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Myanmar's fisheries sector employs 3.2 million people (800,000 full-time and 2.4 million part-time).
Long way - Myanmar's uprisings to end
NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar's capitol, ended the four-day peacemaking session on 3 September between the regime and 17 of the rebel groups that have ravaged the nation since its 1948 victory. On the same time in Myitkyina, the state of Kachin, another noise was heard: the roar of warplanes.
"Perhaps they are on their way to bombing Laiza," said a native, and referred to the city where the Kachin Independence Military (KIA), one of the rebels, is based. Only a few clandestine nights before the beginning of the conflict, the Myanmar KIA forces used helicopters and a large amount of heavier ordnance to attack their post. In the wake of the floods of delegates from all over the land to Naypyidaw, the conflicts in the states designated for the Shan and Kachin minority continue and show that despite all the fuss about the discussions, the path is long and obstructive.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the country's head, said during the discussions that "we will certainly be able to create the federative democracy of our aspirations with tenacity and courage". "Aung Hlaing, the head of the armed forces, pledged to work for it. Some of Myanmar's many minority communities, who had snarled their way to the meeting, even admitted that this was the first conversation they had had with the military and overheard it.
The Burmese minority in Myanmar has done the same since their TV appearances. "It' s all a kind of delusion of politics," said a young man at a Kachin academy wearing a T-shirt with the Kachin-flagge. "It is Aung San Suu Kyi's intention to show the rest of the earth that she does great things, but there is nothing there.
" One of the other students agreed: "She only takes care of Bamar[Burman] folks. Only a few years ago, when Myanmar was under army control, raising a Kachin ensign, let alone public mockery of the country's leader, would have resulted in arrests or more. But Myanmar's countless minority groups, which make up around 40% of the total populace and mainly reside in resource-rich frontier areas, are frankly cynical.
Aung San, who spearheaded the struggle for British sovereignty, concluded the Panglong Agreement with Shan, Chin and Kachinite. "Volle Autonomie in der intern Verwaltung...." is generally acceptable. "But Aung San was murdered before he could take over, and since then the racial dispute has afflicted the land, killed and evicted tens of millions.
Myanmar's frontier areas are soaked in an alphabetical broth of guerilla groups (see map). Myanmar's military, which governed Myanmar for more than 50 years before admitting partial civil rule at the beginning of the year, did business with some of them and allowed them to manage small inclaves. However, it was not willing to embrace greater levels of federation or to give more consideration to complaints from EMU.
There were no negotiation or formal discussion during the meetings, but only about 80 presentations by the various political groups. Against this backdrop, the military persisted that the draft bill, which it had written and imposed on the state eight years ago in a bogus referenda, already included a certain amount of federation. It gives Myanmar's 14 states, seven of which are ruled by a particular ethnical group, their own legislation.
This also allows the creation of autonomic areas within states for smaller ethnical groups. In all these villages, however, most authority stays with a commander designated by the armed forces. However, by Burma's standard it is a step forward that the military accepts the concept of federation and that the country's ethnical forces forego separation. A further summit is planned in about six month's time; in the meantime, the regime, the military and indigenous militia will be negotiating a more substantial negotiating frame.
The creation of a federation system requires the military and national governments to give far more power than they currently do - and, more important, to let go of the notion that the Burmese are the Burmese nation's heralds. It' s not clear that Mrs Suu Kyi is prepared to do this; and even if she were, the military almost certainly would not be.
There are groups like the UWSA that deal with the armed forces and have been managing small frontier areas at will for many years. A miraculous solution to these issues may lead to another: whether Myanmar's minority communities can get along with each other. Groupings such as Wa, Palaung and Pa-O fear that the states in which their autonomic territories are situated will just displace the federal administration as a cause of prejudice and oppression.