UK calls for amendment to Myanmar’s controversial citizenship law

Diplomatic Correspondent

11 November, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The United Kingdom has called for an amendment to Myanmar’s controversial citizenship law to ensure full participation of all in the political process of the Southeast Asian nation, which has more than 100 ethnic groups.

“It is now vital to amend the citizenship laws to ensure that everyone can participate fully in Myanmar’s political process,” said British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Minister for Asia Nigel Adams on Monday.

In a statement on behalf of the UK government, he said the 2020 elections are a significant milestone on Myanmar’s path from military dictatorship to democracy.

“We are pleased that many people in Myanmar were able to exercise their hard won right to vote this weekend and remain committed to supporting their aspirations for peace and full democracy. We will work with the new government and civil society to this end,” Nigel Adams added.

The British government, however, was disappointed to see the Rohingya and other minorities were once again disenfranchised. Elections were cancelled in areas of conflict without a clear rationale or transparency, he said.

“We urge the authorities in Myanmar to ensure free and fair elections are held at the earliest opportunity in those areas where they were cancelled,” said the FCDO Minister.

“We also condemn the kidnapping of parliamentary candidates by the Arakan Army and call for their immediate release,” he added.