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  • Political Transition, Tatmadaw and Challenges for Myanmar’s Democracy

    This backgrounder offers an overview of the two most challenging concerns for Myanmar’s democracy – ethnic unrest and economic hardships – and how the new government is planning to address these issues in particular and also more generally the influence of the Tatmadaw in politics.

    July 26, 2016

    Myanmar in China’s Push into the Indian Ocean

    China wants to regain the position it once enjoyed under the military government in Myanmar. However, its efforts at securing a direct access to the Indian Ocean through Myanmar are unlikely to see an early fruition.

    March 14, 2016

    Significance of the November 2015 Myanmar Elections

    Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won by a landslide majority in the openly contested elections Myanmar held on Sunday, November 8, 2015.The NLD won a convincing majority with 255 seats in the lower house, 135 in the upper house and 496 seats in the state and regional legislatures. This paves the way for election of President of its choice and forming a government. The election had 33.5 million eligible voters (over 18 years) of Myanmar’s 52 million population.

    March 2016

    Is the Ceasefire Agreement in Myanmar a Step Towards Political Accommodation?

    Is the Ceasefire Agreement in Myanmar a Step Towards Political Accommodation?

    It may be an over-optimistic assessment to expect the present Thein Sein regime to achieve a substantive and comprehensive political accord in the run-up to the elections.

    April 06, 2015

    China at your doorstep: Looking east from India’s northeast

    Myanmar and India have followed separate political paths only to find it converging in recent times. Myanmar’s other neighbour China has had a much larger footprint in the country. India has to calibrate its engagement with Myanmar to not just effectively implement its Look East policy but also manage the contiguous border regions of Northeast India given the ground realities.

    March 18, 2014

    Stability and Growth in South Asia

    Stability and Growth in South Asia
    • Publisher: Pentagon Press

    This book examines the forces and processes which have led to relative political stability or unleashed trends in that direction in some countries of South Asia. It also delves into the factors that have stimulated economic growth in some countries, and impeded economic growth in others. Eminent authors from the region examine how far the positive political and economic trends in the region are irreversible or lend themselves to internal convulsions or external influences. There is also a focus on how far inter-state relations within the region have led to stronger intra-regional co-operation, particularly in the economic field.

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-748-7,
    • Price: ₹. 995/-
    • E-copy available

    The Changing Politics and Geopolitics of Burma

    Burma’s two decades-old alignment with China, which was always an uneasy one, is being reordered to better reflect Burmese national interests. In an attempt to reach out to the West, partial democratisation has been permitted. The military remains highly influential in Burmese politics, but its desire to avoid the pitfalls of over-dependence on Beijing, together with confidence that separatist movements pose a lesser threat than in the past, have led to a loosening of political control.

    September 2013

    Assessing the Bodh Gaya Terror Attack

    With increased cross-border mobility, instantaneous access to information and easy reach to small arms, terror attacks in India are finding new targets.

    July 25, 2013

    Srikanth Reddy asked: What are the causes for Rakhine unrest? How does it impact democratisation process in Myanmar?

    Udai Bhanu Singh replies: Perhaps, the biggest challenge Myanmar regime faces is the task of national reconciliation among the various ethnic groups. In this respect, its challenge is greater than the challenge Indonesia faced in the post-Suharto era of democratisation. Ethnic minorities constitute an important factor in Myanmar’s politics. The Burmans make up about two-thirds of the total population. The ethnic minorities include the Karens, the Shans, the Mons, the Chins, Kachins and the Rohingyas. Only the Rohingyas are not recognised as a national minority. The deep ethnic animosities in Rakhine state continue to destabilise Myanmar with Rohingyas comprising much of the internally displaced population in the country. They have been seeking refuge in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Indonesia as the boat people. The commission on Rakhine communal violence submitted its over-100 page report to the president on April 22, 2013. It dealt with the causes of the conflict, solution to the problems that led to the conflict and action points for the government. Earlier, the Human Rights Watch had published a report titled “All You Can do is Pray.”

    Myanmar thus needs to resolve the Rohingya problem: would that be done by granting them citizenship status or by according them ethnic minority status or by reducing the barriers on movement and their absorption in different part of the country, remains to be seen. Many federal solutions, with their respective strengths and weaknesses, have been suggested in this regard, including various models of federalism attempted across Europe and Asia. But the model which would suit Myanmar best would be one which takes the local conditions into account. Could the Indian experience be the one that could be emulated by Myanmar?

    Myanmar Opens to Business Opportunities, but is it sustainable?

    After years of political and economic isolation, Myanmar is opening up to investment particularly in the energy sector. There are however, accompanying uncertainties and risks.

    June 14, 2013