05 February 2011

Politics in Myanmar: Forwarding or retrospecting?


Mr. Thein Sein’s (a former general and outgoing prime minister) appointment as Myanmar’s first civilian president after nearly five decades of military rule has led many critics to re-analyse the future of the country. Because it was almost the opposite of what the majority of the people have wished for. One think is for sure that the majority of the people of Myanmar are still wishing for major changes rather than changes in a person’s attires (i.e., from military into civilian).

In fact, they have had some bad memories about how the previous - general turned civilian - leaders have failed to govern the country effectively. In other words, it was during that era that the country has become one of the poorest countries in the world until now. So it is not wrong to say that the whole process is just a re-run of the policies that the previous military leaders have adopted since the 1962 coup de’tat.

But what can the majority of the people of Myanmar do? Sadly to say that there is no clear cut solution to that because they are helpless. What is more, neither the international communities nor regional communities have yet to make effective engagements in Myanmar’s so-called ‘road map to democracy’.

As for the ethnic groups in Myanmar, it was the then prime minister Mr. Thein Sein who was quoted as saying that the military government would firstly crash the entire Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in their effort to turn Myanmar into so-called ‘ethnic groups free nation-state'. In fact, the majority of Kachin people could not even have a chance to vote during the November 7, 2010 election. Indeed, it was a voting free election i.e., nobody could vote since there was no public election.--KBG

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