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Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES)
"The Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES) is an independent think tank and study centre founded in 2012 to generate ideas on democracy, human rights and federalism as an effective vehicle for “Peace and Reconciliation” in the Union of Burma."

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies, Peace and Reconciliation
Description/subject: "The Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES) is an independent think tank and study centre founded in 2012 to generate ideas on democracy, human rights and federalism as an effective vehicle for “Peace and Reconciliation” in the Union of Burma. The main objectives of the Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies are: To promote Peace and Reconciliation; To promote the ideas and practices of democracy, human rights and federalism; To promote constitutional knowledge, the rule of law and good governance; To expand and consolidate the network of organizations and leaders to promote autonomy and internal self-determination within a federal arrangement as a means of addressing and ending ethnic armed conflict in the Union of Burma. Mission Statement To engage in research and publication on democratic principles, human rights and federalism to disseminate knowledge. To organize policy studies, forums and conferences to advance public policy for peace and development. To conduct activities for the development of the rule of law, human rights, democracy and effective and accountable governance. To engage in programs to promote and develop democratic and political institutions. To initiate programs and activities to assist the strengthening of good governance and evolving meaningful policies to make effective autonomy and internal self-determination in member states of the Union. To develop new strategies and communication networks to strengthen communication between ethnic areas and the central Burma."
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2012


Individual Documents

Title: Update on the Peace Process
Date of publication: July 2014
Description/subject: "Despite continuing tensions on the ground, armed ethnic groups involved in the peace process continue to move forward with attempts to negotiate a nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA). Although there remain many issues to be rectified, members of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordinating Team (NCCT) are working on a nationwide ceasefire framework that will be acceptable to all parties. Recently, in June 2014, members of the NCCT met with their counterparts from the Union Peace-making Working Committee (UPWC) in Thailand. While differences remain, it is hoped that a nationwide ceasefire agreement can be signed shortly..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES) Briefing Paper No., 22
Format/size: pdf (109K)
Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-22.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 July 2014


Title: THE NSCN-K AND THE PEACE PROCESS
Date of publication: April 2014
Description/subject: "April 2014 saw the coming together of twenty-one armed ethnic groups that have been in conflict with the Burmese Government. The aim of the talks was to discuss a nationwide ceasefire agreement between armed ethnic groups and the Government’s negotiating team which also included members of the armed forces. One of these groups, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Khaplang (NSCN-K), appeared at the meeting in somewhat complex circumstances. It remains unclear as to what exactly the goal of the NSCN-K is in relation to the peace process in Burma. Although based in Burma, its primary motivation is conflict with the Indian Government in its attempts to create a united Nagaland which is to also include parts of Manipur, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh , consequently they have primarily fought the Assam Rifles (AR) and other Naga factions and not the Burma Army. That said however, it also claims parts of Sagaing Division, where the group is based, as being part of a united Nagaland, and it seeks total independence for Nagaland consisting of parts of India and Burma joined together. .."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES) Briefing Paper No., 21
Format/size: pdf (174K-reduced version; 224K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-21.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 June 2014


Title: THE LAW KHEE LAH CONFERENCE
Date of publication: 23 February 2014
Description/subject: "From 20 to 25 January 2014, Armed Ethnic Groups met to consolidate their position in relation to a nationwide ceasefire. The meeting, held in Law Khee Lah, Karen State, was to further cement ethnic unity and produce a substantive set of requirements to ensure peace in the country. The meeting was a result of the Laiza meeting that had been held in October 2013. Participants had agreed that a further conference would be necessary and would originally be held in Karen State in December 2013. However, due to a number of concerns raised after a meeting in Myitkyina, on 4 and 5 November 2013, members of the armed ethnic groups decided that the next meeting should be held in early January instead so that all groups could review their position in relation to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). The principle responsibility for creating the NCA agreement rested on members of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) that was created at the Laiza meeting. Members currently appointed to the team are:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies BRIEFING PAPER NO. 20
Format/size: pdf (199K)
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2014


Title: THE LAIZA AGREEMENT STATING THE TERMS FOR NATIONWIDE CEASEFIRE AND STRENGTHENING ETHNIC UNITY
Date of publication: November 2013
Description/subject: "From 30 October to 2 November 2013, an unprecedented meeting took place at the Kachin Independence Organisation headquarters in Laiza. For the first time, representatives of 17 armed ethnic opposition groups were able to meet in Burma with the consent of the Government. The meeting came at a time when ethnic unity was questionable and the Government’s armed forces continued to fight with armed ethnic groups in Kachin and Shan States...This Laiza conference finally resulted in the creation of a 13 member Nationwide Ceasefire Coordinating Team (NCCT) and the signing of an 11- Point Common Position of Ethnic Resistance Organisations on Nationwide Ceasefire ’ or Laiza agreement. The agreement was made to discuss the following points with the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) at the next meeting in Myitkyina...Although news reports suggested there were still disagreements over the priorities in relation to which was the more important the nationwide ceasefire or political dialogue, the outcome of the meeting was considered extremely positive. According to Khun Okker, there were a number of successful outcomes at the meeting. He cited one case relating to the relationship between the Karen Peace Council, the Klo Htoo Baw Battalion and the Karen National Union. Previously the two former groups had not held the same position in relation to the KNU’s perceived conciliatory stance towards the Government. However, at the Laiza meeting, the two had been able to reconcile any differences they previously had..."
Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies BRIEFING PAPER NO.19 NOVEMBER 2013
Format/size: pdf (190K, 209K)
Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-19.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 December 2013


Title: ETHNIC POLITICAL ALLIANCES
Date of publication: October 2013
Description/subject: "Since the 1990s, a number of political alliances have been formed to challenge Burmese Government authority over their ethnic constituencies. After the failure of the military regime to recognise the results of the 1990 general election, a number of ethnic political parties have tried to work within the Government’s political system often at great cost to themselves. In some instances, this has led to parties being deregistered, ethnic political leaders being imprisoned, and other party members restricted from carrying out activities. At this moment in time, there are three main ethnic political alliances operating in the country, and each seeks a role in forming a future federal union. After the 2010 election, ethnic politics could be defined as consisting of four main actors: the armed ethnic groups, the previous ceasefire groups,1 the Nationalities Brotherhood Forum (NBF), and the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA)..."
Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 18)
Format/size: pdf (114K),
Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-18.docx
Date of entry/update: 07 December 2013


Title: BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AND ARMED ETHNIC GROUPS
Date of publication: September 2013
Description/subject: "Since signing ceasefire and peace agreements with successive Burmese Governments, armed ethnic groups have been able to create a number of business opportunities in the country. As part of the first ceasefire processes that began in the late eighties/early nineties, armed ethnic groups were able to become legally involved in logging, mining, import and export, transportation, and a number of other businesses. Recent ceasefire agreements have also resulted in similar incentives being made and a number of armed ethnic groups have taken the opportunity to create their own companies. Groups hope that if they be come self - sufficient it will remove the burden on the over taxed local population. That said, however, a number of obstacles remain and further support needs to be given in relation to allowing groups the ability to move forward in terms of creating local business opportunities to support their troops and their families..."
Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 17)
Format/size: pdf (133K-reduced version; 166K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-17.pdf
Date of entry/update: 04 October 2013


Title: THE UNFC AND THE PEACE PROCESS
Date of publication: August 2013
Description/subject: OVERVIEW: "At the beginning of June 2013 the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance representing 11 armed ethnic groups, took the unanticipated decision of withdrawing from the Working Group for Ethnic Coordination (WGEC). The WGEC had been formulating a framework that would focus on upcoming political dialogue including the agenda, the composition, the mandate, the structure, any transitional arrangements, and also its core principles.1 After the WGEC had created the framework that would be used in the peace process the UNFC declared that the WGEC was no longer relevant. And, as such, should be disbanded thus allowing the UNFC, using the framework, to be the sole negotiator with the Government. According to UNFC General Secretary Nai Han Tha: "The main object for setting up the WGEC was to design a draft framework for political dialogue with the government . . . Now that the work is completed, we have to focus on the negotiations with the government instead." Khun Okker, the UNFC joint Secretary – stated that one of the main reasons for the UNFC’s withdrawal from the WGEC was that: "We came to a hitch concerning the formation of the negotiation team . . . The WGEC wanted an overhaul (to make way for non-UNFC movements) while we could allow only a UNFC plus arrangement." According to the Euro-Burma office which supports the activities of the WGEC, the WGEC itself had proposed that a negotiating team be formed, in March 2013, for all armed ethnic groups. It was this proposition, that would have been all-inclusive involving both UNFC and non-UNFC members, that led to the UNFC withdrawal and its call for the WGEC to be disbanded. In an attempt to consolidate its negotiating position and secure further support for such a mandate, the UNFC organised a multi-ethnic conference from July 29 to July 31 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In total 122 delegates attended including 18 armed ethnic groups and the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) which is comprised of ethnic political parties that had contested the 1990 election. In addition, representatives from the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) and exiled representatives of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)also attended. Neither the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) nor the Karen National Union attended the conference...The conference resulted in six major points being made:..."
Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 16)
Format/size: pdf (150K)
Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-16.pdf
Date of entry/update: 04 September 2013


Title: THE BORDER GUARD FORCE - The Need to Reassess the Policy
Date of publication: 27 July 2013
Description/subject: "The implementation of the Border Guard Force (BGF) program in 2009 was an attempt to neutralise armed ethnic ceasefire groups and consolidate the Burma Army’s control over all military units in the country. The programme was instituted after the 2008 constitution which stated that ‘All the armed forces in the Union shall be under the command of the Defence Services’. As a result the government decided to transform all ethnic ceasefire groups into what became known as Border Guard Forces (BGF). Consequently, this was used to pressure armed ethnic groups that had reached a ceasefire with the government to either allow direct Burma Army control of their military or face an offensive. The BGF and, where there was no border, the Home Guard Force (HGF), had been seen as an easy alternative to fighting armed ceasefire groups. While a number of ceasefire groups including the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and the New Mon State Party (NMSP) refused to take part in the program, other groups accepted the offer including the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), National Democratic Army – Kachin (NDA-K), Kachin Defence Army (KDA), Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Karenni National People’s Liberation Front (KNPLF) and the Lahu Democratic Front (LDF). Many of these BGF units, especially in Karen State, have carved out small fiefdoms for themselves and along with a variety of local militias continue to place a great burden on the local population. There are consistent reports of human rights abuses by BGF units and a number have been involved in the narcotics trade. While the BGF battalion program had originally been designed to solve the ceasefire group issue its failure, and subsequent attempts by the Government to negotiate peace with non-ceasefire groups, suggests that the role of the BGF units and their continued existence, like that of the NaSaKa, needs to be rethought..."
Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong; Author: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 15)
Format/size: pdf (301K-OBL version; 446K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-15.pdf
Date of entry/update: 26 July 2013


Title: PARTIES TO THE CONFLICT - KIO-Supported Armed Groups in the Kachin Conflict
Date of publication: June 2013
Description/subject: CONCLUSION: "The ethnic situation in the country in relation to the peace process has improved, yet major obstacles still remain. Many armed ethnic actors have called for a ‘Panglong style dialogue’ which the Government has suggested will happen shortly. This all-inclusive dialogue offers armed groups a number of opportunities to finally realise their aspirations. Nevertheless, a number of other armed ethnic actors will need to rethink their positions. This political dialogue will exclude some actors, either because they have no political aims or are much smaller and considered inconsequential. While the Ta-ang have made clear there aims, the future of the Arakan Army and the ABSDF-North remains firmly in the hands of the Kachin."
Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong; Author: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 14)
Format/size: pdf (224K)
Date of entry/update: 08 July 2013


Title: Tensions and Concerns in Shan State
Date of publication: May 2013
Description/subject: "As the Thein Sein Government’s peace process with its armed ethnic minorities continues, concerns remain in relation to Burma Army activities in Shan State and claims that the UWSA has increased its arsenal and is seeking an autonomous Wa State. Although armed ethnic groups, like the RCSS-SSA, have continually attempted to minimalize the impact of various clashes with the Burma Army, the continuing offensive in Northern Shan State, the on-going conflict in Kachin State, and reports of a possible offensive against the Wa further threatens peace in the area and could result in both the RCSS/SSA and the UWSA being drawn into a much wider conflict..."
Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 7, May 2013)
Format/size: pdf (184-OBL version; 211K-original))
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-AP-7.pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 June 2013


Title: ENGINEERING PEACE IN KACHIN STATE
Date of publication: March 2013
Description/subject: "On 4 February 2013, representatives from the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and the Burmese Government’s Union Peace-making Working Committee (UPWC) met in the Chinese Town of Ruili (Shweli). It was the first time the two sides had met since the escalation of the conflict in December 2012. A later meeting, held on 11 March, further solidified the two side’s attempts to find a compromise and end the conflict. It was also the first time that the United Nationalities Federal Council was officially engaged in the peace process on behalf of one of its members. Initial indications suggest that both sides are hopeful that a compromise can be met and an end to the conflict may soon ensue..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 13, March 2013)
Format/size: pdf (94K-OBL version; 153K-original),
Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-13.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 April 2013


Title: ALLIED IN WAR , DIVIDED IN PEACE - The Future of Ethnic Unity in Burma
Date of publication: February 2013
Description/subject: "On 20 February 2013, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) an 11 member ethnic alliance met with the Burmese Government’s Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC) at the Holiday Inn, Chiang Mai, Thailand. The meeting , supported by the Nippon Foundation, was an attempt by Government negotiators to include all relevant actor s in the peace process. The UNFC is seen as one of the last remaining actors to represent the various armed ethnic groups in the country (for more information see BP No.6 Establishing a Common Framework) and has frequently sought to negotiate terms as an inclusive ethnic alliance...According to peace negotiator Nyo Ohn Myint , discussing the most recent meeting, in February 2013: Primarily they will discuss framework for starting the peace process, beginning with: addressing ways to advance political dialogue; the division of rev enue and resources between the central government and the ethnic states; and how to maintain communica tion channels for further talks. Khun Okker, who attended the meeting, suggested that the February meeting was primarily a trust building exercise for th e UNFC and the Government. While individual armed groups had spoken to U Aung Min throughout their negotiation processes and some had already built up trust with the negotiation team. He believed that the UNFC would be more cautious in its approach in relation to the peace process, especially considering the continuing clashes with UNFC members including the KIO and SSPP/SSA..."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan, Editor: Lian H. Sakhong
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 12, February 2013)
Format/size: pdf (215K)
Date of entry/update: 11 March 2013


Title: CHANGING THE GUARD: THE KAREN NATIONAL UNION, THE 15TH CONGRESS, AND THE FUTURE
Date of publication: January 2013
Description/subject: "The Karen National Union held its 15th Congress at Lay Wah, 7 Brigade, on 26 November 2012. This congress heralded in a pivotal moment in the resistance group’s history as it occurred at a time of political in-fighting in relation to how best to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with the Thein Sein Government. The previous month had seen the incumbent KNU leadership, led by Tamla Baw and a number of hard-line leaders attempt to dismiss its military commander, General Mutu, its Justice Minister, David Taw and the head of the KNU’s humanitarian wings Roger Khin.1 The reason given for the attempted dismissal was the fact that the three had been: . . . repeatedly violating KNU protocol...The actions of some of the hard-line members of the Executive committee in attempting to dismiss the head of the army, and what was seen as an attempt by the leadership to remove the more moderate negotiators involved in the peace process, threatened to divide the organisation and derail the peace process. While the group was able to mend some of the divisions, large differences remained between the two factions. The timing of the dismissals occurred just before the KNU 15 Congress and the election to either continue the current leadership, or replace it. The results of the congress would decide not only the future of the Karen National Union, but also of the peace process in Karen State..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 6, January 2013)
Format/size: pdf (256K-OBL version; 374K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-AP-6.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 February 2013


Title: The 2008 Constitution and Ethnic Issues: To What Extent Did It Satisfy the Aspirations of Various Ethnic Groups? (Burmese)
Date of publication: October 2012
Description/subject: Abstract: "Since the beginning, in 1961 at the Taungyi Conference, the “Federal Movement”, which would eventually result in a military coup in 1962, the ethnic nationalities in Burma have all been consistently demanding the rebuilding of the Union of Burma based on the spirit of Panglong and the principles of democracy, political equality and internal self-determination. They have further argued that the constitution of the Union should be formed in accordance with the principles of federalism and democratic decentralization, which would guarantee the democratic rights of citizens of Burma including the principles contained in the United Nation's declaration of universal human rights. On the formation of a genuine Federal Union, ethnic nationalities demand that all member states of the Union have their separate constitutions, their own organs of state, that is, State Legislative Assembly, State Government and State Supreme Court. In their proposal, the ethnic nationalities demanded that the Union Assembly should be a bicameral legislature consisting of a Chamber of Nationalities (Upper House) and a Chamber of Deputies (Lower House), and each member state of the Union should send an equal number of representatives to the Upper House regardless of its population or size. They also demand that the Union of Burma be composed of National States; and all National States of the Union be constituted in terms of ethnicity or historic ethnic homelands, rather than geographical areas. Moreover, the residual powers, that is, all powers, except those given by member states to the federal center, or the Union, must be vested in the Legislative Assembly of the National State. In this way, the Union Constitution automatically allocates political authority of legislative, judicial, and administrative powers to the Ethnic National States. Thus, all member states of the Union would be able to exercise the right of self-determination freely through the right of self-government within their respective National States. When the military regime, which traditionally was the strongest opponent of the ethnic nationalities’ demands, adopted a new constitution in 2008 it contained certain Author I Lian H. Sakhong elements of federalism. These included a bicameral legislature consisting of a Amyotha Hlutdaw and a Pyituh Hlutdaw, equal representation from each state at a Chamber of Nationalities, and all member states of the Union having their own separate State Assemblies and State governments. This paper will address to what extent the 2008 Constitution satisfies the aspirations of various the Ethnic Nationalities in Burma. I shall, however, limit myself in this paper within the constitutional framework of the “form of state” - that is, how the Union is structured and how much power and status is given to member states of the Union."
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 5)
Format/size: pdf (197K)
Date of entry/update: 23 October 2012


Title: The 2008 Constitution and Ethnic Issues: To What Extent Did It Satisfy the Aspirations of Various Ethnic Groups? (English)
Date of publication: October 2012
Description/subject: Abstract: "Since the beginning, in 1961 at the Taungyi Conference, the “Federal Movement”, which would eventually result in a military coup in 1962, the ethnic nationalities in Burma have all been consistently demanding the rebuilding of the Union of Burma based on the spirit of Panglong and the principles of democracy, political equality and internal self-determination. They have further argued that the constitution of the Union should be formed in accordance with the principles of federalism and democratic decentralization, which would guarantee the democratic rights of citizens of Burma including the principles contained in the United Nation's declaration of universal human rights. On the formation of a genuine Federal Union, ethnic nationalities demand that all member states of the Union have their separate constitutions, their own organs of state, that is, State Legislative Assembly, State Government and State Supreme Court. In their proposal, the ethnic nationalities demanded that the Union Assembly should be a bicameral legislature consisting of a Chamber of Nationalities (Upper House) and a Chamber of Deputies (Lower House), and each member state of the Union should send an equal number of representatives to the Upper House regardless of its population or size. They also demand that the Union of Burma be composed of National States; and all National States of the Union be constituted in terms of ethnicity or historic ethnic homelands, rather than geographical areas. Moreover, the residual powers, that is, all powers, except those given by member states to the federal center, or the Union, must be vested in the Legislative Assembly of the National State. In this way, the Union Constitution automatically allocates political authority of legislative, judicial, and administrative powers to the Ethnic National States. Thus, all member states of the Union would be able to exercise the right of self-determination freely through the right of self-government within their respective National States. When the military regime, which traditionally was the strongest opponent of the ethnic nationalities’ demands, adopted a new constitution in 2008 it contained certain Author I Lian H. Sakhong elements of federalism. These included a bicameral legislature consisting of a Amyotha Hlutdaw and a Pyituh Hlutdaw, equal representation from each state at a Chamber of Nationalities, and all member states of the Union having their own separate State Assemblies and State governments. This paper will address to what extent the 2008 Constitution satisfies the aspirations of various the Ethnic Nationalities in Burma. I shall, however, limit myself in this paper within the constitutional framework of the “form of state” - that is, how the Union is structured and how much power and status is given to member states of the Union."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 5)
Format/size: pdf (196K)
Date of entry/update: 22 October 2012


Title: AWAITING PEACE IN MON STATE
Date of publication: 22 August 2012
Description/subject: "The New Mon State Party (NMSP) has represented Mon national interests since its founding in 1958, however, the organisation found itself manoeuvred into a ceasefire agreement in 1995 with the SPDC (see background). As with other ceasefire groups, it refused to join the SPDC’s BGF program and consequently faced a renewal of war. Nonetheless, with the emergence of the Thein Sein government’s peace process, the NMSP, like other groups decided to conclude an initial peace agreement. The NMSP has been a strong proponent of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) and has called for the alliance to be included in any negotiation process..."
Author/creator: Author: Paul Keenan; Editor: Lian H Sakhong
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No.11 )
Format/size: pdf (140K)
Date of entry/update: 22 August 2012


Title: KARENNI (KAYAH) STATE: The situation regarding the peace process in Karenni (Kayah) State
Date of publication: July 2012
Description/subject: "In February 2012, the Burmese Government’s main peace negotiator, U Aung Min, met with representatives of the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The move was another step towards securing peace throughout the country with armed ethnic groups. The focus of the talks, the second after an initial meeting in November, centred on the Government’s practice of confiscating farmland from local villagers and the suspension of dam projects to allow local consultation with affected parties.....Chronology of subsequent talks...summary of points agreed...historical backgound
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 9 )
Format/size: pdf (128K)
Date of entry/update: 30 July 2012


Title: RE-OPENING MONGLA THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE ARMY – EASTERN SHAN STATE (NDAA - ESS)
Date of publication: July 2012
Description/subject: Chronology of NDAA-ESS interaction withe Governments..... "As the peace process continues, a number of groups that had previously signed ceasefire agreements with the Government, primarily the UWSA and the NDAA-ESS, have begun to see some changes in the Government’s interaction with them. One of these, the NDAA-ESS which operates a number of lucrative gambling operations has seen its territory reopened to both tourism and those wishing to frequent its casinos..."
Author/creator: Author: Paul Keenan; Editor: Lian H Sakhong
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No.10 )
Format/size: pdf (131K)
Date of entry/update: 03 August 2012


Title: ENDURING PEACE IN SHAN STATE: THE RESTORATION COUNCIL OF SHAN STATE /SHAN STATE ARMY AND THE CONTINUING PEACE PROCESS1
Date of publication: June 2012
Description/subject: "On the 19 May 2012, the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) met in Kengtung to further consolidate the current peace process. The meeting was held to build on other meetings that have taken place since the 19 November 2011 (for further information see BCES BP No.1). Despite 17 clashes occurring throughout this initial period,2 the RCSS/SSA has remained committed to securing peace in the country and thus signed a new 12-point agreement with the Government’s Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC). The points agreed to were:.."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 8)
Format/size: pdf (98K)
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2012


Title: The Karen National Union Negotiations 1949-2012
Date of publication: June 2012
Description/subject: "Since the beginning of hostilities officially declared on the 31st January 1949, the Karen National Union has consistently attempted to find an accommodation with the successive governments of Burma. While initial discussions centred on the recognition of a free Karen state of ‘Kawthoolei’ and the need to retain arms. Later talks, primarily those that began in 2004, sought merely to protect the Karen populace from further abuses at the hands of the Burmese army, the tatmadaw, and preserve some form of role for the organisation. This paper examines the various peace processes that have taken place since the outbreak of conflict and provides insight regarding the many KNU peace talks that have been held since 1949."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Working Paper No. 2)
Format/size: pdf (1MB-OBL version; 3.2MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-WP-2.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 June 2012


Title: Establishing a common framework: The role of the United Nationalities Federal Council in the peace process and the need for an all-inclusive ethnic consultation
Date of publication: May 2012
Description/subject: "While the Burmese Government continues to seek peace with the various ethnic resistance movements individually at the local levels, the United Nationalities Federal Council – Union of Burma (UNFC) is working in the political process to ensure that any state-level talks are held through a common framework. However, there remain a number of concerns to be addressed by member organisations in recognizing a common policy that will benefit all relevant ethnic actors..."
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 6 )
Format/size: pdf (598K - original; 526K - OBL version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/BCES-BP-No.6(en)-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 May 2012


Title: Institutional Design for Divided Societies: A Blue-print for a multi-ethnic Burma
Date of publication: May 2012
Description/subject: "The retrospective analysis of an institutional breakdown – democratic breakdown – in the union of Burma demonstrates that over six decades of conflict in Burma is rooted in a constitutional arrangement that fails to recognize the existence of ethno-cultural cleavages, resulting in the denial of power to territorially concentrated ethnic national minorities. Therefore, in this article, I argue that an asymmetrical federation with a written constitution is the most viable governance framework for a democratic future Burma due to its multi-ethnic segmental cleavages such as ethnicity, language, religion, culture, and territory. Such a constitutional federation will ensure shared rule for a common Union and self-rule for federating states drawn upon ethnic lines. To contextualize an institutional design for future Burma in a comparative international perspective, I examine the core arguments put forward by the integrationist and accommodationist camps as a theoretical framework within which to discuss the management of societal divisions, including their implications and applicability to Burma. To prove that a constitutional federation that draws together elements of both integrationist and accommodationist theory, I revisit and analyse reasons behind the constitutional crises of Burma, the basis upon which Burma emerged as a country, the composition of its ethnic fragmentations, and competing visions of the Union of Burma itself. With respect to an institutional design for a future Burma, there are two main components in my proposal: a disproportional upper chamber in the union legislature, whereby I envision an equal number of representatives from each constituent state; and separate legislatures and constitutions for each federating unit, dividing power between central and state governments along the line of US states and Canadian provinces. Lastly, I look at the current provisional constitution drafted by leaders of a democratic opposition – seven ethnic national minorities - in anticipation of a future federal Union of Burma..."
Author/creator: Zaceu Lian
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Working Paper No. 1)
Format/size: pdf (377K - OBL version; 868K - original)
Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-WP-1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 May 2012


Title: SEEKING PEACE IN ARAKAN STATE THE ARAKAN LIBERATION PARTY AND THE NEGOTIATION PROCESS
Date of publication: May 2012
Description/subject: "On 5 April 2012, representatives of the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), led by its Vice President Khaing Soe Naing Aung, inked a preliminary peace agreement with the Burmese regime. The move was yet another substantive effort by the country’s ethnic armed groups to find an accommodation with the Thein Sein Government. The move comes despite pressure from hardliners within the various ethnic armed groups and an on-going conflict in Kachin State..."
Author/creator: Author: Paul Keenan; Editor: Lian H Sakhong
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 7 )
Format/size: pdf (522K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/BCES-BP-No.7.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 June 2012


Title: BURMA’S BY-ELECTIONS - A CHANCE FOR FUTURE RECONCILIATION? (English)
Date of publication: 11 April 2012
Description/subject: "...The NLD’s success in the by-election, while not providing it with the ability to dramatically influence the parliamentary process at the moment, suggests that the country may be on course towards genuine democratic transition and reconciliation. However, it is imperative that President Thein Sein, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and all ethnic actors work together to maintain this momentum and ensure that the county continues to move forward towards genuine change, an end to ethnic conflict, and equality for all peoples of the country."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 5 )
Format/size: pdf (517K)
Date of entry/update: 11 April 2012


Title: Ceasefire to Dialogue
Date of publication: April 2012
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies
Format/size: pdf (152K)
Date of entry/update: 04 May 2012


Title: REALISING CHANGE IN KAREN POLITICS - THE KAREN NATIONAL UNION’S APRIL NEGOTIATIONS AND THE CONTINUING PEACE PROCESS (English)
Date of publication: April 2012
Description/subject: "...There is now a requirement for all interested parties to rethink their position in relation to the current political environment. One Karen peace negotiator, who was present at both the 2004/5 and the 2012 negotiations, noted that there was a significant change in the Government’s attitude. He noted that its mind-set was completely different and that the Government was now placing emphasis on equality, in contrast to the situation in 2004/5 when the Military merely dictated what they needed for stability. The fact that key issues were not only agreed to but notarised and signed by both parties was in itself a major breakthrough. The Karen National Union negotiators recognise the fact that they still have some way to go before achieving all of their requirements. The April meetings only addressed six out of the thirteen points put forward and it is hoped that further meetings in May will cover those issues remaining. Both sides are currently preparing codes of conduct and monitoring systems to be discussed at the next meeting, aimed at preventing any future misunderstanding in relation to military affairs. That said, however, no one is expecting immediate change and patience is needed on all sides."
Author/creator: Author: Paul Keenan; Editor: Lian H Sakhong
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 4 )
Format/size: pdf (644K)
Date of entry/update: 04 May 2012


Title: PEOPLE’S MILITIA FORCES - TIME TO RE-ASSESS THE STRATEGY? (English)
Date of publication: 19 March 2012
Description/subject: "Since the 1950s, various Burmese Governments have officially created and sanctioned the operations of militia forces in the county’s ethnic states. These groups have been used primarily as a military force to fight against ceasefire and non-ceasefire ethnic groups, to control the lives of ethnic populations, and to further secure the country’s border areas. These militias have become notorious for taxing the local population, drug trafficking, illegal gambling, and a wide variety of human rights abuses. They have been allowed to do this with the express permission of local military commanders who have themselves earned money from the variety of illegal activities that the groups operate. In fact, article 340 of the 2008 constitution states that: With the approval of the National Defence and Security Council the Defence Services has the authority to administer the participation of the entire people in the Security and Defence of the Union. The strategy of the people’s militia shall be carried out under the leadership of the Defence Services.1 As the country seeks to move forward its democratic reforms, further emphasis needs to be placed on regulating these militias whose control over local populations can only destabilise any future peace agreements with ethnic resistance movements. While some of these groups had previous ceasefire agreements with the Burmese Government, a number of them were created to further expand control over the area and act as a counter to ethnic forces..."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No.4)
Format/size: pdf (649K)
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2012


Title: A RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENT’S SPEECH: NO SECESSION AND THE THREE NATIONAL CAUSES AS NON-NEGOTIABLE CONDITIONS (English)
Date of publication: March 2012
Description/subject: "...the sizable population disparity between the dominant ethnic Burman majority and that of ethnic national minorities has played and will continue to play a significant role in Burma’s politics because the political fault lines are based on ethnicity or race, religion, and territory. And, the ethnic minorities’ fear of tyranny of the Burman majority is inherent and genuine. As an institutional design for an ethno-culturally diverse and divided society like Burma, a constitutional federation that would accommodate the aspirations of ethnic national minorities is of absolute necessity. As such, a written constitution that would stand as a contract between federal units and the federal government should (and will) be a prerequisite for ethnic national minorities to join and form a legitimate Union of Burma. Ethnic national minorities of Burma require a written constitution as a bulwark against ethnic Burman majority domination and as a guarantee that their inherent rights will be constitutionally entrenched. Without securing a prior written constitution, ethnic minorities will have no trust incentive to participate in a democratic Union of Burma; indeed, no real union will exist."
Author/creator: ZACEU LIAN
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Guest column)
Format/size: pdf (579K)
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2012


Title: THE DILEMMA OF MILITARY DICTATORSHIP AND INTERNAL PEACE IN BURMA (English)
Date of publication: March 2012
Description/subject: "After assuming power, President Thein Sein’s government promptly introduced progressive political changes in Burma. In his inaugural presidential speech, President Thein Sein stated and acknowledged that the necessity for political changes in Burma are evident, and internal peace, stability, and development would be the government’s three basic principles and that all political changes would be carried out through them...to be successful in his political initiatives, the main key to success for President Thein Sein’s is ending the civil war and achieving internal peace in Burma. If President Thein Sein really wants to achieve internal peace in Burma, the ongoing peace and ceasefire talks with the ethnic arms groups must be promptly transformed into a meaningful and promising political dialogue..."
Author/creator: Lian H. Sakhong
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 3 )
Format/size: pdf (531K)
Date of entry/update: 20 March 2012


Title: AN UNEASY PEACE: THE PROBLEMS OF CONFLICT DURING THE PEACE PROCESS IN BURMA (English)
Date of publication: February 2012
Description/subject: Although a number of initial peace agreements involving ethnic armed groups have been signed (see Analysis Paper No.1), sporadic fire fights and human rights violations continue to be reported in those ethnic areas covered. While there has been a tendency towards suggesting that such reports are indicative of the UOB Government’s deceitfulness, there is a failure by many observers to fully understand the enormity of the problem the country faces in relation to dealing with the military apparatus. Since 1962, and the seizing of power by General Ne Win, the Burma Army has made a concerted effort to fully militarise ethnic areas in order to completely control their populations. After implementing a scorched earth policy known as the four cuts campaign in the seventies, the Burmese military further increased its presence in ethnic areas and fully mobilised its troops through a number of operations against ethnic armed forces during the eighties and nineties. To ensure the complicity of ethnic populations in pacified areas, the Burma Army (BA) created a vast network of military outposts close to ethnic villages both in designated black areas, or free-fire zones, and brown areas, or contested territory where both ethnic opposition and government forces operate. As a consequence the military, both BA and resistance forces, has solely dominated and exploited the lives of those civilians in areas where they operate. It is hoped that this domination will be eroded by the new government’s peace initiatives; however, this can only be accomplished by encouraging reforms on both sides..."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan (author); Lian K. Sakhong (editor)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES) - Briefing Paper No. 3
Format/size: pdf (484K)
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2012


Title: THE CHALLENGES OF ETHNIC POLITICS AND NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT (English)
Date of publication: February 2012
Description/subject: "The root cause of political crisis in Burma is not only ideological confrontation between democracy and a military dictatorship, but ethnic problems rooted in the failure to implement the Panglong Agreement in 1947. Since independence, however, ethnic problems, including over sixty years of armed conflict and civil war, have long been neglected and ignored by successive governments of the Union of Burma. Only recently, the Burman/Myanmar politicians from three different camps: the President, the ousted former military regime Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt, and democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi have expressed in unison that ethnic conflict is the major issue that today’s Burma faces..."
Author/creator: Lian H. Sakhong
Language: English (Burmese, Alternate URL)
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 2)
Format/size: pdf (218K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/BCES-AP-02-ceasefires_to_dialogue(bu).pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 February 2012


Title: THE CHALLENGES OF ETHNIC POLITICS AND NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT: From Ceasefire to Political Dialogue ျပည္တြင္းၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးႏွင့္ စစ္အာဏာရွင္ျပႆနာ (Burmese)
Date of publication: February 2012
Description/subject: ျပည္တြင္းၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးႏွင့္ စစ္အာဏာရွင္ျပႆနာ။ ။ သမၼတသိန္းစိန္ အစိုးရ တက္လာၿပီးေနာက္ပိုင္း ႏိုင္ငံေရးျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲမႈမ်ားကို အလ်င္ အျမန္ျပဳလုပ္ေနပါသည္။ သူ၏ သမၼတ က်မ္းသစၥာ က်ိန္ဆိုပဲြ မိန္႔ခြန္း ၌ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ တြင္ ႏိုင္ငံေရးျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္း လဲမႈမ်ား လိုအပ္ေၾကာင္း ရွင္းလင္းတင္ျပၿပီး၊ တိုင္းျပည္ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရး (Peace)၊ တည္ၿငိမ္ေရး (Stablity)၊ ႏွင့္ ဖံြ႔ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေရး (Development) တို႔ကို ႏိုင္ငံေရးျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္း လဲမႈ အေျခခံမူ (၃) ရပ္အျဖစ္ လက္ခံ က်င့္သံုး မည္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း ေၾကညာခ့ဲသည္။ "The root cause of political crisis in Burma is not only ideological confrontation between democracy and a military dictatorship, but ethnic problems rooted in the failure to implement the Panglong Agreement in 1947. Since independence, however, ethnic problems, including over sixty years of armed conflict and civil war, have long been neglected and ignored by successive governments of the Union of Burma. Only recently, the Burman/Myanmar politicians from three different camps: the President, the ousted former military regime Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt, and democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi have expressed in unison that ethnic conflict is the major issue that today’s Burma faces..."
Author/creator: Lian H. Sakhong
Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ (English, Alternate URL)
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 2)
Format/size: pdf (129K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/BCES-AP-02-ceasefires_to_dialogue(en).pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2012


Title: THE CONFLICT IN KACHIN STATE - TIME TO REVISE THE COSTS OF WAR? (English)
Date of publication: February 2012
Description/subject: "...Since 9 June 2011, Kachin State has seen open warfare between the Kachin Independence Army and the Tatmadaw (Burma Army). The Kachin Independence Organisation signed a ceasefire agreement with the regime in 1994 and since then had lived in relative peace up until 2008 and the creation of a new constitution. This constitution enshrines the power of the military and demands that all armed forces, including those under ceasefire agreements, relinquish control to the head of the Burma Army. This, combined with economic exploitation by China in Kachin territory, especially the construction of the Myitsone Hydropower Dam, left the Kachin Independence Organisation with very little alternative but to return to armed resistance to prevent further abuses of its people and their territory’s natural resources. Despite this however, the political situation since the beginning of hostilities has changed significantly. There is little doubt that one of the main reasons for the continuing offensive was the Burmese Government’s attempts to control all ethnic armed forces through its head of defence services. That said, however, the principle reason for both the KIO’s reaction to increased Burma Army deployment, the breakdown of the ceasefire, and the resumption of open warfare in Kachin areas, was also the previous Regime’s attempts to secure China’s lucrative investment projects at the expense of ethnic rights and land..."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan (author); Lian K. Sakhong (editor)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 2)
Format/size: pdf (947K)
Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


Title: Burma's Ethnic Ceasefire Agreements (Burmese)
Date of publication: 31 January 2012
Description/subject: "Since implementing recent political reforms, the Thein Sein government has attempted to make a number of state level ceasefire agreements with both previous ceasefire groups and other anti-government forces. On the 13 January 2012, the Burmese government signed an intial peace agreement with the Karen National Union. The agreement, the third such agreement with ethnic opposition forces within two month, signals a radical change in how previous Burmese governments have dealt with ethnic grievences. Up until the recent negotiations and the outbreak of hostilities in Kachin State, there had been three main ethnic groups with armies fighting against the government. These armies are the Karen National Liberation Army, which has between three and four thousand troops, the Shan State Army – South, which has between six and seven thousand troops, and the Karenni Army, fielding between eight hundred to fifteen hundred troops. In addition to the three main groups there are also the Chin National Front (Chin National Army) with approximately two hundred troops3 and the Arakan Liberation Army with roughly one hundred troops.4 Under previous military regimes, the ethnic question had been dealt with as a military matter and not as a political or constitutional issue. Consequently, the failure of the Burmese government to recognize the true nature of the ethnic struggle resulted in constant civil war. As a result, over a hundred and fifty thousand refugees have been forced to shelter in neighbouring countries due to a conflict that has been charecterized by it myriad human rights abuses. Recent negotiations have changed significantly due to the fact that the Thein Sein government has dropped a number of requirements that previous regimes had made in relation to setting conditions for talks. One of the most important was the fact that a ceasefire must be agreed to prior to discussions taking place. Recent talks have taken place without this condition and unlike previous attempts at peace the Burmese authorities have not demanded weapons to be surrendered first. Another previous condition was the insistence that all talks must take place inside Burma. This was also recently negated with exploratory talks taking place in Thailand with the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army – South (RCSS/SSA), The Chin National Front (CNF) and the Karen National Union (KNU) and also in China with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). According to media reports5 the Burmese government has set the following conditions in relation to conducting agreements with the ethnic groups:..."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan
Language: Burmese
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 1)
Format/size: pdf (184K)
Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


Title: Burma’s Ethnic Ceasefire Agreements (English)
Date of publication: 31 January 2012
Description/subject: "Since implementing recent political reforms, the Thein Sein government has attempted to make a number of state level ceasefire agreements with both previous ceasefire groups and other anti-government forces. On the 13 January 2012, the Burmese government signed an intial peace agreement with the Karen National Union. The agreement, the third such agreement with ethnic opposition forces within two month, signals a radical change in how previous Burmese governments have dealt with ethnic grievences. Up until the recent negotiations and the outbreak of hostilities in Kachin State, there had been three main ethnic groups with armies fighting against the government. These armies are the Karen National Liberation Army, which has between three and four thousand troops, the Shan State Army – South, which has between six and seven thousand troops, and the Karenni Army, fielding between eight hundred to fifteen hundred troops. In addition to the three main groups there are also the Chin National Front (Chin National Army) with approximately two hundred troops3 and the Arakan Liberation Army with roughly one hundred troops.4 Under previous military regimes, the ethnic question had been dealt with as a military matter and not as a political or constitutional issue. Consequently, the failure of the Burmese government to recognize the true nature of the ethnic struggle resulted in constant civil war. As a result, over a hundred and fifty thousand refugees have been forced to shelter in neighbouring countries due to a conflict that has been charecterized by it myriad human rights abuses. Recent negotiations have changed significantly due to the fact that the Thein Sein government has dropped a number of requirements that previous regimes had made in relation to setting conditions for talks. One of the most important was the fact that a ceasefire must be agreed to prior to discussions taking place. Recent talks have taken place without this condition and unlike previous attempts at peace the Burmese authorities have not demanded weapons to be surrendered first. Another previous condition was the insistence that all talks must take place inside Burma. This was also recently negated with exploratory talks taking place in Thailand with the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army – South (RCSS/SSA), The Chin National Front (CNF) and the Karen National Union (KNU) and also in China with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). According to media reports5 the Burmese government has set the following conditions in relation to conducting agreements with the ethnic groups:..."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Peace and Reconciliation (Briefing Paper No. 1 January 2012)
Format/size: pdf (558K)
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


Title: The Dynamics of Sixty Years of Ethnic Armed Conflict in Burma (English)
Date of publication: January 2012
Description/subject: "...In this paper, I will analyse the dynamics of internal conflict that caused the conditions for over sixty years of civil war in Burma. In so doing, I will first investigate the root cause of ethnic armed conflict, and argue that the constitutional crisis and the implementation of the “nation-building” process with the notion of “one religion, one language, and one ethnicity” are the root cause of internal conflict and civil war in Burma. The political crisis in Burma, therefore, is not only ideological confrontation between democratic forces and the military regime but a constitutional crisis, compounded by the government’s policy of ethnic “forced-assimilation” through the “nation-building” process, which resulted in militarization of the state, on the one hand, and “insurgency as a ways of life” in ethnic areas, on the other..."
Author/creator: Lian H. Sakhong
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 1)
Format/size: pdf (650K)
Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012