What is the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs?

The Ministry of Ethnic Affairs is a new branch of the Union government, created by the NLD in attempt to bridge the decades of mistrust between the Bamar and the ethnic nationality groups but it has been left rather toothless.  For 2017/2018, the Ministry has been granted just 0.2 % of the national budget, the lowest of all the Ministries, from which comes the funds for the preservation and teaching of ethnic language literature and the showcasing of ethnic literature festivals nationwide.

Simultaneously hampered by a narrow mandate, enforced by the Ethnic People Protection Law which only allows the Ministry to ‘protect the rights of the ethnic people’ and to ‘uplift literature and culture’, not to involve itself in the ‘development’ of the people it represents, it’s difficult to see what the NLD led government can hope to achieve with so little commitment.

Image credit at www.bnionline.net

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