A number of civil society organisations have vowed to conduct their own survey in response to a public opinion poll released by the International Republican Institute (IRI).

The IRI poll has irked opposition groups in Myanmar with 57 percent of respondents agreeing to centralism in ethnic regions and only 35 percent calling for a federal solution.

“This point completely deviates from the reality. If there was support for centralism in the first place, we would not need to fight this decades-long civil war. The IRI should explain this question first,” said Htun Kyi from the Former Political Prisoners Society (FPPS).

The FPPS are among a number of organisations questioning the motives behind the controversial IRI survey. They plan to write a report criticising the survey which came out largely in favour of the current administration.

“If the IRI still certain about their survey’s credibility after seeing our report, we are going to conduct the counter-survey with our alliances,” said Tin Maung Oo from the FPPS.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, the Open Myanmar Initiative, United Nationalities Alliance and Network for Human Rights Documentation Burma have all rejected the IRI survey and plan join in compiling a critical report.

They also criticise the IRI poll which points out that 85 percent of respondents see the visible economic development in Myanmar, as this appears to present a very different reality to the rising cost of living, hikes in utility costs, stagnant incomes and other financial difficulties faced by most of the population.
The IRI is an international nongovernmental organisation closely linked to the U.S. government and it conducted its research for the survey with the Myanmar Survey Research.

Link: http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5794:civil-orgs-plan-counter-iri-survey&catid=44:national&Itemid=384