Bouncing Back - Relapse in the Golden Triangle, a new in-depth report by the Transnational Institute (TNI) launched in Yangon, Burma/Myanmar, on Monday June 2, highlights the profound changes in the illicit drugs market in the Golden Triangle – Burma, Thailand and Laos – and neighbouring India and China over the past five years.
Shan Herald - The briefing paper, which is 22 pages plus 6 more pages of endnotes, released by Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute (TNI) last month, has given us a convincing explanation of how the fight in Kokang which began on 9 February and is still ongoing started.
Shan Herald - Ethnic based parties are unlikely to sweep the 7 ethnic states, concludes Transnational Institute (TNI) briefing paper, entitled Ethnic Politics and the 2015 Elections in Myanmar, which was published yesterday.
Burma/Myanmar is undergoing yet another humanitarian crisis while entering a new critical political stage. In the Kokang region, an opium ban was enforced in 2003, and since mid-2005 no more poppy growing has been allowed in the Wa region. Banning opium in these Shan State regions where most of the Burmese opiates were produced, adds another chapter to the long and dramatic history of drugs, conflict and human suffering.
Drug users from Kachin came together last November to discuss the challenges and difficulties they experience and identify possible solutions to their problems. Read their statement and recommendations.
Ceasefires have been agreed; the NLD has elected representatives in the national legislatures; Western sanctions are being lifted; and the World Bank and other international agencies are returning to set up office in the country. Such developments are likely to have a defining impact on ethnic politics, which remains one of the central challenges facing the country today.
Myanmar cross-border migrant workers overwhelmingly come from and are rooted in rural areas of the country; an estimated 5 million of them working mostly in Thailand, China and Malaysia, and have an estimated combined income remittance of up to US$8 Billion per year.
Burma is in the midst of its most important period of political transition in over two decades. TNI and BCN hosted a conference to look at the challenges and opportunities in five key areas: politics, ethnic relations, the economy, social and humanitarian affairs, and the international landscape.
Human rights groups are concerned that Myanmar’s first census in 30 years will inflame ethnic tensions, further marginalise ethnic groups and be used as a tool for repression - especially against stateless Rohingya Muslims who are already denied basic human rights.
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.