NLD MP leads the way
Burma Times Desk Report: January 27, 2015
As the parliament convened in the capital on January 21, further steps were taken that could shut the Rohingyas out of the overall voting process. The proposal to shut out the white card holders, from an upcoming vote was set forward in motion by a member of the NLD, the party recognised internationally as the vanguard of democracy in the country.
NLD MP Daw Khin San Hlaing, submitted a proposal to exclude white card holders from the vote on constitutional referendum in May and the version of this draft was approved by both houses of parliament.
Till 2012, the Rohingya Muslims had counted on the NLD led by Aung Saan Suu Kyi to end their plight as ‘one of the most persecuted people in the world’. But then, Suu Kyi failed to speak up for this community as they were subjected to a brutal pogrom of rape, murder and violence in 2012.
Rohingya fears would be confirmed by the NLD’s lead in barring them out of the May elections. However, U Ko Ni, legal advisor to the party criticised the move saying it is a precedent to shut out white card holders from the overall democratic process.
Ironically, it was president Thein Sein, himself no friend of the Rohingyas, who suggested that white card holders be allowed to vote in the constitutional referendum.
The vast majority of the country’s one million whitecard holders in the country are Rohingya Muslims.
Rohingya leaders fear that this a precedent to shut them out of the all-important general elections of November.
Anti-Muslim activists and political parties have been lobbying for the exclusion of white card holders from politics.