Military Dictatorship in BurmaBurmese military dictatorship
Myanmar army regimes says it makes way for democracies, but this campaigner says liberty is still a long way off
President Barack Obama has landed on his second overseas mission to Myanmar, as has a reformist regime in the country also known as Burma. Zin Mar Aung, a Myanmar based politician who is now a member of the National Endowment for Democracy, is worried about the timings.
Burma has long been known for its appalling track record in terms of respect for people. Between 1962 and 2011, a army jungle had control of the country and crushed any controversy. Before she was discharged in 2009, when the reforms were promising, she went into isolation for nine years. Mr Zin Mar Aung says that the Burmese are not being boosted by the speed of reforms today, and many wonder whether the pro-democracy political groups will play a major role in next year's poll.
There is still a lot of lobbying in the military," says Zin Mar Aung, who has been in the US since the end of September. "You are still affecting the crucial institution of our state, even in the economy, public authorities and parliament." Burma is governed by a nominal civil regime run by a former general, President Thein Sein.
However, its 2008 draft strengthens the militarys governmental position by making sure that the army retain a fourth of the parliamentary seat in the countrys legislature and oversee important positions in the domestic, defence and frontier areas. Mr Zin Mar Aung says Myanmar must rule in its mighty army and allow a wide range of different factions to play a more proactive part in the game.
She fears that this President Obama trip could give credence to the gradual speed of reforms and give credence to the country's warlords. "We, especially the common man, did not change their everyday lives much after President Obama's first mission, and they still do not have the democratic, respect for mankind and freedom," she says.