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Politics and Government

  • Politics and Government - global - general studies

    Individual Documents

    Title: The Art of War
    Description/subject: "...The Art of War (Chinese: trad. 孫子兵法, simp. 孙子兵法, pinyin Sūnzǐ Bīngfǎ, lit. "Master Sun's Rules for Army") was traditionally ascribed to Sun Tzu. It presents a philosophy of war for managing conflicts and winning battles. It is accepted as a masterpiece on strategy and is frequently cited and referred to by generals and theorists since it was first published, translated, and distributed internationally.[13] There are numerous theories concerning when the text was completed and concerning the identity of the author or authors, but archeological recoveries have proven that The Art of War had achieved roughly its current form by at least the early Han.[14] Because it is impossible to prove definitively when the Art of War was completed before this date, the differing theories concerning the work's author or authors and date of completion are unlikely to ever be completely resolved.[15] Some modern scholars believe that it contains not only the thoughts of its original author but also commentary and clarifications from later military theorists, such as Li Quan and Du Mu. Of the military texts written before the unification of China and Shi Huangdi's subsequent book burning in the second century BC, six major works have survived. During the much later Song dynasty, these six works were combined with a Tang text into a collection called the Seven Military Classics. As a central part of that compilation, The Art of War formed the foundations of orthodox military theory in early modern China. Illustrating this point, the book was required reading to pass the tests needed for imperial appointment to military positions.[16]..."
    Author/creator: Sun Tsu
    Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
    Source/publisher: Internet (Akasha)
    Format/size: pdf (99K-English; 1.7MB-Burmese)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/Sun_Tsu-the_art_of_war-bu.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 28 March 2015


  • Politics and Government - Burma/Myanmar - general studies

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Myanmar’s new political geography
    Date of publication: 17 October 2012
    Description/subject: "Alongside a team of talented cartographers and GIS specialists from the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific I have recently been working on a large series of maps designed to help illustrate the changing political geography of Myanmar. We hope that in the years ahead these maps will become a useful resource for scholars, students, analysts, journalists and others hoping to come to grips with the 2010 general election, and also with the 2012 by-election. Of course, the planned 2015 general election is when such mapping products, and the databases that drive them, could prove most compelling. For the moment, and in an effort to begin introducing this project, I recently recorded a short video presentation. In that presentation I begin to talk about some of the key elements of Myanmar’s changing political geography. I have plans to continue this project and to record further episodes in what may become a substantial series of discussions dealing with these issues of political geography. If there are particualr topics you would like to see discussed through these maps then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or get in contact at the usual place. As I am learning, almost anything is possible when it comes to the wizardry of cutting-edge cartographic work."
    Author/creator: Nicholas Farrelly
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 17 July 2014


    Title: "BurmaNet News" Parliament archive (English)
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Various sources via "BurmaNet News"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 08 March 2015


    Title: CIA Factbook, Burma
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: CIA
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: Politics and Government (Burmese) ႏိုင္ငံေရးႏွင့္ အစိုးရ burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
    Language: Burmese
    Source/publisher: Wikipedia (Burmese)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 19 December 2013


    Individual Documents

    Title: Why Burma Is Heading Downhill Fast
    Date of publication: 28 March 2015
    Description/subject: "...None of this seems to impress Burma’s ordinary citizens much — which hardly comes as a surprise, given their continuing poverty and lack of rights. They are left to cope with the daily reality of unemployment, illegal land grabs, official corruption, ethnic tension, and the inevitable outbursts of violence when government forces step in to suppress the resulting protests. (In the photo above, protesters pray during a demonstration against land grabs in Yangon.) Given the general atmosphere of tension, it is not hard to imagine how power struggles at the top might lead to partisan political protests, religious riots, or even terrorist attacks. Since the general level of trust and tolerance is so weak, and the capacity of the state so fragile, society could easily find itself in a situation even worse than Thailand’s recent bout of political polarization. No wonder the Economist projected that Burma is at high risk of social unrest in 2014. Unless Burma’s leaders manage to reach a basic consensus about the speed and character of the transition, these risks will only mount. A few weeks ago I described the current situation in our country to some of my friends as a "slow-motion train wreck." As one of those listening put it: "Yes. And we, the people of Burma, are inside the train.""
    Author/creator: Min Zin
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Foreign Policy"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 16 March 2015


    Title: Myanmar 2014: Civic Knowledge and Values in a Changing Society (Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
    Date of publication: 11 December 2014
    Description/subject: "Burmese version. A survey to document public knowledge and awareness of new government institutions and processes, and to gauge the political, social, and economic values held by people from diverse backgrounds, to inform the country's long-term development. The survey included face-to-face interviews with more than 3,000 respondents across all 14 Myanmar states and regions.."
    Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
    Source/publisher: Asia Foundation
    Format/size: pdf (14MB-reduced version; 18.7MB-original)
    Alternate URLs: http://asiafoundation.org/resources/pdfs/FullMyanmar2014MM.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 05 January 2015


    Title: Myanmar 2014: Civic Knowledge and Values in a Changing Society (English)
    Date of publication: December 2014
    Description/subject: "A survey to document public knowledge and awareness of new government institutions and processes, and to gauge the political, social, and economic values held by people from diverse backgrounds, to inform the country's long-term development. The survey included face-to-face interviews with more than 3,000 respondents across all 14 Myanmar states and regions."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Asia Foundation
    Format/size: pdf (1.4MB-reduced version; 1.7MB-original)
    Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs20/AF-2014-MyanmarSurvey-en-red.pdf
    http://asiafoundation.org/resources/pdfs/MM2014SurveySummaryReportENG.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 05 January 2015


    Title: Legislators in Myanmar’s First “Post- Junta” National Parliament (2010–2015): A Sociological Analysis
    Date of publication: September 2014
    Description/subject: Abstract: "In an attempt to better grasp the realities of Myanmar’s na- tional legislature, which was formed after the 2010 elections, this paper examines the personal profiles and social backgrounds of its elected and appointed members. I have sought to record data on the social composition of Myanmar’s first “post-junta” parliament and provide a dataset for further comparative research on the resurgence of legislative affairs in the country. The study draws on official publications containing the biographies of 658 national parliamentarians. Focusing on six socio-demographic variables, the findings suggest that the typical Burmese legislator still closely mirrors the conventional image of Myanmar’s characteristic postcolonial leader: a man, in his mid-fifties, ethnically Bamar, Buddhist, holding a Myanmar university degree, engaged in business activities or in the education sector (in the case of the 492 elected legislators) or in the security sector (for the 166 military appointees). However, I argue that the profile of Myanmar’s first post-junta legislature offers a quite unexpected level of diversity that may augur well for the emergence of a new civilian policymaking elite in Myanmar.... Manuscript received 14 August 2014; accepted 21 September 2014.... Keywords: Myanmar, parliament, legislature composition, parliamentary elites, sociological profile, Burmese legislator, Hluttaws
    Author/creator: Renaud Egreteau
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 2/2014: 91–124
    Format/size: pdf (743K)
    Date of entry/update: 08 November 2014


    Title: The elephant and Myanmar politics
    Date of publication: 29 April 2014
    Description/subject: "When news broke about the National League for Democracy (NLD) postponing its parliamentary debut on account of a dispute over the wording of the oath to be taken by new Members of Parliament (MP) one immediate reaction was to recall a well known Myanmar saying “Hsinpyaung Gyi Ah Mee Kya Hma Tit” or “The tusker got stuck at the tail”. After all the efforts by the government, led by reformist President U Thein Sein, and the NLD, led by Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (DASSK), to set aside differences and work together on common issues for the sake of Myanmar, the process to bring the NLD back into the mainstream political process now appears stalled over the choice of words whether to “uphold and abide by” (current version) or “respect” (NLD’s preference) the Constitution..."
    Author/creator: Tin Maung Maung Than
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 22 July 2014


    Title: Return to the fold
    Date of publication: 22 April 2014
    Description/subject: "The shadow of Myanmar’s past military rule won’t harm its new-found place as a respected member of ASEAN and the region. Whether Myanmar did a good job chairing the recent 24th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, held in Nay Pyi Taw from 10-11 May depends very much on whom you ask. For Myanmar’s leaders the summit appears to have been an almost complete success. Myanmar hosted what appears to have been an efficient and smoothly ‘talk fest’, revealing false the naysayers’ fears about not enough hotels, not enough roads and not enough logistical know-how to run a large high profile international event. All the symbols of a successful ASEAN meeting were produced; glossy photos of smiling dignitaries, a series of carefully worded statements and of course the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration, “Realisation of the ASEAN Community by 2015”. In an association as concerned with process as ASEAN, these symbols are incredibly important, suggesting business as usual and on-going regional harmony. Compared to the fiasco of the 45th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting held in 2012 under Cambodian leadership, which failed to produce for the first time a joint communiqué, this is no mean achievement. Through this success, Myanmar has cemented its position as a legitimate, efficient and productive member of ASEAN, newly returned to the fold after the years of overt military rule had cast it as an outsider criticised by fellow members for its violent political repression. For ASEAN itself the Summit is harder to read. It was always unlikely that substantial progress on the South China Sea issue would have been forthcoming. But ASEAN seems to have made no forward motion at all. The Nay Pyi Taw Declaration limits itself, in point 7, to a restatement of existing agreements that so far have proven woefully inadequate to resolving the situation. Those critical of Myanmar will point to its on-going close ties to China and a failure of Myanmar to take clear ‘pro-ASEAN’ leadership. Those more forgiving note that escalating tensions between ASEAN members Vietnam and China obscure the fact that member states themselves have competing claims to the region and that an agreement to diplomatic resolution is at least not a step backwards. Perhaps Myanmar’s greatest challenge in 2014 is working towards the completion of ASEAN’s community project in 2015. The Nay Pyi Taw Declaration certainly says the right things, with repeated reference to ‘accelerating’ ‘intensifying’ and ‘strengthening’ existing plans. Whether or not these claims are realised with the completion of the political, economic and socio-cultural communities that ASEAN is building, remains to be seen. While there is scepticism that ASEAN will finish everything it has set out to achieve, it is doubtful whether this can be laid solely at Myanmar’s door given the Charter was signed in 2007. For at least some of the citizens of Myanmar though, the Summit offered little. Going into the Summit there had been interest in whether human rights issues, especially concerning on-going violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority would be brought into discussion. Myanmar managed to keep this off of the agenda completely, and the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration contains only bland commitments to human rights, with the usual ASEAN caveat that non-intervention remains the paramount right of member states. In contrast to Gareth Robinson, writing for New Mandala on 21 May, I do not think the domestic situation in Myanmar will impact on its engagement with Southeast Asia. Robinson writes that ‘the continuing shadow of the military over the governance of the country is also likely to encourage scepticism at the prospect of Burma assuming a greater role in regional cooperation’. I believe quite the opposite is true; that the ongoing domestic situation in Myanmar is now at a ‘low enough level’ to not raise itself on the regional radar. It was never the military regime itself that ASEAN was concerned with, but its repeated violation of even the most basic standards of good governance through widespread repression. The move towards a limited democracy that institutionalised the military’s position in Myanmar’s society was welcomed by ASEAN as early as the 2010 election – the same election being widely criticised outside of the region. ASEAN is concerned with the general domestic situation in Myanmar. Partial liberalisation, partial democracy and partial ceasefires are enough for ASEAN. Given the variety of ASEAN member states domestic situations, and at the moment the clearly anti-democratic movements in Thailand, there is little room for ASEAN to be concerned with much more. Robinson’s more general claim, that Myanmar is becoming a regional player, is far stronger. We can see it being played out now through events like the ASEAN Summit. As its economy opens to regional and global trade and investment, Myanmar’s position is only going to strengthen. The more interesting question, however, is what values a stronger, more regionally engaged, Myanmar will seek to promote as it engages more fully with the world and the region. Having staked a claim as a legitimate part of the regional conversation, Myanmar’s leaders will need to now think about what it is they actually want to say."
    Author/creator: Mathew Davies
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 24 July 2014


    Title: Let’s Face It: Democracy in Burma Is Not Inevitable
    Date of publication: 03 April 2014
    Description/subject: "... In my reports, I’m trying to offer readers more empirical facts from the ground and analyze them in the light of possible trajectories ahead. I’m increasingly convinced that the process of political opening in Burma is heading towards a particular brand of hybrid regime. In short, it’s high time for us to call a spade a spade: We need to get over the hopeful talk of "democratization" in Burma and recognize that the country is, in fact, undergoing a liberalization process that doesn’t necessarily lead toward liberal democracy. As I see it, there are three basic groups that have three fundamentally different views: In the view of the authoritarians (the Chinese and old regime hardliners), the predatory state under the old dictator served their interests well, so they long for yesterday. The liberalizers (including both Burma’s current business cronies and Burma’s friends in the West) welcome the space afforded by liberalization, so they live for today. Then there are the ordinary people of the country, who desperately yearn for more find that their path forward is still blocked. So the people of Burma feel that tomorrow does not belong to them."
    Author/creator: Min Zin
    Language: English and French
    Source/publisher: "Foreign Policy"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 16 March 2015


    Title: What Burma Should Learn from Nelson Mandela
    Date of publication: 07 December 2013
    Description/subject: "... These days, Burma’s transition from tyranny to democracy is partly stymied by the opposition’s attempt to institutionalize the memory of our past political divisions. Instead of putting forward a vision for the future and policies to make that vision a reality, the opposition leadership tends to employ a "good-versus-evil" political narrative as a key frame of reference in mobilizing the public. The opposition, of course, can gain a significant advantage by using this polarizing ploy. The public’s distrust and hatred of the previous junta still poisons its opinion of the current pseudo-civilian government. However, using history as a campaign instrument has only encouraged dark forces within the establishment to defend themselves using "biology" in campaigns advocating racial and religious purity. These have ranged from an attempt to prohibit interfaith marriage, to rampant anti-Muslim hate speeches, to outright communal violence. The country is gradually sliding into a history-versus-biology political battle as it approaches the 2015 elections. What we really need is a truly democratic contest of vision and policy. The country lacks a sense of unity. True reconciliation and healing remain elusive in this fragile transition. Mandela was right. When invoking memory becomes a political strategy, society suffers from a lack of imagination. Without a new vision for the future, we cannot move on and be reborn..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Foreign Policy"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 16 March 2015


    Title: Why It Makes Sense to Engage with Burma’s Military
    Date of publication: 19 September 2013
    Description/subject: "...In short, any positive political concessions the Burmese military is likely to make regarding constitutional reform and the 2015 elections rest to a significant degree on a mil-to-mil incentive package from the United States. I think that smart, timely action by the United States to reconnect with the Burmese military would be one of the best insurance polices against another military take-over. And that could well save me and my compatriots from reliving that tragic day in September 1988."
    Author/creator: Min Zin
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Foreign Policy"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 16 March 2015


    Title: Why Peace Is Still a Tough Sell
    Date of publication: 10 September 2013
    Description/subject: "... Generally speaking, the whole peace process is an executive-led initiative. The Myanmar Peace Center (MPC), led by reform-minded ministers Aung Min and Soe Thein, plays an essential role in facilitating on-the-ground negotiations (as well as the ensuing complaints, protests and controversies). With the help of the MPC, the government has thus far struck ceasefire deals with fourteen ethnic armed groups despite ongoing battles with Kachin state in northern Burma and other ethnic resistance armies. President Thein Sein has made it very clear on many occasions that the country would soon see a nationwide ceasefire signed between the government and ethnic rebel armies. The government plans to hold a grand ceremony in October of this year to sign a nationwide ceasefire accord with the 14 ethnic armed groups and is keeping the door open for other armed groups to enter the agreement at any time. The government, working in coordination with all stakeholders — including ethnic groups, Union Parliament, the military, political parties and civil society organizations — will then draft a framework for a national political dialogue. Thein Sein and his aides are aiming for nothing less than a complete end to the civil war..."
    Author/creator: Min Zin
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: "Foreign Policy"
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 17 March 2015


    Title: Politics of Burma
    Description/subject: Contents: 1 Political conditions... 2 History - 2.1 Independence era; 2.2 AFPFL/Union Government; 2.3 Military socialist era; 2.4 SPDC era; 2.5 New constitution; 2.6 2010 Election; 2.7 2012 By Elections... 3 Executive branch - 3.1 Members of Government of Burma... 4 Legislative branch... 5 Judicial system - 5.1 Wareru dhammathat; 5.2 Dhammazedi pyatton... 6 Administrative divisions... 7 International organization participation... 8 See also... 9 References... 10 Further reading... 11 External links - 11.1 Burmese democracy and human rights online media
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: Wikipedia
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


  • Burma/Myanmar's Executive (under construction)

    • President's Office

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: President's Office website
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ English
      Source/publisher: President's Office
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 19 May 2012


    • Presidential Orders, Notifications, Decrees etc.

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Announcements (English)
      Description/subject: Back to October 2011
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: President's Office
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 08 April 2013


      Title: Notifications
      Description/subject: Notifications back to March 2012. 18 notifications, as of 9 April 2013
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: President's Office
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 08 April 2013


      Title: Orders
      Description/subject: Back to March 2011
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: President's Office
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 08 April 2013


      Individual Documents

      Title: Farm Land Rules
      Date of publication: 31 August 2012
      Description/subject: This translation of the Rules is in need of editing, which the OBL Librarian is undertaking. Pending the completion of the editing, we are putting this unedited version online, since the general meaning is clear.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation/President's Office
      Format/size: pdf (159K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2012


      Title: Announcements (ေၾကညာခ်က္မ်ား)
      Date of publication: 2011
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: President's Office
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 06 June 2014


      Title: Notifications (အမိန္႔ေၾကာ္ျငာစာမ်ား)
      Date of publication: 2011
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: President's Office
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 06 June 2014


      Title: Orders (အမိန္႔မ်ား)
      Date of publication: 2011
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: President's Office
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 06 June 2014


    • Ministries and other administrative bodies

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Cabinet of Burma
      Description/subject: The Cabinet of Burma is the executive body of the Burmese government led by the President.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Wikipedia
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 05 December 2011


      Individual Documents

      Title: Farm Land Rules
      Date of publication: 31 August 2012
      Description/subject: This translation of the Rules is in need of editing, which the OBL Librarian is undertaking. Pending the completion of the editing, we are putting this unedited version online, since the general meaning is clear.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation/President's Office
      Format/size: pdf (159K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 November 2012