The establishment of a full federal union is still a long way off

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – February 11 Scenes 

MoeMaKa February 12 2023

The establishment of a full federal union is still a long way off

Tomorrow is the 76th anniversary of Union Day. The day on which Myanmar’s political leaders, led by General Aung San at the time, signed an agreement with some ethnic groups to jointly achieve the independence of the union in Pinlon, Shan State, is designated as “Union Day.” Since the Fasapala era, Independence Day monuments have been built in many cities of the country, and the term “Union of Myanmar” has been used. The ethnic groups have always felt the term “union” is a term used for political propaganda.

As for Bamar people who live on the mainland or in ethnic areas, most of them don’t understand the significance of donning costumes, attending the ceremony on Union Day, spreading propaganda by using the word “union spirit,” as well as the causes of ethnic armed conflicts.


There have been no comparisons and analyses of the structure, distribution of power, resource rights, immigration policies, states’ rights, etc. of other federal states’ in the world. Myanmar political leaders, military leaders of the coup regimes, and all political organizations such as the Burmese Communist Party, which held a left-wing ideology, did not like the kind of union policy that spoke in association with the essence of true federalism. They only preferred to adopt a policy in which the Myanmar political parties would have the upper hand and the ethnic groups would have their own rights only if they gave that.


Throughout the Masala period, the Communist Party of Burma, which was overwhelmingly stronger than the largest ethnic armed forces at the time, was unable to cooperate with the ethnic groups that were fighting for federal rights due to their attitude that ethnic issues were subordinate to workers’ class issues.


Looking back at the history of 76 years, the armed struggle of ethnic armed groups has been longer than that of armed groups composed of Bamar people. Now, when the military coup occurred in 2021, some leaders of the NLD party, which achieved the most support in Myanmar, and the National Unity Government, took protection in ethnically armed areas and fought back against the military dictators.


One benefit of the military coup in 2021 is that the young people and youth organizations welcomed the federal policy with open arms, easily accepted it, and actively participated in the slogan of establishing a federal state. Among the hundreds of thousands of negative consequences of the 2021 military coup, this fact represents a rare and beneficial unity that should be learned from decades of wrong history. It is time for political leaders who have the right to decide on policy to understand the value of young people accepting federalism and moving forward in unity.


At this time, when there is not much time left to learn lessons from history, it should learn the lesson without missing a beat and accept the right of every state to have a true federal union, not the right they would have only if they were given. The time has come for those who want to form a union to accept such rights and work together to build a federal union.