Although the elections were peaceful, significant conflict continued in parts of the Shan and Kachin states. The expectations on the new government are extraordinarily high and all of the challenges facing the country remain as difficult to address as ever.
L'Hebdo - La culture du pavot, utilisé pour produire de l’héroïne, a explosé en Birmanie ces dernières années. L’argent issu de la drogue a servi à alimenter le boom immobilier qui secoue notamment la capitale du pays, depuis son ouverture par le régime militaire en 2011.
The Fix - The most recent figures, released in 2014 by UNODC, show that poppy cultivation has more than doubled since 2006. A report by the Transnational Institute (TNI) sheds light on the reasons behind this increase.
Today the Myanmar Opium Farmers' Forum released the report of its third meeting. The report stresses that farmers grow opium to ensure food security for their families and to provide for basic needs, and to have access to health and education. According to the report, "The large majority of opium farmers are not rich and grow it for their survival. Therefore, they should not be treated as criminals."
Current drug control polices in South-east Asia are repressive and criminalise opium farmers, greatly affecting the lives of communities cultivating opium. Most policy responses – including from some armed opposition groups – focus on eradication of poppy fields and the implementation of strict bans on opium cultivation.
The resounding victory of the National League for Democracy in the November general election has raised hopes in Myanmar and around the world that, finally, the country could be on the road towards peace and democracy. Sadly, there have been too many failures in the past for simple optimism now. During the past half-century, there have been important highpoints before when expectations were raised that the national armed forces, known as Tatmadaw, would restore democratic rights to the people and nationwide peace might spread in the country.
Shan Herald Agency for News - Myanmar is heading to the polls in November 2015, with an expected shift in power from the old elite to the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD). However it remains unclear whether the new political space created by the transition away from military rule will bring significant legislative power to ethnic nationality-based parties.
IRIN - The reasons behind Myanmar’s six decades of ethnic warfare are many and varied, but General “Robert” Ar Nyun can tell you in a word why his group began fighting the government four years ago: drugs.
Nikkei Asian Review - Four years after being driven away by the military, Dagaw Hpung is finally letting himself dream of going home. On Nov. 8, when the country heads to the polls for a long-awaited election, he will be casting his vote for a new government -- one he hopes will help end the conflict which has raged between the military and the Kachin Independence Army since 2011.
Women of China - On Friday October 23, the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy "Reform or Perseverance" panel discussion took place in Beijing, for experts to discuss findings from a recent evaluation into the effectiveness and costs of international drugs policy, ahead of next year's UN meeting on the "World Drug Problem" (UNGASS 2016).
Asian Correspondent- Two weeks after a National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) was signed between Burma’s central authorities and a number of ethnic armed groups, the country’s ethnic areas remain anything but peaceful.
Los cultivadores de opio y los representantes de las comunidades de agricultores de opio se reunieron en septiembre de 2015 para hablar sobre las políticas de drogas que afectan sus vidas y plantear recomendaciones.
New York Times - Myanmar’s government signed a cease-fire agreement with eight armed ethnic groups on Thursday, in what the country’s leaders described as a major step toward peace in the vast borderland regions that have been restive since the earliest days of the country’s independence.
Nikkei Asian Review - Myanmar's president and senior military and government officials have signed a landmark cease-fire accord with eight armed organizations, some of which have been engaged in armed conflict with the state for more than half a century.