Myanmar’s National League for Democracy Consolidates Power

Myanmar’s National League for Democracy Consolidates PowerDespite fears that Chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi will be blocked from seeking the presidency of Myanmar, her party, the National League for Democracy,  appears to be consolidating power all the way down the line. A week ahead of the scheduled formal presidential nominations, a senior NLD member has told the media that the heads…

Myanmar: New Parliament, Old Constitution

Myanmar: New Parliament, Old ConstitutionMyanmar’s new parliament convened for the first time last week amid a flurry of underground power struggles and intense negotiations between the military and the National League for Democracy's chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi. But it is clear that despite the overwhelming 255-30 electoral victory by the NLD on Nov. 8, the constitutional frame designed…

Buddhist Extremism Loses Out in Myanmar Vote

Buddhist Extremism Loses Out in Myanmar VoteWith the opposition National League for Democracy’s (NLD) landslide victory in Myanmar’s Nov. 8 election, the enduring popularity of its leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, was confirmed. The results also constituted a strong popular rebuke of military rule, as the former generals of the incumbent Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) suffered an…

Myanmar Political Transition a Dilemma for China

Myanmar Political Transition a Dilemma for ChinaGiven Myanmar’s geographical proximity and lasting economic ties with China –and a convincing win by the National League for Democracy in November general elections, Beijing is watching events unfold in the political capital of Naypyidaw with great interest.  In the words of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s foreign policy will have to focus on balancing relations with…

No Picnic for Suu Kyi on Ethnic Reconciliation

No Picnic for Suu Kyi on Ethnic ReconciliationTouring Myanmar’s ethnic states before her party's landslide win in the Nov. 8 elections, Aung San Suu Kyi repeatedly emphasized peace and reconciliation as one of the National League for Democracy’s priorities in the event it would get to form a government. It has now been given the opportunity in the form of a landslide…

Myanmar Army Tries to Pick a Fight

Myanmar Army Tries to Pick a FightMonhyin, a tiny town in Myanmar’s Kachin State in the northern tip of the country, has long been spared the worst of the conflict between Myanmar’s armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, and the Kachin Independence Army, an ethnic militia that has been fighting the central government for decades.    That changed earlier this month,…

Myanmar: The President and the Proxy

Myanmar: The President and the ProxyMyanmar’s people have decided they want change. The reds, the National League for Democracy, have repudiated the greens, the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party in a historic election that was largely peaceful. The USDP leadership, custodians of Myanmar’s political transformation since the introduction of a quasi-civilian government and new constitution in 2008, have publicly…

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi Faces Uncertainty in November Polls

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi Faces Uncertainty in November PollsOn Nov. 8, as Myanmar approaches what analysts are calling the most important polls since the country was taken over by a military coup in 1962, speculation is rising over the future role of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the opposition National League for Democracy. Although for the international community the Nobel Peace…

Myanmar Breaks Pledge to Free Political Prisoners

Myanmar Breaks Pledge to Free Political PrisonersIn July of 2013, Myanmar‘s President Thein Sein stated that by the end of that year, two years after the election of a nominally civilian government pledged to democratic rule, there would be no prisoners of conscience left in the country’s jails. He was wrong. There are still opponents left in Myanmar’s jails and they…

Glimmer of Hope for Myanmar’s Ethnic Conflicts?

Glimmer of Hope for Myanmar’s Ethnic Conflicts?After more than six decades of internal armed conflict, the next four weeks could be decisive for the attempt to solve Myanmar’s bitter conflicts with its myriad armed ethnic groups, according to a new report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group. The peace process was launched in August of 2011 when President Thein Sein made…
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