Press Kit: Federalism


•The first Panglong agreement was negotiated in 1947 and promised ethnic minorities federalism with autonomy and right to secession but these promises were never implemented.

• The Civil War in Burma began in 1948 and has lasted over 66 years.

• After the military coup in 1962, military ruler Ne Win strongly opposed power sharing with ethnic groups and supported a unitary state.

• Although still federal in name at the time, Burma institutionalised the country’s unitary state in the 1974 constitution.

• Section 337 of the 2008 constitution states “All the armed forces in the union shall be under the command of the Defence Services” implying a central military command over ethnic armed forces.

• The UNFC (United Nationalities Federal Council) was founded on February 16, 2011.


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