Oct 10, 2012

Burma’s freedom road: reformists are winning out

With fair and free Burmese elections still a longed-for dream, can the Myanmar military be trusted to take the final steps in giving up power?

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

For long-term Burma watchers, it’s been easy to regard the country’s recent political changes as window dressing by an authoritarian regime hoping to attract investment without actually giving up power. There is no doubt, too, that the 2010 elections remained a very long way from being free and fair.

But the byelections in April this year did appear to offer a glimpse of a genuine reform process, with opposition National League for Democracy candidates winning 43 of the 44 seats contested. President Thein Sein has since been feted around the world as a reformer, as has NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi as the symbol of hoped-for political change.

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One thought on “Burma’s freedom road: reformists are winning out

  1. Petroleuse

    Meanwhile Kachin women continue to be raped, tortured and murdered by the Tatmadaw, and Aung San Suu Kyi refuses to be drawn on the Rohingya issue. In August 2012, Human Rights Watch released a damning report on conditions in Burma, criticising Suu Kyi for her refusal to comment on the Rohingya crisis or intervene on behalf of these people, who lack basic citizenship rights and are treated with barbaric cruelty by the Tatmadaw and Nasaka.

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