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World Next gen: Myanmar youth look to election and beyond

07:10  06 november  2020
07:10  06 november  2020 Source:   msn.com

Myanmar must not disenfranchise minority voters

  Myanmar must not disenfranchise minority voters The UEC’s recent decision to not hold elections in areas affected by unrest will hamper Myanmar’s democratisation.The commission cancelled polling in parts of the states of Rakhine, Shan, Kachin, Kayin and Mon, as well as the Bago region, all of which are troubled by various levels of unrest. “Those particular areas cannot guarantee conditions to hold free and fair elections and that is why the election is cancelled,” the UEC said in a statement.

AFP spoke to a number of Myanmar 's Generation Z about the challenges they face and what they hope the next government will bring. He worries about the effect of the election on the long-running conflict between armed Naga groups and the Myanmar military.

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar youth activist and television host Thinzar Shun Lei Yi would once have called herself one of Aung San Suu Kyi's greatest fans. At stake is the future of Myanmar 's transition toward democracy after years of military rule. With a general election looming in 2020, the country's

Five million young voters will be able to cast their ballots for the first time in Myanmar's election on Sunday -- about 14 percent of the electorate.

a man riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: In a country that emerged less than a decade ago from military rule, Myanmar's youth is an increasingly-influential political force © Ye Aung THU In a country that emerged less than a decade ago from military rule, Myanmar's youth is an increasingly-influential political force

In a country that emerged less than a decade ago from near total isolation under military rule, the nation's youth defies easy classification.

a woman smiling for the camera: Wai Wai Tun, 19, a Rakhine history student, can vote, but her family back home has been disenfranchised © - Wai Wai Tun, 19, a Rakhine history student, can vote, but her family back home has been disenfranchised

AFP spoke to a number of Myanmar's Generation Z about the challenges they face and what they hope the next government will bring.

9 questions about 2020’s record-breaking early vote, answered

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YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar youth activist and television host Thinzar Shun Lei Yi would once have called herself one of Aung San Suu Kyi's greatest fans. At stake is the future of Myanmar 's transition towards democracy after years of military rule. With a general election looming in 2020, the country's

Myanmar youth activist and television host Thinzar Shun Lei Yi would once have called herself one of Aung San Suu Kyi’s greatest fans. “Most of the activists and youths are now thinking: ‘What is next ’, ‘What will happen?’, ‘What can we do?’ At this stage, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is going her own way

- Rakhine anger -

History student Wai Wai Tun, 19, can vote because she lives in Rakhine state's capital Sittwe, but her family in her home town will miss out.

Naga tribesman Man Chen, 18, worries that the election could spark violence between armed Naga groups and the Myanmar military © Ye Aung THU Naga tribesman Man Chen, 18, worries that the election could spark violence between armed Naga groups and the Myanmar military

Myanmar banned voting in a long list of areas for "security reasons", leaving more than a million disenfranchised in Rakhine and hundreds of thousands more elsewhere.

a person holding a gun: Wai Yan Min Khin, 20, a Muslim youth, says he faces systemic discrimination in a country where the majority is Buddhist © Ye Aung THU Wai Yan Min Khin, 20, a Muslim youth, says he faces systemic discrimination in a country where the majority is Buddhist

"I just want the election to be fair and credible," she says, adding the decision has raised already-high tensions.

A civil war between Myanmar's military and the Arakan Army (AA) -- militants fighting for more autonomy for the ethnic Rakhine -- has killed and wounded hundreds and forced 200,000 from their homes.

It’s Too Soon to Call the Election

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Beyond this, the NLD will want to demonstrate that it can meet the expectations of the people by errorladen paper records for the first time. By election day, however, the extent of this problem But it would be good to avoid mistakes in the next election . See Defeated USDP candidates intend to file

FILE PHOTO: Myanmar press freedom advocates and youth activists hold a demonstration demanding the release of jailed Reuters journalists Wa Lone and At stake is the future of Myanmar ’s transition towards democracy after years of military rule. With a general election looming in 2020, the country’s

"We, Rakhine, are citizens of Myanmar and want to live in safety with equal rights too."

- Naga tribesman -

Man Chen, 18, belongs to the Konyak, a Naga tribe on the Indian border once feared for its head-hunting traditions.

The motorbike fanatic describes his identity as "Naga first, Konyak second" -- and does not even mention Myanmar.

a person standing in front of a store: Jade miner Kyaw Htet Aung, 19, dreams of striking rich and starting his own business © Ye Aung THU Jade miner Kyaw Htet Aung, 19, dreams of striking rich and starting his own business

Isolated from the rest of the country by mountains and poor infrastructure, the Konyak are divided by the frontier and rely on markets on the Indian side for food.

a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Nursing graduate Kay Khaing Tun, 22, volunteers on data monitoring on the country's surging Covid-19 cases and was jailed for lampooning the military © Sai Aung Main Nursing graduate Kay Khaing Tun, 22, volunteers on data monitoring on the country's surging Covid-19 cases and was jailed for lampooning the military

"I don't have enough money and I don't have a regular job," he says, adding that five of his 12 siblings have died.

a man smiling for the camera: Rohingya refugee Sawyed Ullah, 19, fled military-backed violence in Myanmar and will not be able to vote in this week's election © Munir UZ ZAMAN Rohingya refugee Sawyed Ullah, 19, fled military-backed violence in Myanmar and will not be able to vote in this week's election

He worries about the effect of the election on the long-running conflict between armed Naga groups and the Myanmar military.

As Suu Kyi denies genocide, opponents up anti-Rohingya rhetoric

  As Suu Kyi denies genocide, opponents up anti-Rohingya rhetoric As Aung San Suu Kyi is vilified internationally for denying genocide against the Rohingya, her opponents in Sunday's Myanmar election are ramping up the rhetoric against the Muslim minority. - The uncompromising campaign rhetoric shows that anti-Muslim rhetoric in mainly Buddhist Myanmar remains "fair game",Yangon-based analyst Khin Zaw Win told AFP. "There is no danger for political parties to speak out against either the Rohingya or Muslims in general," he said.

The election commission is announcing results for all 498 seats in upper and lower houses of Supporters of Myanmar ’s pro-democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi gather outside National Crucially, the military will retain several key ministerial posts despite looking set to lose the election .

Myanmar youth activist and television host Thinzar Shun Lei Yi would once have called herself one of Aung San Suu Kyi's greatest fans. At stake is the future of Myanmar 's transition towards democracy after years of military rule. With a general election looming in 2020, the country's first civilian

"There was fighting in my village last time, so I'm worried this might happen again."

- Muslim in Myanmar -

Wai Yan Min Khin, 20, is Muslim and lives in the Bamar Buddhist heartlands of central Myanmar.

His hometown Meiktila descended into intercommunal violence between Muslims and Buddhists in 2013 and deep scars remain.

"People often insult us," he says. "I see a lot of discrimination."

He describes how he has been waiting for an ID card for four years, while Buddhist friends receive the document in weeks.

a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Nursing graduate Kay Khaing Tun was only released from jail a few weeks ago after 17 months behind bars. Her crime: harpooning Myanmar's powerful military through poetry, comedy and music.  She's among the five million young voters who will be able to cast their ballot for the first time in Myanmar's election on Sunday. © Phyo Hein KYAW Nursing graduate Kay Khaing Tun was only released from jail a few weeks ago after 17 months behind bars. Her crime: harpooning Myanmar's powerful military through poetry, comedy and music. She's among the five million young voters who will be able to cast their ballot for the first time in Myanmar's election on Sunday.

Myanmar's Muslim minority -- about four percent of the population -- also faces systemic corruption.

Many Muslims plan to boycott Sunday's vote, disillusioned by Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party and seeing no worthy alternative.

‘We don’t matter’: Rohingya deprived of vote in Myanmar elections

  ‘We don’t matter’: Rohingya deprived of vote in Myanmar elections Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, who have taken shelter in Bangladesh, lament their exclusion from the polls.When Myanmar holds on Sunday its second democratic election after decades of military rule, Yusuf will be among hundreds of thousands of mostly Muslim Rohingya deprived of a vote – leading the United Nations to warn that the polls will not be free or fair.

But Wai Yan Min Khin says he will vote NLD: "I love Mother Suu!"

- Jailed satirist and Covid nurse -

Nursing graduate Kay Khaing Tun, 22, was only released from jail a few weeks ago after 17 months behind bars.

Her crime: harpooning Myanmar's powerful military through poetry, comedy and music.

But the ethnic Rakhine-Bamar says her jail sentence came as no surprise.

"The military has the authority to do whatever it wants to anyone."

Since her release, she has been volunteering at Yangon General Hospital, inputting data on the country's surging coronavirus cases.

"I wanted to do something to help others and it also helps me feel calm," she explains.

She hopes to study further overseas, but her long-term goal is to go into politics.

Despite her ordeal, Suu Kyi's NLD will get her vote.

"We're only at the very start of the road to democracy."

- Jade miner -

In northern Kachin state, Kyaw Htet Aung spends his free time scouring for jade.

The 19-year-old lives in Hpakant, where military-linked mines have turned the mountains into a treacherous moonscape of mud.

One landslide in July claimed the lives of nearly 300 miners.

"My dream is to find a big jade stone, move to another city and start my own business," the ethnic Shan says.

Demand in neighbouring China has supercharged the largely illicit, multi-billion-dollar industry.

Local mafia and armed groups line up to take their cut from the exploited jade pickers.

Young people see little future beyond toiling as miners or gem brokers.

"There's no rule of law in Hpakant. Even if the election changes the government, people think nothing will change here."

- Rohingya in exile -

In a sprawling refugee camp in Bangladesh, Sawyed Ullah laments his disconnect from the election.

The 18-year-old was among the 750,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee military-backed violence in 2017 that now sees Myanmar facing genocide charges.

"I'm very frustrated... I have a right to vote," he says.

There is no sign Sawyed Ullah will be able to return home soon, so he waits in limbo.

"In the camps, we have just our life, not liberty."

He tries to keep abreast of Myanmar politics and describes the widespread disappointment Rohingya feel about Suu Kyi.

"We respected her a lot when she was elected," he says.

"Now we don't understand who we should support."

One day he hopes to return home as a journalist or lawyer to become a "proud citizen".

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Aung San Suu Kyi's party to form Myanmar government .
The NLD has won a parliamentary majority as the opposition raises objections over election results.The NLD has so far secured 346 seats, more than the 322 seats needed to form the next government.

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This is interesting!