New Documentary Calls for Voter Education in Ethnic Communities

By Aung Thet Htwe 11 June 2015

RANGOON — The Rangoon-based Chin charity organization MustardSeed has released a documentary highlighting the barriers Burma’s ethnic minorities face in exercising their democratic rights during the upcoming general election.

Shot over four months in Chin, Mon, Karenni and Shan States, ‘Blanks’ is the product of interviews with 480 ethnic minority peoples from some of the most remote parts of the country. The film raises questions as to whether ethnic communities are being provided with adequate information about their rights, candidate platforms and the democratic process ahead of the vote.

“We made the documentary with the purpose of finding out about the election process in ethnic regions,” said director Salai Jimmy Mira Zarbwe on Thursday. “Do they know their basic rights? Are they aware of the importance of the elections? We found that a lot of people do not have the necessary knowledge.”

One thousand copies of Blanks will be distributed free of charge to political parties, embassies, ethnic minority leaders, international NGOs and members of the Union Election Commission. The charity hopes that the documentary will raise awareness about the need to improve knowledge of the political process to ethnic minorities ahead of the landmark poll.