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.
IRIN - More than 5,000 civilians in Myanmar have been displaced in the past couple of weeks by heavy fighting between two ethnic armies, one of which signed a recent national ceasefire accord while the other was excluded.
The peoples of Myanmar have long desired a platform for inclusive peace and dialogue where the vital issues of politics, economics, welfare and human rights for all can be discussed together, fully and in a spirit of national reconcilitation and cooperation. Thus any initiative towards peace and dialogue is always welcome.
There has long been a need for a deeper understanding of the intersections of gender, ethnicity and other identities in peace-building and democratisation. Progress on the rights of women and the participation by women’s organisations in conflict resolution and national reform are vital if sustainable peace and democracy are to be built within the country.
Although the elections were peaceful, significant conflict continued in parts of the Shan and Kachin states. The expectations on the new government are extraordinarily high and all of the challenges facing the country remain as difficult to address as ever.
The resounding victory of the National League for Democracy in the November general election has raised hopes in Myanmar and around the world that, finally, the country could be on the road towards peace and democracy. Sadly, there have been too many failures in the past for simple optimism now. During the past half-century, there have been important highpoints before when expectations were raised that the national armed forces, known as Tatmadaw, would restore democratic rights to the people and nationwide peace might spread in the country.
Shan Herald Agency for News - Myanmar is heading to the polls in November 2015, with an expected shift in power from the old elite to the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD). However it remains unclear whether the new political space created by the transition away from military rule will bring significant legislative power to ethnic nationality-based parties.
Nikkei Asian Review - Four years after being driven away by the military, Dagaw Hpung is finally letting himself dream of going home. On Nov. 8, when the country heads to the polls for a long-awaited election, he will be casting his vote for a new government -- one he hopes will help end the conflict which has raged between the military and the Kachin Independence Army since 2011.
Asian Correspondent- Two weeks after a National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) was signed between Burma’s central authorities and a number of ethnic armed groups, the country’s ethnic areas remain anything but peaceful.
New York Times - Myanmar’s government signed a cease-fire agreement with eight armed ethnic groups on Thursday, in what the country’s leaders described as a major step toward peace in the vast borderland regions that have been restive since the earliest days of the country’s independence.
Nikkei Asian Review - Myanmar's president and senior military and government officials have signed a landmark cease-fire accord with eight armed organizations, some of which have been engaged in armed conflict with the state for more than half a century.