They need to push for the full participation of civil society, especially of women and the many ethnic groups that have been so central to the countrys peace efforts and political life. And they need to make sure all armed ethnic groups are engaged to the fullest — not just some of them. The future of Burma is about more than building a civilian-controlled government. It is also about ensuring protection, fairness, and justice for all of Burmas people, including its ethnic minorities. In the photo, a soldier from a resistance group allied with the kachin Independence Army looks out from an outpost in northern Kachin state in September 2012. Photo credit: soe than win/AFP/Getty Images).
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The process will take time. In the near term, aung San suu kyi should ensure that humanitarian aid groups can travel freely to the affected areas, in particular in Kachin and northern Shan State. By impeding the delivery of aid, the burmese government risks violating international humanitarian law and undermining the support of the ethnic communities that helped bring it to power. The nld needs to make clear to the military that such measures are not only unacceptable but also level unhelpful as the government continues to seek support from international relief groups. The nld should also make sure that all affected ethnic minority groups are invited to participate in the upcoming conference, not just the ones that signed last years ceasefire agreement. By doing this, it will demonstrate a commitment to ending assignments decades of abuse while also making a clear break with the pernicious divide and rule tactics employed by the former military regime. Efforts to define the upcoming peace conference are still underway, so the question remains: How best can these seemingly permanent conflicts and the attendant human rights abuses be resolved? The most important steps are to ensure that the process is inclusive, reaches local communities, and tackles longstanding grievances. This means not only dealing with ongoing fighting and systemic rights violations, but underlying issues as well, including land rights, ownership of Burmas abundant natural resources, and security for the ethnic communities — something they have never really had. The United States and other donors can play a vital role by helping ensure the nld, the military, and the ethnic groups take full advantage of this opportunity and engage in good faith discussions.
A number of displaced people told us that the army is using helicopter gunships against fighters deployed near villages — a recipe for disaster. A video from earlier this year shows soldiers torturing villagers in western Shan State by beating them as they lay on the ground with their hands tied. The fighting in Shan State and other ethnic states shows no signs of tapering off even as Aung San suu kyi and the nld puts together a highly anticipated peace conference. The 21st Century panglong Conference, which should occur by the the end of August, references the historic Panglong conference of 1947, which was convened by aung San suu kyis father and helped lay the groundwork for post-independence burma. Suu kyi recently met with members of the armed ethnic groups that signed onto last years Nationwide ceasefire Agreement to discuss plans for the conference, but the details remain opaque. Notably, representatives from the groups currently fighting the military were absent from this recent meeting, potentially presaging a less than comprehensive plan for peace. For empire many observers, measuring the success of Burmas democratic transition is a matter of gauging the political dynamics in naypyidaw. But the ultimate success of Burmas transition will depend on whether its new quasi-civilian government can rein in the military and address the terrible legacies of the countrys multiple, decades-long armed conflicts.
Soldiers burned their homes and shot at some of them as they ran away. Nang Pwot, 35, said her husband had been detained simply because of a scar on his wrist, leading the statement military to believe he was a shan fighter. Efforts to find him have failed despite a local Shan politicians attempts to negotiate with the military. Weve been suffering for 60 years, one community leader told. Were friendship afraid to go home because of the military. At a temporary camp in the remote hills of Kutkai township, recent arrivals also told me they ran from their village after the military fired heavy artillery at fighters thought to be hiding among the local population. Although two months had passed since the initial clashes, community leaders were still visibly shaken as they recounted how they hid in the forest for a week and then walked a full day before finally stopping. Now theyre living in makeshift homes. Because the burmese army maintains a presence in their village and may have mined the surrounding fields and farms, they wont even think about going home.
The civilian government must gain control of the defense, border, and interior ministries — all of which are constitutionally reserved for the countrys notoriously abusive military. The plight.2 million Rohingya muslims, who have long been targets of state-sponsored persecution, deprived of access to basic services, and the right to full citizenship, also requires urgent attention. Seasoned humanitarian workers have described conditions in camps where more than 120,000 Rohingya have been isolated since the 2012 campaign of ethnic cleansing as among the worst they have ever seen. Perhaps most challenging, however, is the work of uniting a country that has been wracked by civil war since its independence in 1948. Beyond Rangoon and the capital city of naypyidaw, longstanding armed conflicts persist between the government and various ethnic armed groups. Some of those conflicts are now re-igniting, with devastating consequences for the affected populations. During a recent trip to northern Shan State, i saw the impact of this renewed fighting first-hand. At the aung Mingalar bo taw Monastery, community leaders and displaced residents told me that a recent military attack had forced 280 of them to flee their village.
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Price us35.93, 276 pages. Bertil Lintner is a former correspondent with the far Eastern Economic review and the author of several books on myanmar. He is currently a writer with Asia pacific Media services. (Copyright 2010 Asia times Online (Holdings) Ltd. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.). 10:22, why 'deaths of Despair' may be a warning Sign for America - moving Upstream 2/27/2018, does a decades-long rise in suicide among white Americans signal an emerging crisis for.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus deaton and his wife, fellow traditional Princeton Prof. Anne case, share their provocative theory with wsjs Jason Bellini in this episode of moving Upstream. Shan state, burma — its not easy to govern a country emerging from a half-century of military rule, particularly with one essay hand tied behind your back. After sweeping Burmas historic elections in 2015, aung San suu kyis party, the national league for Democracy (nld now faces daunting challenges. It needs to repeal or reform problematic laws, restructure military-dominated bureaucracies, and deal with violent strains of xenophobia and anti-muslim hatred.
His version of Shan-myanmar relations throughout history - and his views of the controversial opium question - may not conform with what has been written and said elsewhere by so-called scholars and United Nations "experts". But for that very reason it should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in myanmar affairs. Frustrated at failed internationally supported anti-drug policies in myanmar, Chao tzang concludes: I sometimes wonder whether the opium problem has not become a goose that lays golden eggs - enriching, on one hand, the drug syndicates and traffickers and on the other providing multi-national and. (p 252) The book consists of three parts: the first deals with Chao tzang's life and experiences, the second is an overview of Shan-myanmar relations from pre-colonial days up to the present, and the third is a highly informative list of historical and political personalities. This new, improved edition also contains a useful index, which the first lacked, an In Memoriam by his younger brother, harn Yawnghwe, who heads the euro-burma Office in Brussels, an information center run by myanmar exiles of all nationalities, and a foreword by martin Smith. Burma: Insurgency and the politics of Ethnicity.
As in the first edition, the name "Burma" for the country is used, not "Myanmar which became the country's official designation in 1989, as changing it would have been tantamount to altering the original manuscript. Some readers may take exception to Chao tzang's treading a bit softly on the issue of his nemesis, the druglord Khun. But that is understandable given the circumstances under which Chao tzang had to escape to canada, and for many years live at an undisclosed address. But I think most readers, including neutral observers of the political drama in myanmar, would find it hard to disagree today with the overall conclusion of his excellent study: The time has come for Burma's leaders, both in Rangoon and in jungle headquarters to rethink. Their ambitions and prejudices. For much too long, the people of the Union of Burma have been entrapped in the politics of violence. All efforts must be taken to break the vicious cycle which has made the burman, Shan, mon, karen, karenni, kachin, Chin and Arakanese rakhine, pitiable victims of war and violence. The Shan of Burma: Memoirs of a shan Exile by Chao tzang Yawnghwe, institute of southeast Asian Studies Publishing, singapore (2010 isbn-10.
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Chao tzang's father, sao shwe Thaike, was the saohpa, or prince, of resume the Shan State ions of Yawnghwe. When myanmar achieved independence in 1948, sao shwe Thaike became the first president of the Union, and, later, was twice appointed speaker of the house of Nationalities, the then upper house of parliament. Their family home in Yangon (Rangoon) was raided during the night of General ne win's coup d'etat on March 2, 1962, and Chao tzang's 16-year-old brother, sai myee, was shot by the soldiers and the father, the ex-president, was led away and died in the. Chao tzang, who had graduated from Yangon University in 1959 (not in 1969, as the short biography on the back-flap of the book wrongly states was a tutor in English there until he joined the Shan rebel movement in 1963. The following year, his mother and sai shwe Thaike's widow, sao nang hearn Kham, escaped to Thailand and became chairperson of the central military council of the newly created ssa, which brought together three smaller Shan resistance armies. In the hills of Shan State, chao tzang was instrumental in setting up the ssa's political wing, the Shan State Progress Party (sspp in 1971. He served as its secretary general until he retired to Thailand in 1976, following disagreements over a pact the ssa had formed with the insurgent Communist Party of Burma. Chao tzang, and many other veterans, could not accept an alliance with the communists, even as they offered the ssa's troops training and generous military assistance. Chao tzang's book is a very personal account of his youth and life with the Shan resistance.
In 1985, he and his family left Chiang mai in haste after the then most notorious druglord of the golden Triangle, khun sa, had tried to recruit him. Khun sa wanted Chao tzang to become a spokesman for his organization, to shore up its supposedly political resume credentials. And when Khun sa gave someone "an offer he could not refuse the only way to survive was to escape and go into hiding. As luck would have it, Chao tzang's mother, sao nang hearn Kham, was already settled in Edmonton, Alberta, and a canadian citizen. Chao tzang chose to live in Vancouver, where he joined the University of British Columbia to continue his studies, which had been interrupted when the military seized power in myanmar in the early 1960s. In Vancouver, he earned a phD in political science and his thesis was titled. The politics of Authoritarianism: The State and Political Soldiers of Burma, indonesia, and Thailand.
could not be more timely. An election was held in myanmar on november 7 and the country's pro-democracy leader, aung San suu kyi, was released six days later. Although myanmar's ruling military had hoped that the election would mark the final stage of the consolidation of its absolute power over the country - and that few would gather around suu kyi, who they thought would have been forgotten after all her years under. Karen rebels on the Thai border launched some spectacular attacks to show their dissatisfaction with recent developments - and huge crowds came to see suu kyi, who immediately began talking about convening a nationwide conference with myanmar's national minorities to solve the ethnic conflicts that. Suddenly, and unexpectedly for the military, the ethnic issue was attracting the attention it deserves amid their stage-managed elections. The Shan rebellion is one of myanmar's oldest and fiercest, and little has changed in that part of the country since the first edition of Chao tzang's book was published. Reading an almost 30-year-old manuscript, and comparing the situation in myanmar today, shows that there is only a new cast of characters and players; the reasons why the Shans, and others, took up arms in the first place still have not been addressed by the. Chao tzang died in exile in Canada, where he spent the last 19 years of his life.
Politics in Shan State, an article which had appeared in the september 1959 issue of The journal of Asian Studies, a quarterly published by The Association for Asian Studies, a us society. Since then, many other works about the Shans have been published, the most noteworthy being sai aung Tun's voluminous 2009 study. History of the Shan State From Its Origins to 1962, and Inge sargent's 1994 book. Twilight over Burma: my life as a shan Princess. Chao tzang's, the Shan of Burma, however, became the first comprehensive, informative and non-sensational account of the Shans and the interrelated question of opium and insurgency in their homeland - which includes most of the golden Triangle, one of the world's most important sources. This book was first published by singapore's Institute of southeast Asian Studies in 1987, and Chao tzang, incidentally, was the driver of the pick-up truck in Chiang paperwork mai i rode in back in March 1981. Chao tzang passed away in July 2004, only 65 years old, and his memoirs have now been published in a new and much improved edition. Since it was reprinted six years after author's death, the text has not been updated because that would have required an epilogue written by somebody else added to the original manuscript.
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Book review, myanmar's ageless ethnic question, the Shan of Burma: Memoirs of a shan Exile. Chao tzang Yawnghwe, reviewed by bertil Lintner, in March 1981, i made my first contact with the Shan resistance movement in myanmar. Hunched under a canvas awning in the rear of a pick-up truck, feasibility i was taken along some back lanes into a rundown part of the northern Thai city of Chiang mai to meet an unofficial representative of the insurgent Shan State Army (SSA). The vehicle was driven by an intellectual - one of my first Shan acquaintances - who cut an unlikely figure as a rebel veteran: he was short and frail, wore glasses with thick lenses and spoke fluent English with an aristocratic accent. A week later, i was there, among the ssa guerrillas across the border, having traveled a whole day by bus from Chiang mai to mae hong Son, a small town in Thailand's northwestern-most corner, and then trekked for two days over the border mountains. I carried in my backpack the only two works I then had found worth reading among all the sensational gibberish that had been published about the Shans, a people in northeastern myanmar whose language resembles Thai rather than myanmar, and whose culture also resemble that. Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States, a colonial publication printed in Yangon in 1900, and us myanmar scholar Josef Silverstein's.