Burma

The British Government is encouraging and supporting Burma’s transition. We want Burma to become a stable, prosperous and democratic country, playing a positive role in the international community and supporting British interests.

default Democratization, Nationalism and Communal Violence in Myanmar

Author: Matthew J. Walton and Susan Hayward
Institution: East-West Center
Publication Date: 2014
Keywords: Burma, Community Engagement, Conflict, Culture and Ideology, Human Rights and Protection of Civilians, Peacebuilding, Security and Justice

Relevance:

Myanmar’s political transition which began in 2011 has been marred by regular outbreaks of violence between Buddhist and Muslim religious groups. These violent episodes have coincided with the emergence of 969 and MaBaTha, two Buddhist nationalist movements espousing views which on the surface appear antithetical to Buddhist teachings and ethics. This paper analyses the narratives of the two groups and seeks to explain the concerns, fears and interests which lie “behind” the narratives. The authors offer a counterargument within a Theravada Buddhist framework that might be employed to challenge this rhetoric.

default Developing Relations: Political Parties and Civil Society in Myanmar

Author: Kristin Jesnes
Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
Publication Date: June 2014
Keywords: Burma, Conflict, Governance, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding, Political Settlement

Relevance:

Myanmar is still in the early stages of its political transition, but there are growing expectations – both among local and international actors – about a quick shift to democracy. This report provides an overview of developing relations between political parties and civil society organisations (CSOs). It examines the legal and social constraints CSOs currently face and how this impacts on democratic governance. It concludes by suggesting some ways in which international actors can support increased CSO-political party engagement.

default Myanmar: Regressed, Stalled or Moving Forward?

Author: J. S. Morrison, M. Hiebert, T. Cullison, T. Summers and S. Angelo
Institution: Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)
Publication Date: October 2014
Keywords: Burma, Conflict, Human Rights and Protection of Civilians, Governance, Peace Processes, Security and Justice

Relevance:

This report sums up the findings of a visit made to Myanmar in August 2014 by the Washington-based Centre for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). The aim of the visit was to examine the status of the Myanmar transition in three areas: health and development, political reform and governance, and conflict resolution with the country’s minority groups. Special attention was paid to the role which the United States (US) plays in advancing reforms, bilaterally and multi-laterally. The report concludes with a number of recommendations for the US government.

default Myanmar: The Politics of Rakhine State

Institution: International Crisis Group
Publication Date: October 2014
Keywords: Burma, Community Engagement, Conflict, Governance, Human Rights and Protection of Civilians, Peace Processes, Political Settlement

Relevance:

Rakhine state, which lies to the west of Burma bordering Bangladesh, has a diverse population comprising Buddhists (60 per cent of the total population), Muslims - including the Rohingya - (about 30 percent) and a number of other smaller minorities. Historically there have been tensions between these groups, highlighted in 2012 by major violence that left many dead and some 140,000 people displaced. There have been some promising recent political initiatives to address this problem, but the challenges are complex. Addressing the situation (and the ICG argues that the international community has a critical role here) requires a detailed understanding of the context and the issues, which this report aims to provide.

default Myanmar’s Military: Back to the Barracks?

Institution: International Crisis Group
Publication Date: 22 April 2014
Keywords: Burma, Conflict, Governance, Peace Processes, Political Settlement, Security and Justice

Relevance:

This briefing paper examines the role of Myanmar’s military (known as the “Tatmadaw”) in the country’s ongoing political transition. It assesses the challenges that the Tatmadaw faces in transforming from an all-powerful military, with deep involvement both in politics and the economy, to one which accepts democratic constraints on its power and a narrower security role. This is key to understanding the obstacles confronting the current peace process between the government and Myanmar’s ethnic armed groups and why (in late 2014) the democratisation process appears to be losing steam.

default Navigating Paths to Justice in Myanmar’s Transition

Institution: International Center for Transitional Justice
Publication Date: June 2014
Keywords: Burma, Conflict, Governance, Human Rights and Protection of Civilians, Peace Processes, Political Settlement, Security and Justice

Relevance:

Although the outcome of the current transition in Myanmar remains uncertain, it holds open the promise of significant economic and political changes that will benefit the population in meaningful ways, including the prospect of a more peaceful society. This report examines how the massive and systematic injustices of the past are being addressed, assesses whether the reform process will evolve to address these issues, and provides some recommendations on how development and reform actors can incorporate transitional justice issues into their programmes.

pdf Opening up remedies in Myanmar: understanding the range of options for dealing with Myanmar’s past

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ICTJ-Briefing-Myanmar-TJ-2015.pdf

Institution: International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
Publication Date: December 2015
Keywords: Burma, Conflict, Human Rights and Protection of Civilians, Governance, Peace Processes, Security and Justice

Relevance

The newly established National League for Democracy (NLD) led Burmese government represents a pivotal step towards democracy and sustainable peace in Burma but the country’s troubled past remains largely un-addressed. This paper calls on the new government to seriously consider taking steps to deal with the violence, repression and human rights violations that occurred in the past and continue to occur today. It points to practical and coordinated steps that the government and civil society could take, such as, truth telling and providing reparations to all victims, including, IDPs, political prisoners and refugees.  The paper aims to dispel common misunderstandings about transitional justice; in that it only amounts to revenge and criminal trials. It argues that providing remedies for past violations would demonstrate that the ‘government stands on the side of the victims, not of the abusers’.  The paper is relevant to practitioners working with the newly formed government to advocate the importance of addressing past violations, in order to destroy a culture of impunity, consolidate democratic institutions and strengthen the NLD’s legitimacy.  This paper is also applicable to those designing and delivering reparation programmes in Burma. The author highlights the importance of programme designers engaging in consultations with the intended beneficiaries to ensure programmes are wholly inclusive.

pdf Participating in Change: Promoting Public Sector Accountability to all. Policies for Shared Prosperity in Myanmar

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Participating00ccountability0to0all.pdf

Institution: The World Bank Myanmar
Publication Date: February 2016
Keywords: Burma, Conflict, Governance, Peace Processes, Security and Justice.

Relevance

This policy note recognises that the current period of change in Burma represents a unique opportunity to enable public engagement and participation by promoting transparency and accountability throughout the public sector. This can have a pivotal impact on the effectiveness of the public sector and thereby its ability to promote inclusive growth. To date, development outcomes in Burma have been weak largely due to a lack of public sector revenue and its limited role in public service delivery. A history of opacity and lack of public engagement in policymaking have fuelled corruption and compounded the loss of public trust in government. The note proposes short-term and long-term policy options for the next five years to deliver enhanced transparency, a fair tax system, greater ability to meet local needs, public engagement and minimum standards for service delivery.  This paper is useful for those designing beneficiary feedback programmes and approaches to delivering citizen-centric service delivery programmes.

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