This monograph argues that although the United Wa State Party (UWSP) has been branded by the international community as a "narco-trafficking army;' the organization has an ethnic nationalist agenda whose aim is to build a Wa state within Burma.
In August the Burma army occupied the Kokang region after several days of fighting, ending two decades of cease-fire with the ethnic minority group. The resumption of fighting in northern Burma raises speculation about the other cease-fires. Tensions are rising and the cease-fire groups have put their armed forces on high alert.
Tom Kramer (1968) is a political scientist with 25-years of working experience on Myanmar and its border regions, which he has visited regularly since 1993. He first specialised in analysing ethnic conflict in Myanmar and the role of civil society to promote change. ...
TNI's Myanmar in Focus project strengthens (ethnic) civil society and political actors to deal with the challenges brought about by the rapid opening-up of the country, while also working to bring about an inclusive and sustainable peace. TNI has developed a unique expertise on Myanmar’s ethnic regions, and through its programme is bringing the whole Institute’s work on agrarian justice, alternative development and a humane drugs policy together.
"Opposition parties participating in the process view boycotting the elections as a strategic mistake. The only way forward for them is to play a better game of chess, making the best strategic use of the limited space available."
China's fast growing capital expansion within South East Asia is raising concerns about landgrabs and exploitative practices, especially as it is often aligned with support for authoritarian regimes such as Burma.
The breakdown in the ceasefire of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) with the central government represents a major failure in national politics and threatens to escalate to serious humanitarian crisis if not immediately addressed.
Local organisations have adopted different strategies towards the authoritarian government in Burma. Focussing on the dynamics of civil society Tom Kramer looks into the possibilities and risks of growing international interest in engagement with these groups.