goals, our country’s judicial system and the courts must be strong and reliable for justice to prevail.
    In defence of democracy, respect the judiciary.
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