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Did U Aung San make this law? (r)
- Subject: Did U Aung San make this law? (r)
- From: lintner@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 14:27:00
> Re: Did U Aung San make this law?
> (By - Dr. Kyaw May (B.A.BL) Bangkok).
> There is no such law? Come on Bert. B. Linter stated in the Burma net that Chapter V. 49, this law was not
> aimed at people married to foreigners, but against the Indo-Burmese and
> Sino-Burmese communities in Burma which at that time (late 1940) were very
> powerful in both politics and commerce.
OK. I'll "come on". I think it is abundantly clear to anyone who has
studied Burma's pre-independence history that the reason why the
country's first, 1947 Constitution says that the State President has to
have to be born of Burmese parents (and not be "under any acknowledgment
of allegiance or adherence to a foreign Power" or be "entitled to the
rights and privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign Power") was
to safe-guard the political interests of the Burmans and other
"indigenous" nationalities of Burma vis-a-vis the then politically as
well as economically powerful "non-indigenous" communities, especially
This constitutional development began with the City of Rangoon
(Amendment) Bill of 1937 which was introduced to increase Burman
representation in the Rangoon City Council (Indian and European members
of the Council opposed the bill). Later came the Land Nationalisation
Act (1948), Agricultural Bank Act, Burma Foreigners Act (1948) and other
laws which were designed to undermine the political and economic powers
of the Indo-Burmese community. Burma's First Constitution was written
with the same objective in mind.
U Aung San was usually quite subtle on this point, but U Nu wrote in The
New Times of Burma of September 26, 1947 under the headline: "Burma's
Constitution: Seeds of Freedom of Burmese Masses": "The wealth of Burma
has been enjoyed firstly by British capitalists, next by Indian
capitalists, and next the Chinese capitalists. Burmans are at the
bottom, in poverty...all along, whether they liked it or not, the
Burmese people had to bow to this state of affairs. The moment we have
power, we will have to do away with this unfair, one-sided economic
Clauses V:49 (i) and VI:74 (i) of the 1947 Constitution should be seen
in this context. U Nu's article, which was meant to introduce to the
public the spirit of the new constitution, appeared the day before it
Nowhere in any document or speech from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s have I
come across the suggestion that those clauses were introduced to prevent
a future president of the country from marrying a foreigner, or to block
someone who is married to a foreigner from becoming a state leader. The
first and earliest record of that suggestion can be traced to early
1989, when Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was emerging as the country's main
> Which he is obviously referring to Aung San Su Kyi. Litner seems to have
> deliberately ignored or as usual misquoted the law.
> In the original Independent Constitution which was promulgated in 1948 by
> General Aung San there includes a clause which prevents his daughter Mrs. M.
> Aris the right to stand for elections in Myanmar. The Law said as follows,
> "---any person who is under acknowledgment of allegiance or adherence to a
> foreign power, or is a subject or citizen or is entitled to the rights and
> privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power is not eligible to
> contest for a seat in the country's elections. She has resided abroad for 28
> years and her marriage to an Englishman gave her the rights to a U.K
> citizenship and more over her two sons are British citizens.