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.
The report “Developing Disparity: regional investment in Burma’s borderlands,” by the Transnational Institute and the Burma Centre Netherlands, said Burma’s reforms are helping to rapidly integrate it with the burgeoning regional economy and the country’s ethnic areas are likely targets for foreign businesses.
A briefing paper jointly published earlier this month by the Netherlands-based think tank groups has asserted that new ceasefires that have been signed since 2011 have further facilitated land grabbing in conflict-affected areas where large development projects in resource-rich ethnic regions have already taken place.
In July the First Southeast Asia Opium Farmers Forum was held, bringing together some 30 representatives of local communities involved in opium cultivation and local community workers from the major opium growing regions in Southeast Asia.
Kevin Woods, Tom Kramer, Jennifer Franco, Joseph Purugganan
19 February 2013
Unless foreign direct investment in Burma's war-torn borderlands is refocused towards people-centered development, it is likely to deepen disparity between the region’s most neglected peoples and Burma's new military, business and political elite and exacerbate a decades-long civil war.
About 40 ethnic activist groups are calling on the government, ethnic militias and the international community to address a surge in land-grabbing, as companies move into Burma’s ethnic regions following recent ceasefire agreements.
“There is no silver bullet,” Tom Kramer, a political scientist for the think tank Transnational Institute (TNI) told TIME. “The root cause is poverty. Access to health, education — if this is not addressed, you will not solve the problem.”
“Important steps have been made in national reconciliation during the past two years. But promises and ceremonies will never be enough. The long-standing aspirations of Burma’s peoples for peace and justice must find solutions during the present time of national transition.”
New data shows that less than one-quarter of the area of large-scale land concessions awarded to businesses since 2010-11 is being used for agriculture. This raises “serious questions” about the government’s land use policies.