The Constitution and the Rights of Citizens

A constitution is not only a Supreme law of the land but also the fundamental one of all laws in state.

A constitution is called as basic law or fundamental law or state law in brief. Dr. Mg Mg, a jurist of Myanmar said that the constitution embodies and defines as basic ideology of the state, ideologies and building up the constitutions to share the state’s power, ways of relation each other with legal words or it is also the contract between the public and government.

C.F strong also defined that constitution is the law in which the state is formed by what kinds of departments, and what types of power are given to these departments and how shall they exercise the power vested in accordance with which disciplines.

As a fundamental stage,

Should be considered that …

Be this constitution adopted by the state for the citizens?

  • Should the authorities and citizens coordinate or consult to draft the state?
  • Should the constitution be drafted and promulgated according to the wishes of citizens?

As we study the definitions of constitution, in the ancient opinion, it is not found that the constitution is related to the fundamental citizens’ rights.

The ideology of constitution steadily reached the front role when the revolutions took place because the authorities encroached the rights of citizens.

To say the rights of citizens, there are many rights as the following.

  • The right of citizenship.
  • The equal rights.
  • The right of liberty.
  • The right of liberty in religion they profess.
  • The right of education and culture.
  • The rights of business and vocation.
  • The rights of punishment for crime committed.
  • The rights of seeking the constitutional protection.

It should be specially considered that –

  • Is the constitution adopted to protect the citizens’ rights and benefit?
  • Is the constitution adopted to protect the benefits of authorities? In the present time, in constitution, the fundamental rights of citizens are adopted into a chapter as a title. But, it should be analyzed that is it the right which is given to citizens really (or) so – call rights? If we learn the citizens’ rights, which are described in chapter (8) of Myanmar constitution, 2008, it can be found that the constitution prevents the right of citizens’ liberty explicitly.

In section (364) of the constitution, every shall be at liberty in the exercise of the following rights if not contrary to the laws, enacted for Union Security, prevalence of law and order, community peace and tranquility or public order and morality.

  • To express and publish freely their convictions and opinions.
  • To assemble peacefully without arms and holding processions.
  • To form associations and organizations.
  • To develop their languages, literature, culture, they cherish, religion they profess and customs without prejudice to the relations between one national race and another or among national races and to other faiths.

Through they are adopted as like above, in section (382)-      In order to carry out their duties fully and to maintain the disciplines by the defense forces personal or member of the arms forces responsible to carry out peace and security, the rights given in this chapter shall be restricted or revoked through enactment to law.

This section shows that the rights of citizens’ liberty is clearly prevented or restricted.

Similarly, in section (355) of the constitution, every citizen shall have the right to settle and reside in place within the republic of the Union of Myanmar according to law. Although it is described as like above section, the right of citizens’ liberty is restrained by adopting special law.

In present time, making enquiries by invading people’s houses at night, making arrests withour apparent reasons … ect. The losses of human rights are happening.

The citizens are now facing with unfair arrests.

In section (373) of constitution, it is described that any person who committed a crime. Shall be convicted only in accord with the relevant law then in operation. Moreover, he shall not be penalized to the penalty greater than that is applicable under that law.

But, now, every citizen who expressed his convictions and opinions freely and peacefully without arms was changed and sentenced heavily by reforming the existing law.

In section (351) of constitution, although it is described that mothers, children and expectant woman shall enjoy equal rights as prescribed by law, nowadays, they are ones who are badly hurt and insecure.

It is apparent that they don’t get the legal protection.

Thus, it is obvious that the citizens’ rights described in chapter (8) of constitution, 2008 are not adopted for real wish for citizens’ benefits and to protect them.

Therefore, it needs in special to come into appear a new constitution which is formed by entrenched law as well as can protect the advantages of citizens.

                                                                                                                        Swe Swe