Arakanese oppose renewal of their national flag and costume

Sittwe: The leading Arakanese political party, the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, has decided to continue their opposition to the regional governmental schemes to renew the regional national flag and costume in western Burma’s Arakan State.

A consultation meeting with the Arakanese intelligentsias in RNDP office in Sittwe on March 31.

The party has made the decision after holding a consultation meeting with the Arakanese intelligentsias in its head office in Sittwe on March 31, following the government’s approval of the renewal of the Arakan State’s national flag and costume that were proposed by a lawmaker from the Union Solidarity and Development Party in a recent parliamentary session.

Khine Kaung San, a former political prsioner who attended the meeting, told Narinjara that all the Arakanese intellectuals and scholars in the meeting objected to the government’s scheme to renew their national flag and costume.

“Everyone in the meeting has expressed their dislike and objection to the government’s scheme to change their national flag and costume stating that the government alone should not make any changes to them without public desire or opinion because they are the symbols of the Arakanese people. Accepting their opinions, the RNDP has also decided in the meeting to continue its opposition to the scheme”, said Khine Kaung San.

Over 50 Arakanese intelligentsias who included three ministers of the Arakan State Government, U Thar Lu Shay, U Kyaw Thein and U Aung Than Tin, attended the meeting that was chaired by the prominent Arakanese historian and literati U Maung Ba Thein.

Khine Kaung San said the three ministers from the RNDP also supported the proposal made by U Thar Nyaunt, a lawmaker from the USDP, in the parliamentary session that was held on 29th of March in order to change the present Arakanese national flag and costume asserting they are out of fashion in the present age.

“Those three ministers from the RNDP casted their supporting votes when the proposal of the USDP’s lawmaker was decided on the ballot in the state’s parliamentary session. Another lawmaker of the RNDP from Minbya Township, U Maung Kyaw Zan, is also said to have abstained in the process. The opposition to the proposal lost with 28 supporting, 14 objecting and 1 abstaining votes respectively”, he said.

It was also learnt that the proposal also encountered opposition among the lawmakers in the Arakan State Parliament for final approval in the session that was held on 2nd April, but no outcome of the debate is disclosed yet.

According to the source, the Arakanese intelligentsias after their wide discussions in the meeting on the issue of the parliamentary renewals of their national flag and costume reached the decision that they have to oppose to the scheme proposed by the military backed USDP.

They believed that there may be other motives behind the USDP’s proposals for the renewal of their national flag.