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  1. What Elections Really Mean For Us: the 2020 Polls in Myanmar

    Lahpai Seng Raw
    08 October 2020
    Article

    With another general election imminent, concerns are deepening that ethnic nationality peoples will be marginalised once again. In this commentary, Lahpai Seng Raw explains why political systems and electoral practices deny equality and representation to so many of the country’s population. Elections will not change this. Political reforms are essential to achieve peace and national reconciliation.

  2. 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.

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

    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?

  4. 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.
     
  5. 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.

  6. “The cycles of conflict and displacement must be brought to an end”: The IDP crisis in northeast Myanmar

    Lahpai Seng Raw
    30 March 2020
    Article

    Concerns are deepening in the Kachin and Shan States as the government seeks to close internal displacement camps while conflict continues and the coronavirus is still spreading. War-shattered communities face a highly uncertain future. This commentary reports on a new initiative by civil society organisations to ensure that the human rights and security of IDPs are protected. But without peace and political reform, there are many worries that the crisis will only continue.

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    From Golden Triangle to Rubber Belt?

    • Tom Kramer
    01 July 2009
    Policy briefing

    In the Kokang and Wa regions in northern Burma opium bans have ended poppy cultivation, but have caused chronic poverty and food insecurity as a result.

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    Rain for Myanmar's peace parade

    27 June 2013
    In the media

    A grand ceremony is expected to be held next month in the Myanmar capital of Naypyidaw, where a nationwide ceasefire with various ethnic resistance armies will be announced to an audience of United Nations representatives and other foreign dignitaries.

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    Burma's Junta Intensifies Bid For Unification

    25 September 2009
    In the media
    The maps say that the town of Mong La is located in Burma, but to the casual observer, it could be China.
  10. State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi attends the 70th Union Day commemoration in 2017 / Photo credit The Irrawaddy

    The National League for Democracy: A Party for Democracy or Federalism?

    Kyaw Lynn
    02 October 2020
    Article

    As Myanmar prepares to go to the polls in November, it is a time of rising political tension. Covid-19 is spreading, while conflict continues in several ethnic states. As Kyaw Lynn argues, a key reform question remains to be answered. Will the country have federal reform and, if so, what kind?

  11. Hydropower in Myanmar: For Whose Benefit?

    Nang Shining
    16 December 2016
    Article

    Amidst the many challenges Myanmar now faces, the threats to the environment are urgent – and they are growing more extreme. The situation is especially serious in the case of mega dams and hydropower where a host of projects are being promoted, without appropriate planning or public consultation, that are likely to cause irreversible harm to communities and natural ecosystems around the country. Not only are many of the projects located in nationality areas that are conflict zones, but the bulk of the energy produced will also be exported to neighbouring countries.

  12. Myanmar Returns to What Sells: Heroin

    Thomas Fuller
    03 January 2015
    In the media

    A decade ago, Myanmar seemed on course to wipe out the opium fields and heroin jungle labs along its eastern border, the notorious Golden Triangle. Today, valley after valley in these mist-shrouded mountains is covered with resplendent opium poppies, tended by farmers who perch on steep hillsides to harvest the plant’s sticky, intoxicating sap.

  13. Withdrawal symptoms for Golden Triangle drug trade

    Martin Jelsma, Tom Kramer
    23 August 2008
    Article
    Opium production in the Golden Triangle has decreased significantly over the past decade. But the rapid decline has caused major suffering among former poppy-growing communities in Burma and Laos, making it difficult to characterise developments as a "success story".
  14. How to Improve Myanmar’s Covid-19 Emergency Relief Program

    Walden Bello, Jennifer Franco, Pietje Vervest, Tom Kramer
    09 June 2020
    Article

    The Covid-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP) that the government rolled out in the last week of April is a welcome initiative for a country that is suffering from both the assault of the novel coronavirus and the massive economic impact of the nationwide lockdown that the government has imposed to stop its spread.

  15. The Generation to Enjoy Peace?

    Lahpai Seng Raw
    17 March 2016
    Article

    We are at a critical juncture in our history, more promising than at any time in recent memory. The country will have a civilian-majority government that came to office through the votes of a multitude of smaller nationality groups for a pan-national party promising political change. If this political transition is to succeed, poverty must be alleviated, corruption curtailed, drug abuse radically reduced, and a host of other social crises addressed that have long blighted our country.

  16. Heroin returns to Golden Triangle

    02 June 2014
    In the media

    Poppy cultivation has rapidly expanded in the Myanmar and Laos parts of the Golden Triangle, to feed new demands for heroin, chiefly in China, according to a report released Monday.
    "After a decade of decline, Southeast Asia is now once again a major opium growing region," it claims.

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    Prospects for Rakhine reconciliation dim

    06 May 2013
    In the media

    Public dialogue on the Rohingya issue has become so polarized that “it is hard to say anything and stay neutral,” said Tom Kramer, who runs the Myanmar office of the Transnational Institute [...]

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    Ethnic minority land rights next hurdle for Myanmar peace

    13 May 2013
    In the media

    The general public and Myanmar’s mainstream media have little awareness of ethnic concerns, said Yangon-based Tom Kramer from the Transnational Institute (TNI).

  19. Why peace and land security is key to Burma's democratic future

    Tom Kramer
    11 May 2012
    Article

    Analysis of the social costs of large-scale Chinese-supported rubber farms in northern Burma suggests that the future for ordinary citizens will be affected as much by the country's chosen economic path as the political reforms underway. 

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