Myanmar's Transition: A Comment

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  • January 2013

    Myanmar's reforms have generated much debate among scholars, both inside and outside the country. One of the key questions asked is: do the changes in Myanmar signify a real transition? There are good reasons to doubt the genuineness of the transition because the change was initiated by a military regime that had ruled the country for decades. The military has ensured its role in the transition by guaranteeing seats to the military in parliament and many of the ‘civilian’ leaders in the new government were until recently military officers. I agree with Dr. Singh that the pace of change in Myanmar will be ‘gradual’, with challenges at every step in the reform process. However, I would argue the point on whether the changes signify ‘real’ transition from a different perspective. Before we talk about the transition process, an inquiry that is imperative in order to get a better understanding of the above question is why the change has happened.