Myanmar Democratization and Culture

Myanmar Democratization

Despite a devastating cyclone in which, according to official figures, around 100,000 people died in May 2008, the military junta put a new constitution to the vote. According to official figures, 92.4% of voters voted in favor. Parliamentary elections in 2010, in which international election observers were not allowed, were won by the USDP, the party of the military junta. The regime then lifted the house arrest against Aung San Suu Kyi.

The newly elected parliament met for its first session on January 31, 2011, and the new constitution came into force – as stated in the roadmap. The new president was on March 30th. Thein Sein (* 1945) , who has been head of government since 2007. The military junta was officially dissolved. According to equzhou, there were talks between government officials and Aung San Suu Kyi , and political prisoners were given amnesty. Aung San Suu Kyi won a seat in parliamentary by-elections on April 1st, 2012. The NLD, which had previously been re-registered as a political party, was able to win 43 of the 45 seats to be allocated in both chambers of parliament. On April 1st, 2013, private daily newspapers could appear again for the first time since 1962.

The situation in Kachin , where the conflict with the Christian Kachin Independence Army (KIA) had intensified since 2011, also remained difficult. In 2012 there were violent clashes between Buddhists and the Muslim Rohingya minority in the Rakhine state. The conflict was fueled by a nationalist-Buddhist tendency that came together in the Ma Ba Tha (“Organization for the Protection of Race and Religion”). In 2015 the government signed ceasefire agreements with 16 rebel groups.

Efforts to change the constitution in order to curtail the power of the military and to enable the opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president did not find the necessary majority in parliament – the NLD chairwoman could not be elected president according to the constitution because she Has children with foreign citizenship. Under the influence of Ma Ba Tha, the parliament passed several religious laws in 2015, including: It made marriages between Buddhists and non-Buddhists and converts of faith difficult.

With the parliamentary elections on November 8th, 2015, in which the NLD achieved an absolute majority in both chambers, another stage in the process of democratization was completed. On March 15, 2016, Htin Kyaw , a confidante of Aung San Suu Kyi , was elected as the new head of state and government. Aung San Suu Kyi expanded her political influence through the newly created office of “State Advisor”, and she also became Foreign Minister.

From October 2016, heavy fighting broke out in the Rakhine state following attacks by the Islamist Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa) on border posts. Tens of thousands of Rohingya fled to Bangladesh. The conflict escalated in the summer of 2017 when Arsa attacks on police stations sparked a massive military operation. By early 2018, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya had fled violence, destruction and human rights violations to Bangladesh. Internationally, the army’s actions met with sharp criticism. A UN report published on August 27, 2018 accused members of the military leadership of organized displacement with genocide intent.

On March 21, 2018, President Htin Kyaw announced his resignation. The previous speaker Win Myint (NLD; * 1951) was elected as his successor on March 28, 2018.

In the parliamentary elections in November 2020, the NLD built its absolute majority, but the military leadership doubted the result. On February 1, 2021, the army carried out a coup under its Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing (* 1956). Aung San Suu Kyi and representatives of her party were arrested and MPs were arrested. Despite international protests, the army declared a state of emergency. Protests across the country rose against the coup, to which the military responded with violence.

Myanmar Democratization


The culture in Myanmar is associated with the peoples, ethnic groups and language groups there. Your core room was and is the Irrawaddy basin. The Burmese made their influence there from the 11th century. The built Burmese art and the Burmese literature on the benefits of the Pyu and the Mon , which lived since pre-Christian times on the territory of the present state and their own principalities and kingdoms built such. B. Pegu. The Pyu died out in the 14th century, the Mon and then the Shan were pushed to the outskirts. Other peoples such as the Kachin developed in the mountain regionsin the north, the Arakan (Rakhine), which is close to the Indian culture, and the Kuki-Chin peoples in the west and the Karen tribes in the southeast have their own traditions and ways of life.

The Burmese language, which has been the dominant linguistic and literary language since the 12th century, belongs to the Tibetan-Burmese group of the Sino- Tibetan language family. Burmese culture was shaped primarily by the Theravada school of Buddhism , which the people of today share with most of the other population groups in Myanmar. The oldest written documents are stone inscriptions from the era of the First Burmese Empire of Pagan (1044–1287). There around 2000 buildings of Buddhist sacred architecture, mostly made of brick, have been preserved on one of the world’s largest »fields of ruins«: stupas and pagodas of various styles, including large complexes such as the sprawling Ananda Temple with its four huge gilded Buddha statues, the compact Thatbyinnyu Pagoda and the Shwezigon Pagoda with its golden central stupa. Motifs of wall painting, plastic (Buddha statues, reliefs) and metal processing (bell casting, gold and silversmith’s art) also revolve around Buddhist teaching and tradition.