The Republic of MyanmarRepublic of Myanmar
Myanmar's bad breath
Elections in Myanmar were first relatively free and free and fairly held in over two decades, 15 mins before I made U Ba Myo Thein at 3:45 pm on polling time. He was hardly imaginable that only five years previously in Thayet Penitentiary, one of Burma's most violent and infamous camps for detainees in the twentieth century.
No better indication of the scale of the Myanmar electoral process early this months than that so many former prisoner politicians - specialists estimate that they have won some 80 polls and are now coming to the House. In 1962, when Myanmar's army government was introduced, Myanmar's general quickly set up a guulag of mass dungeon-like jails across the nation, which were used to imprison anyone charged with defying the state.
Former detainees I encountered talked about the plight of the meals ration, the total shortage of read material, the atrocities of the guards, the extreme confinement and the cellmates who went astray. Ex-conservative detainees have been arrested for grounds that range from very small-minded to profound.
Yangon provincial government won a Yangon provincial parliamentary chair in this vote, Tint Lwin was deprived of his work at a municipal bench and imprisoned for five years for circulating a Belarusian whitepaper on the country's political policies, which the government considered too discriminating. Thein had been detained in 1990 for assisting in the coordination between students' protesters and ethnical insurgents fighting against the Myanmar army in distant counties.
They were both nominees for the National League of Democracy (NLD), the Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi's side, which wants to restrict the military's leadership of the government and has achieved a glorious win in this run. NLD - from top to bottom - is an organisation with former deportees.
An incurable type of cancers occurred to her UK spouse when he wanted to see his spouse once before his death, and the army refused the application. It is a matter of whether these former detainees can work together efficiently with the soldiers who have detained them for so many years.
Burma's democratic process made great progress in the November 8 election, but the electorate will still participate in a nationally governed regime that gives considerable powers to the army. Burma's constitutional framework ensures that the army has 25 per cent of parliamentary seat and that the army will retain full parliamentary oversight of three of the country's most influential administrative bureaucracies: the army, frontier issues and domestic matters.
Burma's armed forces will maintain solid agglomerates that they use to exploit and market the country's richness in minerals and oils to their own advantage. In a recent Global Witness study, companies associated with the armed forces managed much of the up to $31 billion biodegradable Java that was extracted in Myanmar in 2014 and almost all of the Java was wasted.
With Myanmar's armed forces still in place, there is a general agreement - among Myanmar's senior general Suu Kyi and John Kerry - that if these general election results are to result in a solid and stable democratic system, Myanmar's new civil leadership must work closely with Myanmar's ruling general to bring about further reform. In the present system of governance, civil people do not have the authority to enforce anything on their own.
This means that former detainees who come to the House have no alternative but to work in a close and constructive manner with their former repressors without compensation or apologies. "This is an aberrant situation," said Tint Lwin, the parliamentary nominee. "He said he was worried that the army would domineer the government, but that standing for president was the best available way to oppose continuing government by the war.
Aung San Suu Kyi has made it clear that it is not on her schedule to launch an investigation into violations of humanitarian law by the army Junta. In the last relatively free and free and relatively equitable elections in 1990, the NLD won in a muddle. After the elections, some NLD leader pledged to face the army over its atrocities.
That is one of the grounds why the army cancelled the results of the elections and declined to surrender control to the people. "Kyaw Wunna, a former convict serving as Tint Lwin's electoral director, said, "We must slowly but surely start to make changes. Indeed, since the move to nominee civil government in 2011, there has been a high level of collaboration between former detainees and the army, said Aaron Connelly, a research fellowship holder at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.
Citing former detainees and rebel militants who have worked with Burmese NGOs and members of the armed forces to broker cease-fire deals. "We' ve seen a great deal of collaboration between former Myanmar foes in the last five years, which I think is getting out of hand in many stories about this election," said Connielly to me.