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Burma/Myanmar's Foreign relations, general

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Title: Myanmar’s International Relations - Research Articles
Date of publication: 04 September 2015
Description/subject: "Myanmar: Political Reforms and the Recalibration of External Relations" - Marco Bünte, Jörn Dosch... "Myanmar’s China Policy since 2011: Determinants and Directions" - Maung Aung Myoe... "The United States and Myanmar: From Antagonists to Security Partners?" - Jürgen Haacke... "The European Union’s Myanmar Policy: Focused or Directionless?" - Jörn Dosch, Jatswan S. Sidhu... "Japan’s Development Ambitions for Myanmar: The Problem of 'Economics before Politics' " - Donald M. Seekins... "New Developments in India–Myanmar Bilateral Relations?" - Pierre Gottschlich... "Russia and Myanmar – Friends in Need? " - Ludmila Lutz-Auras...
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs , 34, 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2015


Title: List of diplomatic missions in Burma
Description/subject: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This is a list of diplomatic missions in Burma. In November 2005, the Myanmar government transferred its seat from Yangon to Naypyidaw. At present, the former capital of Yangon hosts 29 embassies. 43 countries and the European Union have ambassadors accredited to Burma, with most being resident in elsewhere in New Delhi and Bangkok. Contents [hide]
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wikipedia
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 September 2010


Individual Documents

Title: Myanmar’s Foreign Policy under the USDP Government: Continuities and Changes
Date of publication: 26 March 2016
Description/subject: Abstract: "Myanmar’s foreign policy under the USDP government is historically consistent in terms of fundamental principles of being independent, active, and non-aligned, as promulgated in the Constitution. However, the USDP government has pronounced a new foreign policy objective of reintegrating Myanmar into the international community. This objective is not in conflict with the existing ones nor does it seek to replace them, but rather endeavours to supplement them to make Myanmar’s foreign relations more active, dynamic, and international. This is by no means a major change in foreign policy orientation. It is merely an adjustment within the context of the fundamental principles of Myanmar’s foreign policy to cultivate friendly and balanced relations with all major powers active in the Indo-Pacific region. The change is mostly in terms of how the foreign policy is implemented and diplomacy is conducted. Since it came to power in 2011, the USDP government has pursued a foreign policy strategy that delicately balances the strategic interests of major powers in the country, that primarily maintains friendly relations with countries both near and far, and that applies multilateralism with an emphasis on regional cooperation or regional institutions. The foreign policy adjustment under the USDP government is leadership-driven, and it appears that the president is a prime mover and the Tatmadaw is a lead institution... Manuscript received 1 February 2016; accepted 23 March 2016... Keywords: : Myanmar, foreign policy, foreign relations, Tatmadaw, Hlut
Author/creator: Maung Aung Myoe
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 35, 1, 123–150.
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 August 2016


Title: Myanmar: Political Reforms and the Recalibration of External Relations
Date of publication: 04 September 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "This opening chapter provides some background to the domestic reform agenda, along with its drivers and motivations. From 1988 to 2011, the military built up institutions that guaranteed the military’s dominant position in the political arena. The second phase, since 2011, has seen a guided relaxation of the military’s coercive controls and the liberalisation of political spaces for the opposition and civil society. In order to contextualise Myanmar’s external relations, this article will first describe the military’s strategy and then outline the key changes that have been implemented in the country’s foreign policy...
Author/creator: Marco Bünte, Jörn Dosch
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs , 34, 2, 3–19.
Format/size: pdf (258K)
Alternate URLs: http://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/files/journals/4/articles/871/public/871-907-1-PB.pdf
http://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/jsaa/
Date of entry/update: 07 October 2015


Title: Burma as ‘Corridor’: A case of South Asian descendants’ community in northern Thailand
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: "This paper highlights the location of Burma (Myanmar) and reconsiders its geographical territory andits historical position. There were and are a lot of studies of Burma/Myanmar. Most of the studies were on the Burma itself or on those people living in Buma. On the other hand, Burma situated at the meeting point of South Asia and Southeast Asia. In other words, Burma holds a position of the node or corridor which connecting these two regions. This paper tries to focus on Burma as ‘corridor’, by considering a case of South Asian migrant groups in Thailand, a Bangladeshi (or Eastern Bengal) Muslim descendants’ community in northern Thailand.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Takada Mineo
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (60K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 29 August 2015


Title: New role for India in Myanmar
Date of publication: 13 September 2013
Description/subject: "Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing. With ongoing communal and ethnic violence on one hand and the implementation of bold reform initiatives on the other, Myanmar's transition from authoritarianism to democracy presents immense challenges as well as opportunities for neighboring India. How New Delhi reacts to these tests will have wide-ranging impacts on the future of India-Myanmar relations. The challenges are many. The diplomatic row over pillar number 76 in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur on the Indo-Myanmar border in Holenphai village near Moreh has added to long-running border problems. Although the two sides have agreed to negotiate the issue peacefully, past misunderstandings and alleged intrusions have raised alarm bells on both sides of the border..."
Author/creator: Sonu Trivedi
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 May 2014


Title: Myanmar, North Korea stay brothers in arms
Date of publication: 05 September 2013
Description/subject: "If a press statement from the US Department of Defense is to be believed, President Barack Obama is quite pleased with the reform process underway in Myanmar, especially recent progress ''that's been made on human rights''. The message was conveyed by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in late August when he met with his counterparts from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Brunei, including Lieutenant-General Wai Lwin, the current defense minister of Myanmar, a former pariah state turned darling of the West. But there was an important caveat in Hagel's statement that indicated Washington's main concern in Myanmar is not democracy and human rights. Rather, he stressed ''it's important that Myanmar sever ties with North Korea''. Evidently Myanmar has not rolled back relations with Pyongyang despite persistent pressure from Washington, including during then secretary of state Hillary Clinton's historic visit to Myanmar in December 2011, and believed behind-the-scenes prodding from Japan and South Korea..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 May 2014


Title: India-China make a Myanmar tryst
Date of publication: 13 August 2013
Description/subject: "As India and China have emerged as major powers in Asia, their interests and concerns have transcended their geographical boundaries. There is particularly the case in Myanmar, where those interests have converged. This is largely due to the fact that Myanmar shares common borders with both the countries. Myanmar shares a 2,185-kilometer border with China, and 1,643-kilometer border with India. It has long been argued that Myanmar has always been a strategic concern for governing the dynamics of India-China relations. Myanmar's strategic location is considered as an important asset for India and China that offers tremendous opportunities for the countries of the region. Therefore, recent developments in Myanmar are a matter of concern for both India and China..."
Author/creator: Sonu Trivedi
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 May 2014


Title: [Burma in 2009] Main Players
Date of publication: December 2009
Description/subject: Than Shwe ("The Dictator Dons His Gloves "); Aung San Suu Kyi ("The Lady Reaches Out "); Win Tin ("A Hard-line Maverick Leader "); Nyan Win and Kyi Wynn ("The Defense that Never Rests")
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 9
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17321
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: [Burma in 2009] Regional Players
Date of publication: December 2009
Description/subject: Regional criticism of the SPDC from Goh Chok Tong ("Straight Talk from Singapore"); Abhisit Vejjajiva (" New Thai Leader with a Fresh-faced Approach to Burma"); Wen Jiabao ("China Turns Up the Heat on the Generals"); Debbie Stothard ("The Activist Who Puts the Bite into Sound Bites")
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 9
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17324
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: [Burma in 2009] Supporting Roles
Date of publication: December 2009
Description/subject: Tu Ja ("Campaigning for the Kachin"); Mong Thongdee ("Stateless Boy Aims High"); The anonymous Whistleblowers ("Daring to Defy Their Military Masters"); Jack Dunford ("‘Mr Fixit’ for 140,000 Refugees"); Lin Lat Kyei ("Targeted for Aiding Cyclone Survivors")
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 9
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17322
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: [Burma in 2009] Visitors
Date of publication: December 2009
Description/subject: Profiles of John W Yettaw ("American’s Obsession has Severe Repercussions for Suu Kyi"); Jim Webb ("A Swashbuckling US Senator"); Kurt Campbell ("The Face of ‘Pragmatic Engagement’")
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 9
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17323
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


Title: Democracy in Myanmar and the Paradox of International Politics
Date of publication: February 2009
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Myanmar has been an international media flash point on and off, and a persistent point of contention in international relations since 1990, when the country held general elections in which the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi won a majority of seats in the National Assembly or Constituent Assembly. The military, ruling under the name of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), refused to hand over power as demanded by the winner, which duly provoked outcries from the international community. Nearly two decades on, the country's government remains in the hands of the military despite the popular desire for change, Aung San Suu Kyi continues to be under house arrest, and the NLD is seeing its influence as an alternative political force to the military government dwindle. The public protests that broke out in 2007, triggered by a sudden surge in the fuel price, faded in due course from international headlines as other global events took center stage. The road to democracy in Myanmar remains as challenging as ever, while the country in its isolation continues to struggle with poverty ensuing from long drawn-out economic stagnation and decades of negligence under repressive and unrepentant military rule, which has been compounded by limited foreign investment under international sanctions aimed at encouraging and facilitating democratic change in Myanmar. In dealing with Myanmar, there is a general good-versus-bad analysis dominating international politics, and that has inadvertently prolonged the political standoff. Cyclone Nargis in May 2008 raised the issue of the urgency of humanitarian aid, prompting thinking outside of the box. However, ideologically charged objectives appear to hinder a review of international policy-making vis-à-vis Myanmar, which has instead placed an emphasis on sanctions. Contrasting this rigid policy-making stands the pragmatism guiding regional actors, namely, ASEAN (of which Myanmar is a member), China, and other countries that share land borders with Myanmar. The rift between the regional actors and the world powers (and 6 Xiaolin Guo their allies in Asia) has, to a degree, reduced the potential impact of external influence on Myanmar. From time to time, calls for change in Myanmar are reiterated in international headlines. The question is not that Myanmar has not changed in the past two decades, but rather that the change taking place may not necessarily be viewed by the international community outside of the region as positive or as the kind of change desired. While it is fairly easy to demand change from the military government, the real challenge remains, that is, how to break the political deadlock and make any meaningful political transition tenable. Attempts to employ sanctions as a way to bring about change in Myanmar mirrors post-Cold War international politics with a strong ideological base. The rhetoric of humanitarian intervention that came to dominate the play of international politics in the 1990s has encouraged and facilitated political change in selected countries around the world in the form of sanctions, and sometimes, military action. Myanmar has been a target of humanitarian intervention, albeit that military action has never been an option. Paradoxically, today�s practice of intervention as underwritten by liberals and neo-conservatives alike shares, as indeed shown in the case of Myanmar, some common features with nineteenth-century colonialism (though the parallel is often overlooked), in that indigenous conditions essential to change are generally pronounced irrelevant, and at the same time, the capacity of foreign influence to re-shape the domestic politics of another country tends to be overestimated. In a way, ideology and geopolitics are now, like then (more than a century ago), part of a global game of doing �good deeds� in distant lands. Revisiting political developments in Myanmar, this paper draws attention to the unintended consequences of a �politically correct� contemporary practice, raising questions not about the values of democracy per se, but rather about the practice of intervention in that very name, irrespective of indigenous conditions. Equally, it dwells not on the technicality of �humanitarian intervention� that falls within the purview of the UN mandate, but instead, the paper challenges the use of that concept as a foreign policy tool without giving sufficient consideration to its socio-economic consequences in another country. The paper argues that without taking into account its history, ethnic complexity, and socio-economic conditions, any policy-making toward Democracy in Myanmar and the Paradox of International Politics 7 Myanmar is likely to remain irrelevant to what is going on inside the country. Finally, the relative fading of rhetoric concerning �building democracy� from foreign policy speeches in the new U.S. Administration under President Obama is eye-opening, and being watched closely by the international community to determine how the change will materialize in policy-making toward Myanmar."
Author/creator: Xiaolin Guo
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Security and Development Policy (Sweden)
Format/size: pdf (330K)
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2010


Title: BACK TO THE OLD HABITS Isolationism or the self-preservation of Burma’s military regime
Date of publication: December 2008
Description/subject: Table of Contents: Authors’ Biographies... Introduction... Chapter One: Isolation chosen or endured? A Burmese history of isolationist withdrawals since Independence.... 1 - Neutralism, Insurgency and Autarchy: Burma’s uneasy relations with the outside world (1948-1988)... 2 - Enter the SLORC: a tactical breaking out of isolation throughout the 1990s... The entrenchment of the Burmese junta: the return of nationalist hardliners since 2003 ... 1 - Depayin crackdown and its regional implications (2003)... 2 - Khin Nyunt’s sacking and the purge of the “MI” (2004) 3 - Naypyidaw’s transfer and the isolation within... of “Isolationism without Isolation”.... 1 - Backing away from ASEAN (2006-2007) 2 - Limits to the Sino-Burmese partnership.... 3 - Cautiously gentling with India... 4 - Diversifying its partnerships outside its direct neighbourhood ... Conclusion... Academic References.
Author/creator: Renaud Egreteau & Larry Jagan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Research on Contemporary South East Asia (IRASEC)
Format/size: pdf (673K)
Date of entry/update: 13 December 2008


Title: Burma and the Threat of Invasion: Regime Fantasy or Strategic Reality?
Date of publication: August 2008
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Even before 1988, when the armed forces crushed a pro-democracy uprising and took back direct political power, Burma’s government feared an invasion of the country. Then, the danger was seen to emanate mainly from China, but over the past 20 years the US and major EU countries have been viewed as Burma’s greatest military threat.... In the wake of the 1988 uprising, the new regime feared that the US, or a coalition of countries led by the US, planned to invade Burma and restore democratic rule. Fears of foreign intervention were renewed after the regime’s refusal to hand over power to the civilian government elected in 1990. Perceptions of a significant external threat were strengthened by the measures subsequently taken by the US, EU and a range of other countries. The economic sanctions levelled against Burma, for example, were seen as part of a wider effort to weaken the military government and precipitate its downfall.... Fears of an invasion have fluctuated since 1990, but the regime has remained convinced that the US and some other states are determined to replace it with an elected civilian administration. Strong criticism of the military government, and public references to Burma alongside notorious ‘rogue’ regimes, has seemed to presage armed intervention. Attempts in the UN Security Council to declare Burma a threat to regional security, open support for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and aid to dissident groups, have all been interpreted as part of a campaign to subvert the military government. If it could not be brought down by the direct application of military force, it was believed, the US and its allies would try to cause the regime’s collapse by fomenting internal unrest.... When the US, UK and France positioned warships off the Burmese coast in May 2008, after Cyclone Nargis struck Lower Burma, the regime was immediately suspicious of those countries’ motives. Its fears were greatly strengthened by statements made by senior officials and others about the international community’s overriding ‘responsibility to protect’ the cyclone victims. There were calls for coercive humanitarian intervention and even an invasion of Burma to provide aid to those in need, regardless of the regime’s wishes and broader issues relating to national sovereignty. Such statements seem to have hardened the military leadership’s conviction that it still faced the possibility of an attack by the US and its allies, against which it must remain vigilant.... Since 1988, there has never been any likelihood that Burma would actually be invaded, by the US or any other country. In international relations, however, threat perceptions are critical. Fears of armed intervention, and of indirect foreign interference in Burma’s internal affairs, have been strong influences on Burma’s defence planning and foreign policy. In that sense they are a strategic reality, and must be taken into account in the consideration of future approaches towards the military government. Failure to do so will make the continued delivery of humanitarian assistance, and the search for viable long term solutions to Burma’s many complex problems, much more difficult."
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: Griffith Asia Institute Regional Outlook Paper No. 17, 2008
Format/size: pdf (278K-reduced version; 356K-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/Selth-2008-Threat_of_Invasion-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 September 2010


Title: Burma’s Long Road to Democracy
Date of publication: November 2007
Description/subject: Summary: • In August and September 2007, nearly twenty years after the 1988 popular uprising in Burma, public anger at the government’s economic policies once again spilled into the country’s city streets in the form of mass protests. When tens of thousands of Buddhist monks joined the protests, the military regime reacted with brute force, beating, killing, and jailing thousands of people. Although the Saffron Revolution was put down, the regime still faces serious opposition and unrest. • Burma’s forty-five years of military rule have seen periodic popular uprisings and lingering ethnic insurgencies, which invariably provoke harsh military responses and thereby serve to perpetuate and strengthen military rule. The recent attack on the monks, however, was ill considered and left Burma’s devoutly religious population deeply resentful toward the ruling generals. • Despite the widespread resentment against the generals, a successful transition to democracy will have to include the military. Positive change is likely to start with the regime’s current (though imperfect) plan for return to military-dominated parliamentary government, and achieving real democracy may take many years. When Than Shwe, the current top general, is replaced, prospects for working with more moderate military leaders may improve. In the end, however, only comprehensive political and economic reform will release the military’s grip on the country. • Creating the conditions for stable, effective democracy in Burma will require decades of political and economic restructuring and reform, including comprehensive macroeconomic reform, developing a democratic constitution and political culture, re- establishing rule of law, rebuilding government structures at national and state levels, and building adequate health and educational institutions. • The international community must give its sustained attention to Burma, continuing to press the regime for dialogue with the forces of democracy, beginning with popular democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and insisting on an inclusive constitutional process. International players should also urge the regime immediately to establish a national commission of experts to begin studying and making recommendations for economic restructuring to address the underlying concerns that brought about the Saffron Revolution. • Though China is concerned about the Burmese regime’s incompetence, it has only limited sway with the generals, who are fiercely anticommunist and nationalistic. Nonetheless, Beijing will cautiously support and contribute to an international effort to bring transition, realizing that Burma will be seen as a test of China’s responsibility as a world power. • The United States should restrain its tendency to reach simply for more unilateral sanctions whenever it focuses on Burma. Because a transition negotiated with opposition parties is still likely to produce an elected government with heavy military influence, the United States must prepare to engage with an imperfect Burmese democracy and participate fully in reconstruction and reform efforts, which will require easing some existing sanctions.
Author/creator: Priscilla Clapp
Language: English
Source/publisher: United States Institute for Peace (Special Report 193 November 2007)
Format/size: pdf (215K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/Burma%27s%20long%20road%20to%20democracy%20-%20Clapp.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 September 2011


Title: Engaging with the Issue of Myanmar: A New Perspective
Date of publication: October 2007
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Street protests and bloody suppressions are recurrent events in the history of Myanmar. Since the 1980s, when the military government crushed the democracy movement in Myanmar, these events have become the focus of friction and conflict between Myanmar and the international community. Notwithstanding nearly two decades of international sanctions, the military rulers have managed to cling to power. The street protests that took place in Yangon and other parts of Myanmar in August-September 2007 brought anew many painful memories and rekindled the undying desire for change. Unlike many other international issues, the international community seems reasonably united on the issue of Myanmar. Pressure for change is mounting, and a solution has to be found. The question is how? In the light of the encouraging outcome of the Six-Party Talks on the Korean Peninsula crisis, we believe that coordinated international efforts can help turn the situation around in Myanmar, notwithstanding that the Korean Peninsula is an international conflict whereas Myanmar is primarily a domestic issue. With that aim in mind, this paper analyzes the need for CBMs, the role of different players and their potential contribution to the process of national reconciliation, and ultimately democratization, in Myanmar. It emphasizes competence and a balanced approach. In this process, the domestic players—the incumbent government and all opposition and interest groups that have a stake in the process of national reconciliation—naturally form the inner circle. The outer ring comprises two sets of players: regional and international, including those who have both influence on the Myanmar domestic players and a stake of their own in regional stability, and the body of the ultimate representative of the international community. Other facilitators include the EU, US, and countries with special CBM profiles, all having unique and important roles to play in different circumstances and at different times. Engaging with the Issue of Myanmar: A New Perspective 7 All in all, a solution to the issue of Myanmar is pressing, since unless one can be found, there may well be serious consequences detrimental to the stability of the country and the region around it. As much as it is the problem of the Myanmar government and its people, finding a solution to the issue of Myanmar is also the responsibility of the international community."
Author/creator: Xiaolin Guo, Johan Alvin
Source/publisher: Institute for Security and Development Policy (Sweden)
Format/size: English
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2010


Title: Building Democracy in Burma
Date of publication: 04 July 2007
Description/subject: "There is no easy answer to the question of whether and to what degree external actors should intervene to trigger or force transition in extreme cases of autocratic or failed governance. Often in the zeal to hasten the demise of bad regimes inadequate consideration is given ahead of time to how the international community can best prepare a backward country for effective democratic governance. Burma – a prime case of arrested development brought about by decades of stubborn, isolationist military rule – provides ample illustration of this dilemma. The great hope for instant transition to democracy that was raised by the 1990 parliamentary elections in Burma was dashed almost immediately by the failure of the military regime to seat the elected parliament. Motivated by despair, many governments adopted policies making regime change a sine qua non for engagement with Burma, hoping this would force the military to follow through on its original promise to return to elected government. Seventeen years later, however, the military remains firmly entrenched in power and the country’s political, economic, and human resources have seriously deteriorated. Even if an elected government could be seated tomorrow, it would find itself bereft of the institutions necessary to deliver stable democratic rule. Starting from the assumption that some degree of transition is inevitable in the not-toodistant future, this study explores the depth of Burma’s deprivations under military rule, focusing on questions of how to make the country’s political, social, and economic institutions adequate to the task of managing democratic governance. It identifies the international mechanisms available to assist in this task, as well as innate strengths that can still be found in Burma, and it discusses what the limitations on assistance might be under various scenarios for political transition. Concluding that some degree of political transition will have to be underway before it will be possible to deliver effective assistance, the study suggests that the most productive policy approaches will require greater coordination and collaboration with Burma’s Asian neighbors."
Author/creator: PRISCILLA CLAPP
Language: English
Source/publisher: United States Institute for Peace
Format/size: pdf (820K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/Building_democracy_in_Burma-Clapp.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 September 2011


Title: Foreign policy as a political tool: Myanmar 2003–2006
Date of publication: January 2007
Description/subject: "...International attitudes to Myanmar will continue to face difficulty in gaining acceptance by the Myanmar government until the international community makes it clear with a single voice that the issues surrounding Myanmar are its legitimate concern. Myanmar’s leadership is adept at identifying rifts in international opinion that work to its advantage, and will not stop trying to deflect pressure on it to change policies. Moreover, the capacity of the current Myanmar military leadership to stand stubbornly in the face of international opinion should not be underestimated. This makes it all the more necessary for the international community, led by the United Nations, to draw the Myanmar government into a more focused and managed reconciliation process than has hitherto been the case, with sufficient incentives to persuade the current military leadership to participate fully in such a process. Ultimately, however, success can be achieved only if Myanmar believes that it ‘owns’ the process, that it has not been imposed from the outside..."
Author/creator: Trevor Wilson
Language: English
Source/publisher: 2006 Burma Update Conference via Australian National University
Format/size: pdf (136K)
Alternate URLs: http://epress.anu.edu.au/myanmar/pdf_instructions.html
http://epress.anu.edu.au/myanmar/pdf/whole_book.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 December 2008


Title: La dimension des droits de l’homme dans les relations internationales : le cas de la Birmanie (Myanmar)
Date of publication: August 2006
Description/subject: Introduction: "L’étude politique des droits de l’homme ne peut se faire sans tenir compte du contexte politique, géographique et historique dans lequel ces derniers ont évolué. Souvent brandis comme l’étendard que des hommes et des femmes ont porté dans l’espoir de faire valoir leur individualité face à des gouvernements, ces valeurs n’en continuent pas moins d’être souvent traitées avec cynisme, ironie ou utopisme. Cela s’avère encore plus véridique lorsque nous choisissons de transposer l’étude de ces droits à la sphère des relations internationales où il existe un dilemme entre l’universalité proclamée des principes fondamentaux et le poids des états dans l’élaboration de politiques parfois nuisibles aux droits de l’homme mais justifiées par un recours systématique au principe de souveraineté étatique. Cependant, ce concept des droits de l’homme revient constamment, au travers de discours, articles, essais et discussions, alimenter la thèse selon laquelle ces droits, bien que proclamés déjà en 1789, restent à être pleinement réalisés en ce début de 21° siècle. S’ils sont déjà considérés comme acquis et immuables en occident principalement, il n’est pas inutile de rappeler que les valeurs qu’ils défendent (liberté, égalité…) sont des concepts relativement nouveaux dans l’histoire humaine et que leur application au niveau international est loin d’être évidente. Notre optique n’est pas de se livrer à une condamnation de l’application du respect des droits de l’homme que certains diront secondaires à la prise en compte de considérations économiques, politiques ou géostratégiques mais plutôt de comprendre comment la défense des droits de l’homme trouve sa place dans la justification des politiques internationales en comparant leur promotion faite en occident et leur application dans une région aussi lointaine que l’Asie. Ce mémoire analysera donc l’importance du non-respect des droits de l’homme au sein des relations internationales en analysant le cas de la Birmanie, également connue sous le nom de Myanmar.2 Nous partirons du principe que le gouvernement militaire birman ne respecte pas les droits contenus dans la Déclaration Universelle des Droits de l’Homme de l’ONU de 1948 et que cela complique ses relations avec des gouvernements étrangers ainsi qu’avec des institutions internationales qui ont un devoir de veiller à ce que leur politique extérieure avec des pays tiers tienne compte du respect des droits de l’homme. Les instances analysées sont les Etats-Unis, l’Union Européenne (UE) et l’Organisation des Nations Unies (ONU) et nous nous focaliserons sur la place que tiennent les droits de l’homme dans leurs rapports avec la Birmanie. Le choix de ces trois protagonistes permet de mettre en évidence une institution internationale (l’Organisation des Nations Unies) ainsi que deux niveaux différents d’organisations politiques au sein de ce que l’on nomme communément l’"occident" : un état (les Etats-Unis) et une institution régionale (l’Union Européenne). Le noeud de ce travail portera donc sur la question suivante : « Dans quelle mesure le non-respect des droits de l’homme influence-t-il les relations qu’entretient la Birmanie avec les Etats-Unis, l’UE et l’ONU depuis 1988 ? » L’idée n’est pas de savoir si le gouvernement birman nuit aux droits de l’homme ou pas. Ce fait est unanimement reconnu aussi bien par la communauté internationale que par le gouvernement birman lui-même. La question est plutôt de savoir jusqu’à quel point les considérations éthiques relatives au respect des droits de l’homme devancent les intérêts économiques, politiques ou géostratégiques dans la région du sud-est asiatique..."
Author/creator: Bryan Carter
Language: Francais, French
Source/publisher: Université libre de Bruxelles, Faculté des sciences sociales, politiques et économiques -- Section de science politique
Format/size: pdf (509K), Word (457K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/M%e9moire.doc
Date of entry/update: 30 September 2006


Title: Defending Burma, Protecting Myanmar
Date of publication: May 2006
Description/subject: "Over half a century has wrought profound changes in Burmese strategic perspectives that should be understood by those concerned about stability in the region..."
Author/creator: David I Steinberg
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No. 5
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 December 2006


Title: King Mindon’s Ruined Vision
Date of publication: October 2005
Description/subject: His “Look West” Policies Are Now in Tatters... "...Today, Burma’s relations with the West, particularly the US, are rocky, and they’re unlikely to get better as long as the two sides pull in opposite directions. Since the 1988 democracy uprising, the US has downgraded its diplomatic relations with Burma, and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has famously labeled Burma as an “outpost of tyranny,” along with North Korea, Cuba and Iran. In Rangoon, the military leaders maintain their critical stance vis-à-vis the West, bitterness and hatred simmering together in editorials published by the junta’s mouthpiece journals, while clearly harboring hopes for a better relationship with the West. While the generals pursue closer ties with neighbors such as Russia, India and China, they still don’t send their children to study in Moscow, Beijing or North Korea. Before the visa bans took hold, many children of the Rangoon elite were sent to study in Britain, Australia and the US..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


Title: Wege aus der Isolation. Birmas nationaler und internationaler Aussöhnungsprozess
Date of publication: August 2003
Description/subject: Zu Beginn der neunziger Jahre reagierten die EU und die USA auf die 1988 erfolgte Machtübernahme des Militärs in Birma und die Nichtanerkennung des 1990 errungenen Wahlsiegs der Opposition mit der öffentlichen Verurteilung dieses Regimes und einer Reihe wirtschaftlicher und politischer Sanktionen. Die ASEAN-Staaten wie auch UNO-Generalsekretär Kofi Annan setzten hingegen auf eine Strategie des »konstruktiven Engagements«, die durch einen intensiven Dialog mit der Regierung in Rangun den Weg zu politischen Reformen zu ebnen versuchte. Beide Strategien haben bislang nicht zu den beabsichtigten Ergebnissen geführt. Ausgangspunkt dieser Studie ist daher die Frage, welche Faktoren zu jener fast unauflöslich erscheinenden Konfrontation zwischen der Militärregierung einerseits und der birmanischen Opposition sowie den westlich orientierten Staaten andererseits geführt haben und welche Strategie von außen, vor allem von der EU, entwickelt werden sollte, um eine Neugestaltung der politischen Machtverhältnisse und eine Verbesserung der mehr als desolaten Lebensverhältnisse vieler Einwohner Birmas zu erzielen. Die Studie kommt zu dem Schluß, daß die politische und wirtschaftliche Krise Birmas nur durch einen langfristigen und umfassenden Transformationsprozeß bewältigt werden kann, in dem Veränderungen der sozioökonomischen Basis und der politischen Strukturen eng miteinander zu verknüpfen sind. Von Seiten des Auslands - nicht zuletzt der EU - kann und sollte dieser Transformationsprozeß nach Kräften und in den unterschiedlichsten Bereichen gefördert werden. Hierbei müssen positive Anreize und Druck einander nicht ausschließen, sondern es wäre im jeweiligen Einzelfall zu prüfen, ob eine Zusammenarbeit möglich und nützlich erscheint oder aber verweigert werden muß. Ways out of isolation, Burma's national and international reconciliation process, transition and democratisation
Author/creator: Gerhard Will
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 July 2005


Title: Burmese Whispers
Date of publication: May 2003
Description/subject: "The war in Iraq once again has the Burmese chattering classes speculating about outside intervention. But as in 1988, more pressing geo-political concerns serve as a distraction from the country’s internal misery...If the recent military interventions in the Middle East have again triggered Burmese whispers that outside help is coming, just as in 1988 there will be disappointment. For ordinary Burmese, the significance of the overthrow of the Taliban and Saddam is not that something similar might occur in their own country. It is that the junta is once again exploiting a major international distraction as cover for political inertia at home. Yet another opportunity for a discreet domestic settlement is being squandered..." The article also covers recent Burmese history, including 1988 and Min Ko Naing.
Author/creator: Dominic Faulder
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 July 2003


Title: The EU & the Assoc. of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Date of publication: 28 January 2003
Description/subject: Overview: Latest update: 28 January 2003
Language: English
Source/publisher: EU via Euro-Burma Office (EBO)
Format/size: html (17K)
Date of entry/update: 04 August 2003


Title: Burma and superpower rivalries in the Asia-Pacific
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: "The Western democracies have declared that their strong stances against the current military regime in Burma reflect principled stands against the 1988 massacres of pro-democracy demonstrators, the failure of the regime to recognize the results of the 1990 general elections (which resulted in a landslide victory for the main opposition parties), and the regime?s continuing human rights abuses. Yet it can be argued that such a strong and sustained position would have been less likely had the Cold War not ended and Burma?s importance in the global competition between the superpowers not significantly waned. Lacking any pressing strategic or military reason to cultivate Burma, and with few direct political or economic interests at stake, countries like the United States and the United Kingdom can afford to isolate the Rangoon regime and impose upon it pariah status. If this was indeed the calculation made in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it is possible that the changes that have occurred in the strategic environment since then may prompt a reconsideration of these policies. Burma lies where South, Southeast, and East Asia meet; there the dominant cultures of these three subregions compete for influence. It lies also across the ?fault lines? between three major civilisations?Hindu, Buddhist, and Confucian.1 At critical times in the past, Burma has been a cockpit for rivalry between superpowers. Today, in the fluid strategic environment of the early twenty-first century, its important position is once again attracting attention from analysts, officials, and military planners. Already, Burma?s close relationship with China and the development of the Burmese armed forces have reminded South and Southeast Asian countries, at least, of Burma?s geostrategic importance and prompted a markedly different approach from that of the West..." The PDF version (222K) has a map and a 4-page presentation of Burma's geostrategic position not contained in the html version.
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: Naval War College Review, Spring 2002, Vol. LV, No. 2
Format/size: html (Google cache), pdf (226K)
Alternate URLs: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0JIW/is_2_55/ai_88174228
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Challenges to democratization in Burma: Perspectives on multilateral and bilateral responses (full report)
Date of publication: 14 December 2001
Description/subject: A collection of essays, mostly written by activists, on Burma's bilateral and multilateral relations: ASEAN-Burma, Bangladesh-Burma, China-Burma, India-Burma, Thailand-Burma, International Policies towards Burma - Western governments, NGOs and multilateral institutions. "Report looking at Burma/Myanmar's relations with neighbouring states and other governments, and the policies and measures adopted by the international community that may strengthen or reduce the prospects of democratization in Burma/Myanmar."
Author/creator: David Arnott, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Zunetta Liddell, Kaiser Morshed, Soe Myint, Thin Thin Aung, Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: International IDEA
Format/size: PDF (1.3MB) See also separate chapters.
Date of entry/update: 12 July 2003


Title: Challenges to democratization in Burma: Perspectives on multilateral and bilateral responses - Executive Summary, TOC etc.
Date of publication: 14 December 2001
Description/subject: Contents: Acronyms; Preface; Acknowledgements; About the authors; Executive summary; Introduction; Background; Relations with ASEAN; Bilateral relations; International policies towards Burma; Conclusions... 1 ASEAN-Burma relations: I Historical context; II Origins of constructive engagement; III Burma and ASEAN: A troubled marriage; IV ASEAN and Aung San Suu Kyi; V ASEAN and the NCGUB; VI Bilateral relations; VII Assessment of constructive engagement; VIII Opportunities and challenges for opening political space in ASEAN and Burma; IX Conclusions... 2 Bangladesh–Burma relations: I Bangladesh’s policy towards Burma/Myanmar in historical context; II The present phase of Bangladesh–Burma relations; III Trade and economic relations 64 IV Conclusions... 3 China–Burma relations: I Historical preface; II Strategic relations; III Drugs in the China–Burma relationship; IV China-Burma border: the HIV/AIDS nexus; V Chinese immigration: cultural and economic impact; VI Opening up southwest China; VII Gains and losses for various parties where Burma is (a) democratizing or (b) under Chinese “suzereinty”; VIII Possible future focus; IX Conclusions... 4 India–Burma relations: I Introduction; II Historical background; III India’s policies towards Burma; IV Major factors contributing to the relationship between India and Burma; V Indo-Burmese trade relationship; VI Indo-Burmese military cooperation; VII India’s support to the Burma democracy movement; VIII Suggestions for Burma pro-democracy activists; IX Conclusions... 5 Thai–Burma relations: I Thai perceptions of Burma; II Ties with Thailand: a short history; III Border trade from 1948–1999; IV Evolution of Thailand’s constructive engagement policy; V Thai-Burmese technical cooperation 123VI Key issues; VII New Thai policy towards Burma; VIII Conclusions... 6 International Policies towards Burma: Western governments, NGOs and multilateral institutions: I Introduction; II The European Union, Japan and the United States; III Multilateral organizations; IV Western NGOs, foundations, IDOs and exiled groups; V Conclusions; VI Recommendations.
Language: English
Source/publisher: International IDEA
Format/size: pdf (376K)
Date of entry/update: 20 October 2010


Title: Challenges to democratization in Burma: Perspectives on multilateral and bilateral responses. Chapter 1 - ASEAN-Burma relations
Date of publication: 14 December 2001
Description/subject: I Historical context; II Origins of constructive engagement; III Burma and ASEAN: A troubled marriage; IV ASEAN and Aung San Suu Kyi; V ASEAN and the NCGUB; VI Bilateral relations; VII Assessment of constructive engagement; VIII Opportunities and challenges for opening political space in ASEAN and Burma; IX Conclusions. "... This paper will attempt to assess ASEAN–Burmese relations and the prospects for ASEAN to take a more active critical role in Burma’s politics by asking the following questions: What is constructive engagement? What have been the driving objectives behind it? What are the prospects of ASEAN altering its modus operandi of non-interference? What indicators might signal a change in ASEAN’s approach to Burma? To begin to answer these questions, we must first have some understanding of ASEAN’s approach to Burma in the context of its evolution as an organization..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw
Language: English
Source/publisher: International IDEA
Format/size: pdf (244K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.idea.int/asia_pacific/burma/upload/challenges_to_democratization_in_burma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 September 2010


Title: Challenges to democratization in Burma: Perspectives on multilateral and bilateral responses. Chapter 2 - Bangladesh–Burma relations
Date of publication: 14 December 2001
Description/subject: I Bangladesh’s policy towards Burma/Myanmar in historical context; II The present phase of Bangladesh–Burma relations; III Trade and economic relations 64 IV Conclusions. "...For Bangladesh, its relations with Burma have been dominated by a refugee crises provoked by the actions of the Burmese Army under the military governments of Ne Win and SLORC/SPDC. These crises generated unbearable economic, political and social pressures within Bangladesh thus limiting its room for creative initiatives. These crises also significantly increased Bangladesh dependence on foreign assistance to relieve the burden of the continued presence of the refugees. In the latest crisis, this dependence has led leading donor countries to openly seek to influence Bangladesh bilateral policies towards Burma. On the other hand, it is submitted, that Burma’s general standing in Southeast Asia and in South Asia has greatly improved since 1997, increasing its bargaining power vis-à-vis Bangladesh. Burma's improved economic position, its greatly expanded armed forces, its relative success in neutralizing the major insurgencies within the country, its close links with China, its admission into ASEAN, have all contributed to Myanmar's new strength and greater negotiating power. The ruling SPDC is in a position to dangle the promise of trade access to the rich resources of their country before the eager Bangladesh business community. Moreover, the occupation of the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok and the holding of hostages was expected to harden public opinion against the so-called “terrorist” activities of the student supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi..."
Author/creator: Kaiser Morshed
Language: English
Source/publisher: International IDEA
Format/size: pdf (188K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.idea.int/asia_pacific/burma/upload/challenges_to_democratization_in_burma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 September 2010


Title: Challenges to democratization in Burma: Perspectives on multilateral and bilateral responses. Chapter 3 - China–Burma relations
Date of publication: 14 December 2001
Description/subject: I Historical preface; II Strategic relations; III Drugs in the China–Burma relationship; IV China-Burma border: the HIV/AIDS nexus; V Chinese immigration: cultural and economic impact; VI Opening up southwest China; VII Gains and losses for various parties where Burma is (a) democratizing or (b) under Chinese “suzereinty”; VIII Possible future focus; IX Conclusions. " This paper has argued that China’s support for the military regime in Burma has had negative consequences for both Burma and China. The negative impact on Burma of its relationship with China is that it preserves an incompetent and repressive order and locks the country into economic and political stagnation. The negative impact on China is that Burma has become a block to regional development and an exporter of HIV/AIDS and drugs. China’s comprehensive national interests would be best served by an economically stable and prosperous Burma. China could help the development of such an entity by encouraging a political process in Burma that would lead to an opening up of the country to international assistance and a more competent and publicly acceptable administration..."
Author/creator: David Arnott
Language: English
Source/publisher: International IDEA
Format/size: pdf (274K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.idea.int/asia_pacific/burma/upload/challenges_to_democratization_in_burma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 July 2003


Title: Challenges to democratization in Burma: Perspectives on multilateral and bilateral responses. Chapter 4 - India–Burma relations
Date of publication: 14 December 2001
Description/subject: I Introduction; II Historical background; III India’s policies towards Burma; IV Major factors contributing to the relationship between India and Burma; V Indo-Burmese trade relationship; VI Indo-Burmese military cooperation; VII India’s support to the Burma democracy movement; VIII Suggestions for Burma pro-democracy activists; IX Conclusions. "India and Burma have a historical connection that goes back to the fifth century and since then have enjoyed mutual contact in the realm of trade, commerce, religion, law, political philosophy and culture. Both countries came under British colonial rule, and Burmese leaders associated with Indian leaders during the struggle for national independence. Nehru and U Nu built up a personal friendship that formed the basis of good Indo-Burmese relations, which with ups and downs have lasted 50 years The two countries have not once reached a point of diplomatic stand-off or conflict since independence. The lowest point came after the 1988 people’s uprising when India was the first neighbouring country to criticize the Burmese military government. The Indian Embassy in Rangoon actively supported the pro-democracy student activists and many entered India for shelter after the military coup in 1988.143 From 1988 to 1990, India followed a policy committed to open support of the forces of democracy and “complete disengagement” with the ruling military junta in Burma. However, in the 1990s, relations between India and Burma thawed again. Now India and Burma are cooperating in many fields, including countering insurgency on the border, checking narcotics smuggling across the border, sharing intelligence on a real-time basis, promoting trade and investment. India has also extended economic aid to India. In this research paper, an attempt is made to map out the policies of India towards Burma from the post-independence era to the present time and to analyse the major factors behind these policies. The authors also look at the implications of these policies with regard to democraticization in Burma; and they put forward some suggestions for Burmese pro-democracy groups on how to get political support from India..."
Author/creator: Thin Thin Aung, Soe Myint
Language: English
Source/publisher: International IDEA
Format/size: pdf (316K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.mizzima.com/mizzima-works/researchs/2001/index.htm
http://www.idea.int/asia_pacific/burma/upload/challenges_to_democratization_in_burma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 September 2010


Title: Challenges to democratization in Burma: Perspectives on multilateral and bilateral responses. Chapter 5 - Thai–Burma relations
Date of publication: 14 December 2001
Description/subject: I Thai perceptions of Burma; II Ties with Thailand: a short history; III Border trade from 1948–1999; IV Evolution of Thailand’s constructive engagement policy; V Thai-Burmese technical cooperation 123VI Key issues; VII New Thai policy towards Burma; VIII Conclusions. "...Thai-Burmese relations have reached a critical juncture. Never before have Thai policy-makers expressed such frustration over bilateral ties, especially over the issue of narcotics suppression. Before the extensive political reform in Thailand in 1997, Thai-Burmese ties were mainly driven by personal friendship. For instance, the leaders of the armed forces from the two countries met often and resolved conflicts on an ad hoc basis and through gentlemen’s agreements. That helped explain why certain problems could be settled quickly and other problems dragged on. It must be noted that some of the issues settled through political expediency have returned to haunt the leaders of the two countries. In the past, strong military ties omitted and obliterated other key policy-makers including the Foreign Ministry, the National Security Council, the Interior Ministry and other related organizations. But with reform, the Foreign Ministry took the lead in the formation and execution of Burma policy. The international community would like to see Thailand take a firm stand against the Burmese junta. As in the Cambodian conflict between 1978 and 1992, Thailand was able to provide leadership during the 14-year conflict and was a prime mover behind ASEAN solidarity and policy initiatives. Unfortunately, during the crucial days of Burma–ASEAN relations between 1995 and 1997, when key ASEAN decisions were made, Thailand was troubled by political uncertainty at home. However, the political reform that has taken place since 1997 should serve as political bedrock. However, when the government under Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra came to power in early 2001, he turned the Burmese policy upside down. With strong support from his coalition partner, Defense Minister Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, he has followed a policy of appeasement to further economic ties and, in particular, gain cooperation in narcotics suppression. The long-term prospects of joint anti-narcotic suppression and proposed demarcation of the border remain doubtful. With an absolute majority in the house, the Thaksin government is likely to continue the current policy which stimulates cross border trade regardless of political conditions inside the country..."
Author/creator: Kavi Chongkittavorn
Language: English
Source/publisher: International IDEA
Format/size: pdf (208K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.idea.int/asia_pacific/burma/upload/challenges_to_democratization_in_burma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 September 2010


Title: Challenges to democratization in Burma: Perspectives on multilateral and bilateral responses. Chapter 6 - International Policies towards Burma: Western governments, NGOs and multilateral institutions
Date of publication: 14 December 2001
Description/subject: I Introduction; II The European Union, Japan and the United States; III Multilateral organizations; IV Western NGOs, foundations, IDOs and exiled groups; V Conclusions; VI Recommendations. "...That human rights reform and political change in Burma are urgently needed is strikingly evident. It is also evident that each of the three protagonists in Burma’s drama over the past 10 years – the Tatmadaw, the political opposition represented by the NLD and the ethnic minorities– has publicly expressed their desire for such changes. What this report has shown is that thus far, the efforts of the international community have failed to assist in a transition from military rule, and may even have prolonged military rule by giving the government a much-needed external enemy on which all its failings can be blamed. Western policies, encouraged by NGOs and the external and internal opposition, have had a short-term aim of getting rid of the military government as fast as possible. While this is a laudable aim, and perhaps realistic in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the military still in power and with no signs of changes, there has to be a rethink of this position. Neither sticks, nor carrots, will be able to move them. Sanctions against the Tatmadaw are important and necessary, but they must be well defined, both in kind and in intention. They should signal that the behaviour of the Tatmadaw in perpetrating human rights abuses, the failure to allow democratic processes and refusal to comply with UN resolutions, is totally unacceptable, and that such behaviour will have negative consequences. Once sanctions are imposed, this should not be the end of the policy. Rather, governments must take active measures to make the sanctions effective, at the same time avoiding ossification of positions..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International IDEA
Format/size: pdf (484K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.idea.int/asia_pacific/burma/upload/challenges_to_democratization_in_burma.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 September 2010


Title: Myanmar: The Military Regime's View of the World
Date of publication: 07 December 2001
Description/subject: On the basis of an examination of Burma's foreign relations and the world views and actions of the Burmese generals, this important report makes the case for gradual engagement and against an international policy of confrontation. Whether or not one agrees with all or any of the conclusions and recommendations, the analysis is one which must inform any international approach to Burma. "Since coming to power in 1988, the most recent military rulers of Burma/Myanmar have effectively resisted external demands to turn over power to a democratic government. Most of the outside pressure has failed to take into account how this government sees and responds to the world beyond its borders. This paper examines the military's perspective on foreign relations and explains why many current international strategies have failed to push it towards democracy or economic reforms. The modern state of Myanmar was forged under colonialism and born in the aftermath of World War II. Since independence in 1947, continuous domestic conflict and the failure of successive governments to forge a stable and prosperous nation have sustained fears of foreign intervention and reinforced a mindset that foreigners are to blame for the country's many problems. During four decades of military rule, Myanmar's leaders have grown increasingly inward-looking and alienated. They are driven by an obsession with national sovereignty to seek almost total autonomy from international influences. The hallmark of a foreign policy driven by insecurity has been self-reliance. Since 1962, military leaders have insisted that Myanmar, as much as possible, do things its own way and rely on its own resources. They perceive their country and its problems to be not only unique, but also essentially unfathomable to outsiders. They also exhibit a clear lack of understanding of international affairs and the motivations, and values of other nations..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Crisis Group
Format/size: PDF (445K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: BURMA: A STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVE
Date of publication: May 2001
Description/subject: For centuries, that part of Southeast Asia which eventually became modern Burma was largely isolated from, and ignorant of, the wider world. While visited by travelers and traders from a very early date, and Europeans from the 14th century, Burma was really only of strategic interest to its immediate neighbors, with whom it fought a number of wars. India, China, and Thailand have all invaded, and been invaded by, Burma at different times. As the major European empires expanded, however, and geopolitics began to be practiced on a global scale, this situation changed and it became more widely recognized that Burma occupied a geostrategic position of some importance. It was, and still is, the place where South, Southeast, and East Asia meet, and where the dominant cultures of these three subregions compete for influence. In Samuel Huntington’s terms, it lies across the fault lines between three major civiliza - tions, those of the Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucians. Also, at critical times, Burma has been a cockpit for rivalry between the superpowers and, in the fluid strategic environment of the early 21st century, its important position is once again attracting attention from analysts and officials.
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English
Source/publisher: Australian National University Working Paper #13
Format/size: pdf (293K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.asiafoundation.org/pdf/wp13.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 August 2009