Myanmar new Government StructureBurma's new government structure
Myanmar's government - it' rescheduling now?
Burma will celebrate the first year of the National League for Democracy's historical rise under its president Aung San Suu Kyi in late March. Anyone who has seen the enthusiasm following the landsliding triumph of the contested opponents in November 2015 will never be able to ignore this unlikely climax of more than a quarter hundred years of fighting for a democratic, peaceful and just world.
There are two very different abilities against the repressive state and government leadership. I and my fellow Members were concerned about the NLD's capability to fill posts in ministers with skilled staff and to administer an important government machinery. Finally, the political group did not succeed in inheriting a working government with a high-efficiency administrative structure, but a relatively small structure of capacities, most of which had worked according to individual relations among (mostly) fellow soldiers.
Under-development, warfare and demoting of practically every institute except one - the army - in the last 50 years cannot be eradicated by a vote. An electoral democracy does not mean the establishment of a nationally based democracy of co-operation, of reconciliation. It also does not make it easy to find the necessary trade-off for sustainable and unified societies in a multifaceted nation like Myanmar.
However, the greatest doubt marks hang over the part of the army, or Tatmadaw. There is no civil oversight of the army under the 2008 Constitution, and changes to the charter itself call for armed assistance, as it automatically allocates 25% of Parliament's seat. In the Constitution, there is also a definition of defence, frontier and interior authorities.
Of course, the NLD was wondering whether it could make sure that its guidelines were applied throughout the entire order book and that there was more extensive monitoring of activities relating to aspects of freedom, respect for mankind, and other aspects of the country's internal security. If the NLD were to do so, it would have to do so. It' s a sensible issue whether Aung San Suu Kyi as state advisor and the NLD have fully exploited the dynamics of their historical first year of landslides, regardless of those structurally impediments.
In fact, the first year of office is usually the most powerful time, a one-of-a-kind time frame to use an election term, formulate a future direction, formulate policy coalitions and determine the direction of government for the coming years. In February, I came back to Myanmar as part of a United States Institute of Peace mission to see what happened to the United States after a year of NLD-led work.
Very few challenged the NLD's good intention in fighting bribery, fostering peacemaking and the like, but some wondered whether the party's governmental approach and processes fostered an optimistic view of its further succeed. Some of the matters they raised were: the nomination of invalid minister for top posts; the absence of a clear business strategy or an obvious focus on business matters; poor government that demands all decision-making, large or small, of the state advisor to act; the disrespect for civic life and the press; continuing detentions and imprisonments under old legislation such as Section 66D of the Telecommunications Act, which restricts freedom of expression; and the absence of strong government communications on politics, which appreciates the provision of feed-back, encourages official and convincingly supports.
Participants in the pacification processes, many of whom represent nationalities, noted that the pace of the trial has been slowing and deplored that Aung San Suu Kyi herself has not made enough investments in the kind of steady, silent, face-to-face patrols of democracy needed to establish confidence in the people of nationalities and improve the prospect of a broad nationwide ceasefire and prolific policy dialog.
While acknowledging that the NLD has little or no power over the army, they wonder why the state adviser does not at least fundamentally oppose the recent increase in the use of force and violation of civil liberties in Kachin and North Shan states. We know that the NLD government has expressed similar concern that the NLD government has not reconciled its words and deeds with the urgent need for continued force against the Stateless Muslim Rohingya people in the north of Rakhine State, despite recognising the NLD leadership's fragile policy ties and awful legacy from its forerunners.
There is no question that Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD will address many of these discerning issues, noting that their successes in fighting bribery, fostering country-building, and other huge issues will be ignored and will advise perseverance. For example, Rakhine State and Peacemaking are indeed extremely complicated and delicate issues that do not have an immediate or simple answer.
Tackling the sensitive dynamic between a new civilian-led democratically governed government and a right-wing army is a major challenge if it is vital to the smooth functioning of democracy. The difficult job of governance will always attract criticism. However, it is the first policy that the government must comply with, regardless of barriers or structure compulsion.
Vicious wingers can still live within the system - the outrageous murder of NLD attorney and Muslim campaigner Ko Ni in late January actually sent a shiver through politics, indicating that the spectre of force and impunity is staying afloat and functioning well and working against reforms in Myanmar. Only if the NLD does not use the possibilities of management that there are and that are under its command will such powers be successful.
The NLD, for example, does not need others to establish confidence with and between communities, rationalise decision-making, reassess ministries and nominations, draft a thorough macroeconomic policies, use its ultimate legislative support to end retrogressive law and adopt new progressive law, achieve the partnership of civic societies, devise a forward-looking approach to the state of Rakhine that guarantees safety and equality for all communities, and provide a convincing view of the principals on which a new "democratic Myanmar" will emerge.
In fact, Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD came to office with as much goodwill at home and abroad as any government could have hoped. Milions in their own countries and around the globe are investing and willing to support Myanmar's challenging transitional period. The NLD's job now is to form alliances to succeed in a delicate and delicate environment - but still desperately seeking peacemaking, developing and informed leaders.
On the first day of coming into force, a democratic government will take stock and consider making changes. While Aung San Suu Kyi and her peers are beginning their second year in this post, they must not yield to self-satisfaction or regard endurance as a replacement for the pressing adaptations that may be necessary to preserve their significant benefit, initially released in the Nikkei Asian Review.