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55 items
  1. Selling the Silk Road Spirit

    07 November 2019
    Policy briefing

    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.

  2. “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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Save the Irrawaddy by Offering Compensation

    Lahpai Seng Raw
    09 May 2019
    Article

    Controversy continues over a suspended mega-dam project, backed by China, on the Irrawaddy River in Kachin State. The social and environmental consequences of the proposed project cast a shadow not only over the local Kachin population but over all the nationalities of Myanmar. Public awareness is growing why protecting the Irrawaddy is of national importance.

  7. Opium harvest in early 2019 in Pekhon Township, southern Shan State (TNI)

    A Distortion of Reality: Drugs, Conflict and the UNODC’s 2018 Myanmar Opium Survey

    Transnational Institute (TNI)
    05 March 2019
    Article

    The recently-released “Myanmar Opium Survey 2018” by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) entails specific accusations against several of the conflict actors. This commentary explains how this further distorts, rather than reflects, the complex realities in Myanmar.

  8. Methamphetamine use in Myanmar, Thailand, and Southern China: assessing practices, reducing harms

    • Renaud Cachia, Thura Myint Lwin
    18 February 2019
    Policy briefing

    Over the past decade, methamphetamine use has grown more popular in Myanmar, Thailand and Southern China. Based on in-depth interviews conducted with individuals who use methamphetamine, this briefing sheds light on the importance of promoting an environment that reinforces, rather than undermines, the ability of people who use methamphetamine to regulate their drug use, preserve their health and adopt safer practices.

  9. Village meeting in Magyi

    Investing in Mon State?

    MACDO, Mads Barbesgaard
    04 February 2019
    Article

    How beneficial is the new policy of encouraging investment in Myanmar's Mon state?

  10. 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.

  11. Opium Farmers in Myanmar: The Lives of Producers of Prohibited Plants

    Sai Lone
    17 December 2018
    Article

    The problem of opium should not be perceived only as a simple, black-and-white, law enforcement problem. To address problems related to opium cultivation, substantial socio-economic development is required to provide meaningful alternatives for farmers, and to ensure that a humanitarian crisis will not occur as the consequence of repressive drug control policies.

  12. “A Declaration of War on Us”: The 2018 VFV Law Amendment and its Impact on Ethnic Nationalities

    Transnational Institute (TNI)
    13 December 2018
    Article

    The right to land for all peoples is essential for peace, democracy and development.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Will Myanmar complete its transition towards an evidence-based approach to drug control?

    Renaud Cachia
    20 March 2018
    Article

    The recent publication of two single pieces of legislation - the amended 1993 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law and the first National Drug Control Policy - is likely to form the basis of Myanmar’s drug policy for several years to come. What does it mean for the country’s transition towards an evidence-based approach to drug control, and how can the gaps between the two documents be addressed?

  16. Women and drugs in Myanmar: Beyond harm reduction

    Dania Putri
    08 March 2018
    Article

    In Myanmar’s Kachin State, a women’s drop-in centre has transformed into more than just a harm reduction facility. Leading up to International Women’s Day, we spoke with Thinzar Tun (AHRN Myanmar) about what makes this centre special.

  17. 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.

  18. Myths and risks of the EU-Myanmar Investment Protection Agreement

    • Cecilia Olivet, Pietje Vervest
    21 September 2017
    Policy briefing

    As the signing of the EU-Myanmar Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) draws near, concerns over the secrecy surrounding the agreement’s negotiations and the risks it poses abound, alongside many myths about its potential benefits.

  19. 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.

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