ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Burma's Beginning

A good beginning towards democratisation, but much more needs to be done.

There has been a sudden and relatively silent change in Myanmar. For the past five decades the country has been under a vicious form of military rule which has isolated its polity and economy from the world to the detriment of its people. The one moment of rebellion which promised to bring much needed change was the student revolt of 1988 which catalysed a popular uprising and forced a general election. However, as we all know, the military regime managed to stall that through a combination of repression and co-option.

The winner of the 1990 election, the National League for Democracy (NLD) and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has since faced the brunt of the military regime’s oppression. Suu Kyi has spent much of the past two decades in confinement, thousands of political activists, journalists and monks have been put in prison or forced into exile and the main political parties outlawed and attacked. In the 2007 movement against the dictatorship, the military cracked down on Buddhist monks who came out on the streets in solidarity with protests against rising prices.

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