Present Political Situation in MyanmarCurrent political situation in Myanmar
Myanmar's alarming civil unrest | Council on Foreign Relations
Myanmar's anti-Muslim clampdown, which last year seemed limited to the West state of Rakhine, has erupted throughout the state. Buddhist mobs, some with links to the 969 military movement, have assaulted Muslims in the cities of Meiktila, Naypyidaw, Bago and most recently in Yangon, the foremost town.
In Yangon, Bago and other large cities, many Muslims are scared to go to mosques, to go into businesses that are aimed at Muslims, or to show their beliefs outside their houses or businesses. In the last two years at least 100,000 Muslims have become displaced and several hundred have been murdered.
Despite attempts by the goverment to tell donators, sponsors, investors, reporters and international diplomats that the 2012 violent events in Rakhine State were localised in the area, there had in fact even been a start last year of mosque raids and some Islamic business in other parts of the state.
This calming was felt by a number of financiers and institutional buyers due to the huge opportunity in Myanmar, one of the last huge developing world. However, in Myanmar, one of the most diverse Asian nations in terms of ethnics and religion, the anti-Muslim mood (and sometimes also the anti-Chinese, anti-Indian and anti-somebody who is not an ethnical Burmese) has increased significantly in the last two years.
The 969 movement has been making anti-Muslim rhetoric for at least a year, giving anti-Muslim demonstrations and handing out DVD's full of Vitrino. Meanwhile the Internet in Myanmar, although used by less than 5 per cent of the Myanmar people, is already overcome by hate-filled smears against Muslims, Indians, Chinese and other nationalities including.
There are alarming prejudices even in Suu Kyi's pro-democracy National League for Democracy against Muslims - who make up about 5 per cent of the Burmese people - and those who do not belong to the Burmese people. Increasing racial hatreds and aggressions could turn the state into a 21st centurys after the Cold War Yugoslavia.
If Myanmar tries to make the move from one of the most oppressive regime in the world to a democratic one, this emerging racial hate and the assaults could turn the countrys economy into a 21st Century one. As Myanmar has made great progress in the last three years of reform, it could plunge into turmoil without more pro-active action to curb racial and worship violations.
Use the slide bar to adjust the image before and after the force. Burma has a long tradition of hostility and inter-ethnic tension, aggravated by the use of the partition tactic of the UK colonialists and then by the repressive five-decade domination of the United States. The Burmese dictatorship evicted many Indians from the land in 1962, and since the Burmese dictatorship's 1948 victory, the armed forces have been fighting more than fifteen insurrections by tribes.
By 2010, the Armed Forces began the process of moving to civil rule by conducting political and electoral processes that eventually contributed to the creation of a civil assembly and formal renunciation of its presidential clout. Nevertheless, the armed forces remain the country's most potent player, and the civil premier, Thein Sein, who clearly has Reformation tendencies, was himself a high-ranking general before taking over the chair.
Myanmar's opening has enabled both opposing political groups and the press to assert their prerogatives. While the Myanmar news diets once included a state-dominated paper, some web pages and state television, over the past two years the Myanmar administration has removed control, opening several hundred if not a thousand Myanmarites.
After sweeping last year's by-elections, the SND C recently hosted its first ever nationwide gathering in years and is likely to predominate the scheduled 2015 nationwide election, enabling it to lead the state. It is not completely under civil oversight and some Islamic rulers are accusing members of the police of fomenting it.
Being Thein cannot dare his local commander to obey his orders, and must fear that if he gives the force the authority to take action to contain riots, they will take violent action and aggravate the situation. Although the political atmosphere has opened up, neither the Suu Kyi nor the Suu Kyi administration has presented a sustainable blueprint for the creation of a federated state that will be vital in a nation with so many national minorities and so little confidence in the state.
In the top echelons of the NLDD, Suu Kyi's political group, almost all leading politicians are against significant federation, despite the profound mistrust of the country's indigenous people. Aung San Suu Kyi has openly promoted a new federalist paradigm and acknowledged her father's premonition announced at the Panglong Conference and the 1947 agreement, and she is probably the only Burmese woman who has enough trust from minority leaders to lead a new alliance.
However, it has not been at the heart of its policy since it joined last year. While the most urgent needs for assistance and investments in basic infrastructures are among minorities' ethnical and worship areas, civil servants in the Burmese capitol Naypyidaw are already vying for new overseas assistance and investments in Burma's main areas, which are not so dependent on streets, power and other needs.
Since the majority of democratic countries have abolished penalties in the last two years, the donor countries have taken care of entry into Myanmar. Myanmar's new printed daily newspapers and the web have little contemporary regulations, and violence and hatred have spread.
Nationalist Buddhist and Burmese activists like the 969 leader have won popular press coverage on nationwide forums. The most recent anti-Muslim clampdown has been spreading quickly and in a seemingly co-ordinated manner, according to Irrawaddy and other major Myanmar literature. The Irrawaddy said that in many cities, Muslims and minority communities have been complaining that the law enforcement and military have done nothing to defend them from aggressors.
Suu Kyi's administration and international aid workers who have been in Myanmar for the past two years must act quickly to stop this impending catastrophe. On the one hand, the administration, the oppositions and leading ethnical and religion groups must quickly devise a decentralisation agenda and the German administration. Indonesia has been very effective in transferring political and macroeconomic powers to areas and sub-regional level, which has reduced tension in another nation and brought many more political actors into the state.
Aung San Suu Kyi must be less cautious about the human right of all Myanmaris and the need to stop ethnical and worshipism. Furthermore, the Myanmar authorities must, with the help of donor agencies, concentrate the funds received in areas of vital importance for the restoration of international order.
This includes the creation of a civil policing system that can safeguard justice and order and diminish the need for military action in areas of tension; the education of young reporters to comprehend the need to acquire histories; and the initiation of mediating activities to promote dialog between peoples and faiths. Whilst some Myanmar civil servants believe that rebellious coverage should result in the re-establishment of legislation that restricts the media, the education of printed and on-line media will have a similar effect without restricting the newly gained freedom.
Simultaneously, local government and donor countries in the West could better manage the flow of displaced persons from the Myanmar conflict over the past two years. A lot of Muslims from the state of Rakhine have already tried to escape by leaving with shaky vessels or trying to get to Bangladesh, but the area has no co-ordinated policies, and groups of these Muslims have supposedly been assaulted, imprisoned or compelled back to Myanmar by the Thai army.
Countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore also agreed to welcome refugees from Myanmar and reassured them that the financial burdens would not be borne by them alone.