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  1. Resolving ethnic conflict - Civic nationalism: a theoretical tool for the ending of civil war?

    Sai Wansai
    11 February 2020
    Article

    As the peoples of Myanmar commemorate Union Day this week, Sai Wansai argues that “civic nationalism” can help address the crisis in "ethnic nationalism" that underpins state failure and the enduring cycles of conflict in the country. Seventy-three years after the historic Panglong Agreement brought the new Union into being, Myanmar is a land that is yet to achieve ethnic peace and political inclusion.

  2. Arakan National Conference, Kyaukpyu, 2014

    Arakan (Rakhine State): A Land in Conflict on Myanmar’s Western Frontier

    • Martin Smith
    18 December 2019
    Report

    Rakhine State, historically known as Arakan, represents the post-colonial failures of Myanmar in microcosm: ethnic conflict, political impasse, militarisation, economic neglect and the marginalisation of local peoples. During the past decade, many of these challenges have gathered a new intensity, accentuating a Buddhist-Muslim divide and resulting in one of the greatest refugee crises in the modern world. A land of undoubted human and natural resource potential, Rakhine State has become one of the poorest territories in the country today.

  3. “Not About Us Without Us”: Legitimate national land law making by design

    Transnational Institute (TNI)
    17 December 2019
    Article

    As the government meets to design a “roadmap” for developing the new national land law, TNI looks at how the situation has changed since the development of the National Land Use policy a few years ago and reflects on the issues at stake for millions of people across the country with rights to land in the current context. 

  4. “First they grabbed our land with guns; now they are using the law"

    26 August 2019
    Article

    Displaced people in Myanmar have been suffering layer upon layer of injustice over the past decades. Today the situation is as bad as ever.

  5. Transformation of an Entrenched Political System: The Need for International Responsibility in Myanmar

    Lahpai Seng Raw
    12 August 2019
    Article

    Political impasse continues in Myanmar. Peace talks and general elections have failed to achieve national breakthroughs. All parties — both domestic and international — need to reflect on this failure. Civil society networks and representative governance must be strengthened at the community level if peace and democracy are to be built.

  6. Chronology on the Statue Case in Loikaw, Kayah State

    28 June 2019
    Article

    In this commentary, the Union of Karenni State Youth and LAIN Technical Support Group provide a chronology of events, outlining how arrests and the government’s handling of events have compounded rather than resolved political frustrations and inter-community understandings.

  7. The Promise and The Statue

    28 June 2019
    Article

    The construction of an Aung San statue has caused deep controversy in Kayah State during the past year. Dee De is a member of the Karenni State Farmers Union and Union of Karenni State Youth. He was arrested on 21 June, Karenni National Day, for his involvement in protests. In his commentary, Dee De argues why the construction of the statue is premature and a sensitive issue for the Karenni and other ethnic nationality peoples at this time.

  8. China's Belt & Road Initiative: A Cautionary Tale for the Kachins

    Lahpai Seng Raw
    10 January 2019
    Article

    A Memorandum of Understanding to establish the China Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) was signed by the governments of Myanmar and China in September 2018. The CMEC forms part of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a 21st century reimagining of the ancient Silk Road, the network of land and sea trade routes that once linked Imperial China with markets in the west.

  9. Implementation of Burma’s Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Land Management Law: At Odds with the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and Peace Negotiations

    Jason Gelbort
    10 December 2018
    Article

    Land rights of peoples must be protected to improve prospects for peace.

  10. National Reconciliation and the Advancement of Peace in Myanmar

    Lahpai Seng Raw
    27 November 2018
    Article

    The necessity of peace by political means, inclusive of all nationalities and faiths within the Union.

  11. From War to Peace in Kayah (Karenni) State

    • Tom Kramer, Oliver Russell, Martin Smith
    29 June 2018
    Report
    Kayah State, historically known as “Karenni State”, is an example of the reform dilemmas that the ethnic nationality peoples in Myanmar face today. Although the country’s smallest state, it reflects many of the challenges in peace-building and socio-political transition that need resolution in Myanmar at large: political impasse, a multiplicity of conflict actors, contested natural resources, land grabbing, humanitarian suffering, and divided communities seeking to rebuild after more than six decades of civil war.
     
  12. Displaced civilians and migrant workers in Tanai conflict zone, Kachin State, 29 January

    Multiculturalism and Social Justice in the Modern Nation-State

    Lahpai Seng Raw
    05 February 2018
    Article

    An ethnocratic state produces a form of fascism in which the state supports the rights and welfare of the dominant ethnic group, but not others. By contrast, a tolerant multicultural state or plural society permits all people, regardless of ethnicity, to be recognised as equal members and thus achieves social justice. This comparison suggests that narrow nationalism is a chief source of the failure of Myanmar to become a modern and successful nation-state.

  13. Panglong monument with Shwedagon replica in background

    Beyond Panglong: Myanmar’s National Peace and Reform Dilemma

    19 September 2017
    Policy briefing

    How is the peace process in Myanmar going? What progress has been made toward reform? After decades under military rule, the 21st Century Panglong Conference has been welcomed as the most encouraging recent initiative to address humanitarian suffering and national instability. It prioritises ethnic peace and political reform at a moment of opportunity for national reconciliation. However, as ethnic conflict and refugee displacement continue worrying failings have started to appear, raising many warnings from the country’s troubled history.

  14. Displaced Karenni villagers

    Re-Asserting Control: Voluntary Return, Restitution and the Right to Land for IDPs and Refugees in Myanmar

    23 May 2017
    Policy briefing

    For people affected by displacement, land is much more than just an economic asset. Being able to return to one’s original place is a deeply felt aspiration about restoring the social relations that constitute a person’s identity. The long-standing displacement of people, land-grabbing and non-existence of rights to land in many parts of the country mean that land reform and land restitution must be a central issue in any peace settlement. What happens today with the land is inextricably tied to the country’s future prospects for peace and democracy.

  15. Jump-starting the stalled peace process

    Sai Wansai
    04 May 2017
    Article
  16. Heal: Do Not Wound

    21 February 2017
    Article

    "Let us continue the pilgrimage to peace – not return to war.” His Eminence Cardinal Charles Bo makes a plea for peace and an end of conflict in Myanmar.

  17. Urgent Appeal by Civil Society and Faith Organisations Kachin and Shan States, 20 December 2016

    21 December 2016
    Article

    Civil Society and Faith Organisations have issued an urgent appeal about worsening crisis in Myanmar. It is time for government and international community to stop responding to ethnic repression as exceptions but examples of deep challenges in the country.

  18. Anti-war protest by residents, Myitkyina / Photo credit Kachinland News

    Myanmar: The Dilemma of Ceasefires but No Peace

    Lahpai Seng Raw
    19 October 2016
    Article

    "Do not put your trust in man. Rather, trust the constitution that we will be drafting." These were the very words that Bogyoke Aung San used to address the deep mistrust expressed by Shan, Kachin and Chin representatives about certain ethnic Bamar leaders when he persuaded them to sign the historic Panglong Agreement in February 1947.

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