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Some Mons oppose changes to ID cards

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A photograph of the old Burmese national ID card. (photo: Internet)
A photograph of the old Burmese national ID card. (photo: Internet)
Aye Mi Aung – The government’s decision to not list ethnicity and religion on new national identification (ID) cards that follows the country’s first census in nearly forty years have sparked anger amongst some Mons.

“We won’t accept not including the ethnic group and religion. Other ethnics and religions won’t accept this either, said Nai Hong Sar, a Buddhist and vice-chairman of New Mon State Party (NMSP). The vice-chairmen said ethnic groups are proud of their heritage and beliefs. These need to be maintained otherwise they are at risk of vanishing.

Nai Hong Sar, who also leads the newly formed Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), pointed out that the information has also been included on past ID cards, and it’s necessary for peace building.

Dr. Min Kyi Win, first joint secretary for Mon Democracy Party also felt it’s important for cultural background to be on the new ID.

“We, Mons, completely will not accept it if there is no identifying ethnic nationality…It should not cause any one to suffer,” he said.

U Khin Yee, Union minister for Immigration and Population, revealed the government’s plan to omit the information on the ID cards at a recent conference.

“I suggested not to include ethnic and religion when issuing ID cards after the census is completed to lessen ethnic and religious issues [disputes],” the minister was reported as saying by several media groups.Description:

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