Thursday, January 20, 2011

Proposed military conscription law abuses rights: NLD

Thursday, 20 January 2011 21:39 Phanida

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – If the controversial People’s Military Service Law (PMSL) were to be enacted in Burma, the authorities will be abusing the rights of grassroots people in the name of the state, the National League for Democracy (NLD) said on Wednesday.

‘If the law is enacted, the authorities will be committing evil deeds in the name of the law. The law will add fuel to the fire and place heavy burdens on the people’, said an NLD statement.

While the 1959 Public Military Service Act said the state had the right to order anyone who is eligible to serve in the military, the recently proposed PMSL law would affect even more adults between designated ages who could be called up to serve in the military, the statement said.

According to the draft law, which is dated November 4, 2010, it will come into force on the day that the State Peace and Development Council enacts the law, according to an article in an official gazette.

The draft law states that men between ages 18 and 45 and women between ages 18 to 35 must serve for two years in the military, and the service term could be increased to five years in times of a national emergency.

The NLD statement said that the draft law should be reviewed and revised in the Parliament before it is enacted. Moreover, it said that the law should be enacted by the Parliament, instead of being promulgated by the junta.

Under the proposed law, those who failed to report for military service could be sentenced to up to three years in prison, and those who deliberately avoided conscription could be sentenced up to five years.

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