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.
"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.
This briefing aims to deepen discussion on the Belt and Road Iniatiative (BRI) in Myanmar. The BRI is often described as a ‘grand strategy’ led by President Xi Jinping, centrally planned and rolled out by obedient state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The sheer size of the initiative – 136 countries have received US$90 billion in Chinese foreign direct investment and exchanged US$6 trillion in trade with China - can make the BRI appear monolithic and inevitable. However, using a political economy analysis, this briefing demonstrates that the BRI is not a grand strategy, but a broad framework of activities that seek to address a crisis in Chinese capitalism. An examination of four BRI projects in Myanmar using Chinese language sources shows the extent of lobbying by Chinese SOEs and the Yunnan provincial government to promote the projects, with support from the central Chinese government.
Millions of small-scale farmers in Myanmar risk losing land under proposals to regulate land use which focus too much on investment and not enough on people's livelihoods, a Netherlands-based non-profit think tank warned on Thursday.
China is one of the major investors in hydropower development in mainland Southeast Asia, yet Chinese involvement in hydropower varies across the region. Popular and expert viewpoints on China’s investment in hydropower also vary widely.
Some 70 representatives of farmers’ organizations and civil society organizations from different parts of Burma gathered during a three-day meeting in Rangoon this week to hold the first of a number of discussions on the government’s new draft national land use policy.
Top-down conservation projects, (Eco-)tourism, large-scale aquaculture and the expansion of industrial infrastructure are transforming Myanmar. Myanmar's coastal and inland aquatic resources are vast, but these evolving processes and dynamics raise important questions about who benefits from using these resources, who gets to access them and where control lies.
Land is a critical issue for Myanmar. Existing land laws are widely recognized as being inadequate to protect security of tenure for farmers, especially those using customary land tenure systems not currently recognized by the law.
The Irrawaddy - Several of Burma’s civil society organizations (CSOs) and ethnic community leaders have called for the government to develop a national land restitution policy for communities displaced by conflict.
Development cooperation is an increasingly prominent focus in Chinese foreign diplomacy, and a central justification for Chinese firms’ engagement in large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) across the global South.
A briefing paper jointly published earlier this month by the Netherlands-based think tank groups has asserted that new ceasefires that have been signed since 2011 have further facilitated land grabbing in conflict-affected areas where large development projects in resource-rich ethnic regions have already taken place.
The Bangkok-based Sino-Thai company Choern Pakard Group (CP Group), Asia's largest and most prominent agro-food/feed corporation, has led an industrial maize contract farming scheme with (ex-)poppy upland smallholders in Shan State, northern Myanmar to supply China’s chicken-feed market. Thailand, as a Middle-Income Country (MIC) and regional powerhouse, has long-tapped China’s phenomenal economic growth and undersupplied consumer demand.
The Dawei region is a highly populated and prosperous region, significant because of its ecologically-diversity and strategic position along the Andaman coast. Thai interest in the region poses an environmental threat and risks massive expulsion of people.