Friday, July 19, 2019

Prospect of Democracy in Burma Essay -- essays research papers fc

The Prospect of Democracy in Burma The prospect for the development of a democratic state in Burma has recently become a remote possibility. Burma’s military leaders have been holding talks with the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD). The dialogue started while Aung San Suu Kyi was still under house arrest. When she was released in 2002, the international community and the people of Burma expected the process to evolve to the next stage – substantive political negotiations. However, the whole process has stalled. Burma’s military remain in control. In justifying the hiatus, the Burmese military leaders engage in various forms of platitudinous rhetoric, carefully designed to obfuscate their totalitarian intent. The theme of this rhetoric is that the country is undergoing a transition toward a multi-party democracy. Burma’s influential intelligence chief, General Khin Nyunt, has warned that â€Å"such a transition cannot be done in haste or in a haphazard manner. The world is full of examples where hasty transition from one system to another led to unrest, instability and even failed states† . However, this linguistic charade is not consistently maintained. Burma’s generals have made disturbing pronouncements that overtly envision a highly compromised, paternalistic democracy. They assert that any democracy in Burma must incorporate ‘Asian values’, and is therefore incompatible with Western models of democracy. The generals have proved recalcitrant in the face of international pressure, and persist with their particularly Burmese variant of democracy. Nyunt recently said that â€Å"The democracy we seek to build may not be identical to the West but it will surely be based on universal principles of liberty, justice and equality†. It is more than likely that Burma’s military rulers are now looking at the Chinese political model as the basis of their new constitution. This rhetoric, centered around various abstractions and elaborations of political vision, is calculated to distract from the decidedly non-democratic Burmese political reality. What has actually been happening is that the country’s top military leader – Senior General Than Shwe – has strengthened his control over both the army and the administrative structure. Ever since the arrest of four members of the former military dictator General Ne Win’s famil... ...ase against the government - without provoking violence - while at the same time cooperating with the generals in a dialogue which recognizes the limitations of its current political potency. Bibliography Evans, George, ‘Human rights in Burma’, Contemporary Review, Oct, 1994, v265, n1545, p178 Jagan, Larry, Burma's opposition slowly rises from ashes BBC News. 2002 Jagan, Larry, Junta has little to celebrate Bangkok Post, 2002. Jagan, Larry, Deadlock in Burma 2002. Lintner, Bertil, ‘Divide and rule: peace treaties marginalise democracy groups.’ Far Eastern Economic Review, Jan 27, 1994, v157, n4, p20 Linter, Bertil, ‘New camouflage: army maintains tight controls despite election pledge’, Far Eastern Economic Review, May 11, 1989, v144, n19, p32 Maidment, Richard. Goldblatt, David. Mitchell, Jeremy. Governance in the Asia Pacific. Routlage, London, 1998. Seth, Mydans, Burmese General Says Transition to Democracy Will Be Slow. New York Times, 2002.

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