Beyond Armed Resistance: Ethnonational Politics in Burma by Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung

Political Freedom

By Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung

This paper sheds mild at the actions of non-armed contributors of ethnic minorities in Burma, insufficiently studied actors within the traditional learn of ethnic politics in Burma that has lengthy been ruled via a spotlight on ethnonational armed resistance teams and ceasefire teams. concentrating on the Kachin, Karen, Mon, and Shan ethnic teams, the research describes 9 significant fiscal, political, and geographical different types of civilian adventure, by way of 4 contributions that non-armed participants of ethnic minority teams may well make to the political process: (1) assisting the established order, (2) reworking or undermining the established order, (3) selling collective id and tradition and addressing humanitarian wishes, and (4) supporting to mediate ceasefire agreements. The learn demonstrates the necessity to concentrate on the total variety of nonviolent political activities that exist between ethnic minority populations and argues that coverage responses needs to glance past the function of armed teams and turn into extra delicate to the wishes of the various participants of ethnic groups.

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Extra info for Beyond Armed Resistance: Ethnonational Politics in Burma (Myanmar)

Sample text

Two Christian army captains known to the author (one half Karen and half Burmese, the other Burmese) did not get promoted to major, while all their Burman Buddhist colleagues were promoted (anonymous sources, Rangoon, July 2010 and March 2011). Entering the military academy and getting promoted within the military service do not seem to be such an issue among minority groups who are Buddhists (interviews with Shan Buddhists, Taungyi, February 2011). A popular saying in Burma is that people who are members of the ABC group (AIDS patients, hepatitis B patients, and Christians) are systematically discriminated against in government employment.

Examples are the Pao National Organization, the Ta-ang Palaung National Party, the Karen State Democracy and Development Party, and the Unity and Democracy Party of Kachin State, against whose candidates the USDP, which fielded candidates in almost all available constituencies, did not run. U Khat Htein Nam, who won the Amyotha Hluttaw seat of Myitkyina as a Unity and Democracy Party candidate, publicly described the USDP as a “brother party” and pledged to “cooperate with the USDP in our region” (MyoMyo 2010: 5).

Judging by the names of candidates, 11 out of the 20 successful NLD candidates in the Shan state were of non-Burman nationality, along with 6 out of 10 in the Karen state, 6 out of 14 in the Kachin state, and 2 out of 15 in the Mon state (Han 1990). The NLD was automatically deregistered because of its decision not to participate in the 2010 election. 13 Due to the split within the NLD and the ability of ethnicitybased parties to garner support in their respective communities, a much weaker NDF was unable to generate much support from ethnic minorities.

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