"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."
Net voor haar abdicatie heeft Koningin Beatrix Prof. Dr. Mirjam van Reisen beëdigd als bestuurslid Adviesraad Internationale Vraagstukken (AIV) en daarbinnen voorzitter Commissie Ontwikkelingssamenwerking; het instituut dat de regering en de Staten-Generaal adviseert over het buitenlandse beleid.
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.
At a time of critical political transition in Myanmar, failure to address the root causes of armed conflict and to create an inclusive political process to solve nationality grievances is only likely to have a very detrimental impact on the prospects for peace, democracy and development
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.
Whilst a twenty year ceasefire still holds, there is unlikely to be peace and democracy in Burma without a political settlement that addresses ethnic minority needs and goals. The joint Transnational Institute - Burma Center Netherlands aims to stimulate strategic thinking to address ethnic conflict in Burma and give a voice to ethnic nationality groups who have until now been ignored and isolated within the international debate on the country.
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.
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.
The 2014 Population and Housing Census is the most significant ethnic and political boundary-making exercise since 1931, however its colonial-era designations and simplifications are likely to raise ethnic tensions at a critical time in the peace process.
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.
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.
In March 2014 the European Commission received the negotiation mandate from the EU member States to start negotiating an Investment treaty with Myanmar. But what do BITS mean in practice? Is it in the best interest of the Myanmar public?
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.
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.