Historical Background of MyanmarMyanmar Historical Background
Story since colonization
The general information on the story does not include any source. See Burma's historical resources at the end of this paper. Burma exists as a set of lands governed by different ethnical groups, many of which at one time had their own empires and duchies.
Though there were strains and conflicts between the various groups that occupied Burma today, many of Burma's community was traditionally multi-ethnic. In 1937, the Brits first invaded Burma in Britain-India and made Burma their own royal family. Britain's domination of Burma changed Burma's culture and brought about some lasting changes in Burma's population.
Despite many missions during the UK reign trying to do good for the Burmese community by creating scripture, constructing school and clinic buildings and raising standards of life, their actions also created tension between different groups in Burma. Whilst some ethnical nations were celebrating the changes made by the Brits, others were tirelessly fighting to end the invasion.
There are two distinct administrative regimes: "Burma at ministerial level" or "Burma Proper", ruled by the Burmese minority, and the "Frontier Areas", mainly inhabited by ethnical people. The strong separation between the various groups in Burma led them on different paths towards greater international and economical growth, aggravated ethnical cultures and broadened the already existent divisions among the countless ethnical groups.
Burma's split into two major administrations was particularly important for Burma's relationship with Burma's minority and minority nations, and the British politics of partition and domination had far-reaching implications for Burma's own futures. Burma's sovereignty was largely swayed by a group of Myanmar nationalist leaders under General Aung San.
The group of 30 young people from Burma, known as'30 Comrades', was educated by the Japanes who had made secret promises to help Burma restore its liberty from the British. The Burma Independence Military (BIA), which later became the core of the Burma military, was to be formed. The BIA then invaded ethnical nationalities along with the Japan armed services, known for their horrific practice and atrocities.
Burma's relations between its own grassroots independence movements and its own racial nationality were also hampered by the fact that during the conflict most of Burma's racial communities remained faithful to the Brits and struggled side by side with them against the Japanes and the BIA. The BIA became the Antifascist People's Liberation League (AFPFL) after the expulsion of the Britons, changed sides and allied itself with the Allies, supporting the US and the Britons in the freeing of Burma from Japan.
These years of conflict were an important part of post-war hostilities between the Myanmar military and Burma's people. In the aftermath of the conflict, a mission of Burma nationalist leaders led by General Aung San discussed with the UK and asked for full civic and economical autonomy from Britain. Aung San -Attlee Agreement, ratified on January 27, 1947, states that Burma will gain autonomy within a year and the border areas will be unified with Burma Proper.
A number of indigenous rulers did not endorse the treaty because they wanted to defend their right to self-determination and thought that the British would help them as they had promiseworth. As the British negotiated with nationalities, General Aung San also travelled through the border areas to gain the faith of the people of national ethnicity and persuade them to join the Union of Burma.
A number of basic tenets for the country's new constitutional structure were hurriedly adopted at the historical Panglong Conference in February 1947, where Burmese, Kachin, Shan and Chin and Karen leadership gathered only as observer to debate their intentions for the coming years. Mon, Arakanese, Karenni and other nations were not welcome or not interested in participating.
There was a "principle of equality" between Burmese and Burmese people, and General Aung San said at the conference: "When Burma gets a Kyoto, you get a Kyoto." Nevertheless, in the lack of many indigenous rulers and a joint treaty of abnormalities with regard to ethical laws, the 1947 treaty was enforced.
On July 19, 1947, six month before gaining sovereignty, General Aung San and eight of his office secretaries were murdered by a bunch of paramilitary officers during a session of the Executive Council. The tragic consequence of the attack and the swift withdrawal of the UK from Burma was that the problems between different racial groups were never fully solved.
Although General Aung San was not backed by everyone in Burma, he may still be Burma's only chance of keeping the countless communities together in serenity. It became widely entrusted and esteemed because of its straightforward and sincere nature, and many believe that Burma would be completely different today if General Aung San had known.
After the death of the Burmese nation's protagonist, a citizen and intimate associate of Aung San, U Nu, became Burma's premier and brought Burma to freedom. Mr U Nu established a federation of trade unions as the foundation of the system of governance. Myanmar became independent at 4:20 a.m. on January 4, 1948.
Burma's sovereignty, however, was the result of the shedding of blood. A large part of the ethnical hostilities that broke out can be traced back to the wartime years. It quickly developed into growing inter-cultural force between Burma's domestic military and ethnically opposed forces. Burma's Communist Party (CPB) and the Karen Liberation Labour Force (KNLA), the Karen NPU's (KNU) armoured side, rebelled in the first year of nationalism.
A number of other ethnical groups, among them the Karenni, Mon, Pa'o, Kachin and Arakanese, quickly took up arms in the country. As Burma's position somewhat brightened in the latter part of the 1950', the basic ethical tension persisted and the position quickly worsened when Burma's nationalities' leadership realized that the Myanmar authorities would not deliver on the pledges they had made on this.
The Panglong Agreement was not respected, and Buddhism was proclaimed a state religious denomination that corresponded to the resentments of those ethnically nationalized people whose population had been largely reconverted to Christianity during the war. General Ne Win relinquished control in a 1962 war and the multiparty federation was turned into a one-party state where the Burma Socialist Programme Partys ( "BSPP") was the only judicial policy unit permitted to act in the state.
After fruitless discussions with many of the various militarized groups of the opponents, Ne Win began his experiments with the "Burmese Way to Socialism". Under the BSPP regime, many serious abuses of international humanitarian law were first systematized and Burma became one of the poorest nations in the underworld. From 1962 to 1988 General Ne Win ruled the country, first as army leader and then as self-appointed mayor.
The Burmese population has been driven onto the street by widespread civil disturbances, among them 1965, 1969, 1970 and 1974 with the help of protest by protesting college undergraduates. Throughout the country in 1974, laborers took part in a strikes, to which the administration reacted on June 6, 1974 with the execution of an estimated 100 laborers and college undergraduates. The National Democratic Front (NDF), a nine-member National Democratic Front, was formed on 10 May 1976.
Until 1984, when a violent attack from Burma near the Thai frontier forced 10,000 people into Thailand to refuge. The incident heralded the beginning of the continuing flow of people from Burma to Thailand. By 1987, the goverment demonized without prior notice all banknotes that were not separable by nine, probably because Ne Win was said to be his lucky one.
In the same year, Burma was included in the United Nations Least Developed Country list as one of the ten least developed nations in the worInd. The BSPP began to protest against the state in 1988 and demanded that the BSPP resign in favor of a democratic civil state. During the so-called 8888 insurrection on August 8, 1988, literally a hundred thousand student, monk and human beings of all ethnic and social backgrounds took to the street to demonstrate against the state.
Army and policemen stopped the protest by assaulting the humans with lacrimal gases, rifles and armour, shooting directly into the crowd and murdering tens of thousand more. All Burma Federation of Students Unions (ABFSU) has become an proactive vote for academia and students' liberties. The army carried out a military coup in September 1988 and founded a new rule under combat laws, the State law and order restoration council (SLORC).
From KNU-held areas, Sudanese college graduates form the All Burma Studies Democratic Front (ABSDF) and take up weapons against the state. The year 1988 proved to be a crucial year for the Burmese nation as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the sister of the nation's main character General Aung San, also appeared as a country symbol.
Returning to take care of her ill mom, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke to half a million Chinese at a massive demonstration outside the Shwedagon Pagoda on August 26, 1988, demanding a pro-democracy state. The following months she assisted in founding the National League for Democracy (NLD), which quickly became the leader of the opposing group.
Shortly thereafter, the regime proclaimed the right of war and detained tens of thousand civil servants, college graduates and other important politicians, most of whom were NLD-leading. In spite of the government's efforts to debilitate the Burmese oppositions, the Burmese electorate cast an overwhelming majority in the May 1990 NLD election; the NLD won 392 of the 485 challenged ranks, while the SLORC-backed National Unity Party (NUP) won 10 of them.
Dissatisfied with the results of the elections, the regime ignored the results and declined to surrender it. The ABSDF had about 10,000 members in the 1990' and fought a guerilla battle against the Myanmar military from the Karen state. In 1988-1992, Burma experienced some of the worst struggles since the wars.
SLORC began in 1989 to offer a series of arms of national ethnicities selected truces while deploying over 80,000 soldiers against the KNU and various Mon, Kachin and Karenni uprisings. At the end of 1988 the Democratic Alliance of Burma (DAB) was founded, to which all members of the NDF, ABSDF and the All Burma Young Monks' Union (ABYMU) belong.
The ABYMU was founded after the liberation, forbidden together with all civilian and politic organizations in 1964 and re-established after the 8888 war. The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), the government in exil, was founded on 18 December 1990 with the full backing of the NDF and DAB.
Despite the 1989 changes of the Burmese army government's formal name to Myanmar, many organizations and overseas goverments, among them the US and the UK, continue to call the Burmese state. The Burmese democratic movements have also favored the Burmese way because they do not recognize the illegitimacy of the non-elected army regimes to rename the country's name.
The UN Commission on Fundamental Freedoms and Democracy began its current inquiry into violations of Burma's humanitarian law in 1990. Especially in the 90s, the Burma military continued its policy of weakening enemy forces by proposing selected cease-fire arrangements that ignored the policy misgivings of nationalities and offered many other advantages and privilege to those who agreed with them.
Recent events have shown that violations of Burma's humanitarian law can happen both in times of war and peace, and that cease-fire deals between struggling factions do not necessarily end the ill-treatment of civil people (see pattern of state abuse). Quite the opposite, in fact, ceasefires have often resulted in divisions in the opposing movements, leading to more conflict and conflict, while at the same time overturning the initial objectives of the opposing group.
As Burma's military ratified a number of treaties in the 1990', the flow of people from Burma to Thailand increased. Up to the mid-1990', over a million people, mostly of racial origin, had escaped across Burma's turbulent boundaries and several hundred thousand others were driven inside Burma itself.
She had been asked by the army to free her, but she turned it down on several occasions, because she knew she could not re-enter the state. Its victim of individual liberty has become a uniting factor in all the people of Burma and has won the heart of all those who work for it.
Burma's administration has since 1997 been renamed the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and has been accepted into the Association of Southeast Asian Nationals (ASEAN). In 1997, the International Labor Organization (ILO) established a commission of inquiry into Burma and found a productive use of hard labor in the state ("ILO", 1998).
During the 90s, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPDC) persecuted further student groups and opposed the democratic opponents. When Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from home detention in May 2003 and tried to organize NLD activity outside Rangoon, the Myanmar military assaulted its followers and injured and killed tens of them.
The 88 Generation student movement has since started a campaign of civilian insubordination that has been an open challenge to the Burmese army rulers, among them the collection of 535,580 petitions demanding the freeing of all Burma's civilian detainees. By March 2006, the army regime had formally moved the country's capitol to Naypyidaw, which is more central and strategic than the old capitol, Rangoon.
There has been speculation that the Burmese people believe that a threat of an assault by an astrologist has been issued to the head of the Forces. Burma's next major protest erupted in 2007, again sparked by desperate economies.
Protesters called for a transformation of Burma politically and economically, but once again the army violently repressed the protest and murdered an unidentified number of abbeys and civil servants. There were also detained by the army for their participation in the demonstration. Although pictures and video of the protest found its way into the world, the army continues its arrest and murder.
In May 2008, Cyclone Nargis hit Burma with the next one. Between 100,000 and 200,000 lives were lost in the hurricane, which ravaged several million hectares of arable land and leveled off the land of several hundred municipalities. In spite of the extensive devastation and emergency assistance needed by the victims, the army regime ended its limitations and stopped world assistance from arriving at the population in need; tens of thousands more died as a deathwatch.
The Karen tribes living in the Karen River area of the Danube River Delta were hit particularly hard by the hurricane, resulting in a strong rise in Karen vulnerability to human consumption and livelihoods. Just a few clandestine clones destroyed several hundred thousand livelihoods, the regime conducted a plebiscite. Like the 1947 constitution, the 2008 constitution was criticized for its shortcomings in taking into account Burma's various nationalities.
Constitutional law ensures that the armed forces are free from any civil scrutiny, that they designate and occupy 25% of posts in lawmaking and law enforcement agencies at all administrative levels and that the armed forces will be responsible for defense and safety matters without civil scrutiny.
The 2008 constitution also called for all cease-fire groups to be integrated into a unified Border Guard Force (BGF), resulting in the disarmament of the groups and their replenishment of arms handed out by the state. Your forces would also submit to Burma's local army commandants. Few groups, including the Karen Buddhist Democratic Army (DKBA) and the National Demokratic Army - Kachin, have allied.
Failure to join the BGF led to Burma's troops launching offensive campaigns and, as a result, to an increase in the flow of refugees across Burma's border. Despite the fact that the Myanmar authorities ended their call to convert Burma's civilian groups into BGF in October 2011, tension led to an outbreak of conflict between the Myanmar militaries and ethnical forces in the states of Kachin, Shan, Karen and Mon.
Kachin and Shan were two major areas where battles largely erupted between the Burma military and Burma's ethnical opposing forces for refusing to join the BGF. In March 2011, a nominal civil parliament, consisting mainly of former lieutenants, took over and former Prime Minister Thein Sein was elected prime minister.
Soon after the 2010 elections, the Burma military began to negotiate a ceasefire with various ethnical opposition groups. In November 2010, twelve indigenous armed forces formed the United Nations Federal Council (UNFC) to make sure that all of them were engaged in a joint context of peaceful dialogue (Keenan, May 2012).
While Burma remains under the rule of the army, the new administration has taken everyone by surprise by introducing a range of policy and macroeconomic reform since taking over. It has freed several hundred detainees, passed legislation establishing labor and free association rights, facilitated formal press scrutiny, permitted Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to stand in the April 2012 by-elections, in which she won a parliamentary chair, and marked a string of cease-fires with militarized nationalities.
Nevertheless, many are questioning the plans of the new "civilian government" and there are innumerable reasons why the regime has introduced the reform. Recent a number of recent accounts have also noted a continuation of systemic violation of fundamental freedoms in Burmese jails and communities (see HR Reports), and cease-fire in Burma remains a problem.
Burma is not new to Burma and has been a recurring theme in protest throughout the nation since the 1962 putsch. In Burma's decade of armed rule, a large number of protest and demonstration were organized against consecutive modes in the roads of communities, usually run by religious or student leaders.
While many of these demonstrations and insurgencies have been crushed by the army and police force, they have also resulted in societal changes such as more organized opposing movement. Despite widespread popular backing for democracies, the countrys failure to re-establish sovereignty for half a century-and the military's violent repression of the 8888 national insurrection and the 2007 monk-led saffron war.
After Burma's story of the early democratic transformation was shattered and all successive efforts were forcibly repressed, any further transformation will bear the marks of past historical wars. In Burma, there seem to be a lot of change on the way, and many are now pausing in the hope that the changes are real.
In addition, many municipalities and areas throughout the entire land are polarized according to ethnical, cultural, political and/or religion. The only thing that will show is how the changes will impact the Burmese population and whether the Burmese authorities really want changes. It' a modern Burmese story. Myanmar under military rule. Burma's politics and the dilemma of national unity.