Commentary on “Let's discuss Panglong and secession issue”

The central theoretical underpinning of the right to self-determination is that it is a God-given birthright to a group of people, whether they are tagged as ethnic or nation or non-state nation, and are entitled to self decision-making for their own community, ethnic group, nation or non-state nation. And also not to forget the sub-ethnic groups or minorities to a dominant ethnic group that wields political power of a country.

Just look at the Scottish and Catalan after hundreds of years living together with the British and Spanish respectively they are still demanding session.

But the way they handle the right of self-determination is civil and democratic.

Take the Scottish demand on secession issue for example and we could see that it was handled through referendum. And as we could see the pro-union camp won, the secessionist group lost out, and the question on rights of self-determination was settled in a civilized way.

Thus, dictating the non-Bamar ethnic nationalities to agree to "non-secession" clause by the NLD-Tatmadaw regime beforehand is neither appropriate nor necessary.

Other than that, even if all the ethnic nationalities yield to the NLD-Tatmadaw demand, the value of the individual ethnic group could change in the future according to the prevailing space and time.

In other words, even if an ethnic group might have agreed not to secede now, ten or twenty years from now, it's electorate might opt for secession. And if this is the wish of the people concerned, it is democratic and there is nothing a treaty signed earlier could do to stop it, theoretically speaking.

So, why so concerned of having the ethnic nationalities to yield to the non-secession clause. Isn't it a waste of time, energy, apart from portraying itself as a modern day colonizer than a partner in building a federal union?

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