Myanmar Military Dictatorship

Myanmar Military Dictatorship

Military dictatorship and state socialism

The military overthrew the government on March 2, 1962 and took over as a revolutionary council under Ne Win on the grounds of maintaining the union’s unity, which was threatened by the secession of the Shan and Kayah statesthe power. This dissolved parliament, suspended the constitution and banned all parties except the Burma Socialist Program Party (BSPP), which he created. While isolating the country from the outside, his government pursued its own state socialist course (“Burmese path to socialism”). With the nationalization and nationalization policy, she also sought to push back the Chinese and Indian influence in the economy in favor of the Burmese majority, but at the same time increased the economic stagnation by preventing private initiative: rice production declined threateningly and the black market flourished.

Attempts by the deposed head of government Nu , between 1969 and 1973 from Thailand, the military dictatorship to fall failed. With the constitution of 1974, the military established a parliamentary system of government, but still held key positions in civilian clothes. Ne Win took over the office of President, after his resignation (1981) he was succeeded by San Yu (* 1919, † 1996) in office. The deterioration in living conditions and a currency reform (1987) triggered massive unrest, as a result of which Ne Win resigned from the BSPP in 1988 and San Yu resigned from the presidency. This was followed by short terms of office of ex-General Sein Lwin (* 1924, † 2004 , who had the protests suppressed with violence), and of Maung Maung (* 1925, † 1994;President from August 19, 1988), who withdrew the security forces and offered free elections with a multi-party system. The opposition groups, however, insisted on an immediate abdication in favor of an interim government they appointed.

Military against opposition

When state power disintegrated and a general strike was called, the military openly took power again on September 18, 1988, suspended the constitution, dissolved parliament and formed the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC, German Staatsrat für the restoration of law and order) chaired by General Saw Maung (* 1928, † 1997). The SLORC declared the period of “Burmese socialism” to be over and the market economy with an “open door policy” to be the guiding principle. In accordance with his promise when he came to power, he allowed the formation of parties and hosted parliamentary elections on May 27, 1990, which, contrary to his expectations, were won by the National League for Democracy (NLD) (392 of the 485 seats). The convening of the Pyithu Hluttaw (People’s Assembly) has been suspended by the SLORC. Instead, a national convention (convened in January 1993, around 700 delegates) should draw up a new constitution. Since the military stuck to its leadership position, the representatives of the NLD left Aung San Suu Kyi at the instigation of their General Secretary (1988–91, from 1995) the convention, which ceased its activities on March 31, 1996.

On April 23, 1992 General Than Shwe (* 1933) became head of state and government. According to homeagerly, as part of a very limited political liberalization, the regime released some of the political prisoners (however, numerous opposition members were imprisoned again in 1996); The house arrest for the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was lifted on July 10, 1995, although the restrictions were maintained. The UN and human rights organizations criticized the continued poor human rights situation, in particular forced labor and the situation of national minorities. A campaign to review the residence permit in the Rakhine State in 1991 led, as for a similar occasion in 1978, to the mass exodus of over 270,000 Rohingya and border conflicts with neighboring Bangladesh. A repatriation agreement signed in 1992 has largely been implemented.

To end the civil war, the SLORC was able to conclude armistices with almost all major combat organizations (17). On January 27, 1995, with the support of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), which was rebelling against the Christian-dominated Karen National Union (KNU), government troops captured Manerplaw, a center of resistance. The Democratic Alliance of Burma, founded in 1988, the National Democratic Front formed from ethnic rebel armies and an opposing government formed in 1990 by fled parliamentarians under Sein Win (cousin of Aung San Suu Kyi) had their headquarters there. In 1996, Khun Sa (* 1933 or 1934, † 2007) , who for decades played a leading role in the opium trade in the Golden Triangle played and proclaimed the area of ​​the Shan as a separate state in 1993, entered the resistance against the central government and surrendered with his approximately 10,000-strong Mong Tai army. However, a minority continued the fight as the Shan United Revolutionary Army (SURA) in the border area with Thailand

In November 1997, the military junta was reorganized as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC, German State Council for Peace and Development), in which Than Shwe was able to maintain his leading position. The formation of a “committee to represent the parliament elected in 1990” by the NLD in 1998 led to another arrest of opposition members. Due to international isolation and through UN mediation efforts, the military government started secret talks to reach an understanding with the NLD leader. They led to the release of some of the political prisoners and to the end of the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2002 (again from 2000).

In August 2003, Than Shwe submitted a seven-point plan, the Myanmar Roadmap to Democracy. The constituent national convention (approx. 1,000 delegates) resumed its work in 2004; the NLD and other opposition groups stayed away from him. In 2005, the Convention drew up principles for the division of labor between headquarters and regions or Union states. In November 2005 began moving the seat of government from Rangoon to Naypyidaw (Pyinmana) too embarrassed. In August 2007, after some drastic increases in the price of petrol, there were peaceful protests against the military regime (“saffron revolution”), initially in Rangoon and later in other cities with the participation of Buddhist monks. It expanded into mass demonstrations demanding democratic reforms. The military responded with acts of violence and arrests.

Myanmar Military Dictatorship