To promote peace and stability in democratic institutions, the official theme of this year’s Democracy Day was “Democracy and Conflict Prevention.”
On September 14 DIPD and the STEP-Democracy Consortium celebrated the 2017 Democracy Day with its partners, members from the Government, Parliament, Political Parties and Civil Society Originations in Yangon.
The STEP-Democracy consortium opened the Democracy Day Celebrations with a peaceful inspirational performance by the Artist Zoncy, who engaged the participants in a peace exercises.
For the occasion, democratic actors and partners of the STEP-Democracy Consortium from different areas of the country were invited to partake in a panel discussion on Local Democracy. This provided a very competent panel, with panelists diverging in age, ethnicity and gender and representing both political parties, the executive, media and civil society. The panelists were respectively:
- HE Aung Naing Oo (Deputy Speaker of Mon State Hluttaw)
- HE Salai Isaac Khen (Minister, Ministry of Chin State Industry, Electricty and Development Affairs)
- Hon. Sai One Leng Kham (Amyotha Hluttaw MP)
- Ms. Maran Seng Mai (Editor-in-chief of the Myitkyina News Journal)
- Daw Ei Ei Moe (General Secretary of Generation Wave)
The panelists drew on their own personal experiences as they engaged in discussions on Myanmar’s democratic transition and highlighted some of the challenges that the democratic progress is facing at a local level.
“The peace process plays a crucial part of gaining local democracy. Though we say democracy a situation of conflict is still present, which makes it hard to gain any progress. We need peace to get democracy and not to continue down the path of civil war,” said Hon. Sai One Leng Kham, commenting on the present constituency situation in his area.
“Inclusiveness of youth and women’s participation is necessary in a democracy. People can choose their government and overthrow the government if it abuses the power of its vote in the democratic system,” Daw Ei Ei Moe said to represent her view on democracy.
“That there is no clear decision discerption in the constitution between the Union and regional parliaments is currently one of the challenges. If democracy should continue to grow stronger, the majority should respect the rights of the minority and do this carefully,” HE Aung Naing Oo said as he presented his views on some of the democratic challenges in Myanmar.
Following the panel discussion, all attendees were invited to share their personal experiences on democracy by recording a video message in Social Media Booths. The participants were eager to share their views on democracy in the booths, and the result of the many massages will be displayed on the STEP-Democracy, DIPD, IDEA , DRI and FNF Facebook pages.
In the closing session of the event, young musical artists from Turning Tables had been invited to perform songs on freedom, future and democracy, rounding up an event of shared hopes and ideas for the democratic transition in Myanmar.
Read more about the Myanmar programme here: www. myanmarmultiparty.org
Contact Senior Program Officer at DIPD, Martin Rosenkilde Pedersen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact DIPD Country Representative for Myanmar, Khin Thazin Myint: email@example.com