Rohingya Vision

Rights group condemns Myanmar bill on interfaith marriage

Rights group condemns Myanmar bill on interfaith marriage
July 13
10:42 2015

The law is part of a series of four laws on marriage, religion, polygamy, and family planning proposed by a Buddhist organization called the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, which is affiliated with a nationalist Buddhist monk group.

“This law was written for Myanmar Buddhist women who marry men from other religions so they have equal rights in marriage, divorce, inheritance and taking care of children, as well as have effective protection”, said Saw Hla Tun, a member of parliament’s Draft Law Committee.

Myanmar’s parliament has passed a controversial measure that will make it much harder for Buddhist women to marry non-Buddhist men.

The discriminatory bill, pushed by an organization of Buddhist monks who promote hard-line Buddhist nationalism, is believed to be the latest move to marginalize the Rohingya Muslims who are regarded as illegal immigrants in the country. Rohingya are considered “outsiders” by Myanmar’s government, deprived of basic human rights, and frequently confined to prison camps. “If they do not approve, Massachusetts Ba Tha [Committee to Protect Race and Religion] will challenge them, and tell people not to vote for them”.

Phil Robertson of New York-based Human Rights Watch said the bill was related to a campaign by Buddhist groups that have incited anti-Muslim hatred, the Associated Press news agency reported.

“They are just doing this for political purposes, it’s not about protecting women’s rights”, the activist added. The European Union in a statement said, “The bill discriminates against women by placing restrictions on Buddhist women’s right to marry outside their religion”.

“As such it appears not to respect worldwide human rights standards and to run counter to Myanmar’s own human rights treaty obligations”.

Religious tensions have led to deadly violence against Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar, where thousands have been forced to leave their ancestral land since the 2012.

Note: Changes have been made, SENTINEL REPUBLIC is not responsible for these.




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