Excellent piece generally. It is true that Muslims are more discriminated but other faith like Christianity and Hinduism also don’t fair well either.
Apart from religious discrimination racism and Bamar ethnocentrism, better known as Burmanization is rampant in today’s Burma, which the military changed it to Myanmar.
Thus, even Shan and Arakan people are oppressed and discriminated even though they are Buddhist. The same goes for the Karen which the majority are also Buddhist.
The Burmeseness of being having to be a Bamar and also Buddhist is a narrowly defined national identity which the Bamar political elite and Bamar-dominated military class like to impose on the other ethnic nationalities is, in fact, nation-destroying instead of nation-building.
To be exact, the task of building a common national identity has not even started in earnest since the independence from the British in 1948.
In order all ethnic nationalities and minorities living within the boundary we called Burma to have a common national identity, the political system of governance has to be fair, equal and justified with correct political power-sharing in a federal union. In other words, the political settlement has to be there first.
In fact, the ethnic nationalities have once tried to correct this political wrong through federal amendment proposal in 1962, but the military made a coup, reasoning that genuine federalism will disintegrate the country.
Therefore, we are still at trying to become a federal union, instead of a Bamar-dominated unitary country. Only if we could have an acceptable federal union system of governance, will we be able forge a common national identity, not without agreed political rights settlement.
That is why the question to be asked here is into which kind of national identity should the people of Burma be integrating as we have none but only the Bamar-imposed Burmeseness identity
Source: The Shan Herald Agency for News