Monday, March 24, 2008

Burma: Monks have no right to vote

Burma's 400,000 Buddhist monks and nuns have been categorised along with the country’s convicted criminals and mentally ill so that they are barred from voting in the upcoming national referendum on the regime's draft of a new constitution, writes Edward Loxton for The First Post. Representatives of the country’s Christian and Hindu communities are also excluded from casting ballots in the referendum, due to be held in May.

The exclusion clause is contained in new legislation signed by junta leader General Than Shwe. The legislation also threatens imprisonment or heavy fines for anybody who publicly opposes the referendum or interferes with its planning. Any such public criticism of the referendum – including the distribution of critical posters and pamphlets - is punishable by up to three years' jail.

The Buddhist Channel

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