The leadership of a repressive military junta
Since 1988, the people of Myanmar, a Southeast Asian nation also known as Burma, have suffered under the leadership of a repressive military junta. The group, which has shown it will stop at nothing to retain power, exhibits such isolationist tendencies that it relocated the country’s capital from Rangoon to a remote jungle construction site called Naypyidaw (Pepper, 2006).
Reports of human rights abuses in Myanmar are rampant. The current regime has aggressively oppressed and relocated ethnic minorities, such as the Karens, and many minority groups have retreated into the dangerous and unsafe conditions of Myanmar’s jungles rather than face the dangers of the oppressive regime (Pepper, 2006).
The ruling junta in Myanmar also has aggressively suppressed political dissidence and has essentially eliminated the country’s democratic processes. The last free presidential elections were held in Myanmar in 1990, and after the main opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi prevailed, the junta refused to relinquish power (Shea, 2006). Further, Aung San Suu Kyi has spent many of the succeeding years under house arrest and the threat of assassination, which was almost realized in a brazen attack linked to the government in 2003 (World Factbook, 2006).
The current conditions in Myanmar not only force residents to live in fear, but also have brought about economic sanctions and reductions in foreign investment that have hurt the population’s standard of living. The situation in Myanmar has received global attention, but bringing political and human rights reforms to this rogue nation has proven difficult. Arguably, progress has been most hampered by the following three factors:
China and Russia have discouraged action by the United Nations because of economic interests in Myanmar.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, despite demonstrating the potential to influence Myanmar, has adopted a policy of non-interference.
Government and non-government entities persist with the inaccurate belief that the ruling junta does not care about sanctions.
In the end, there may be no easy solution to the Myanmar crisis. But if political and human rights reforms are ever to occur, sanctions and influence from Myanmar’s neighbors are the most likely change agents.
Major nations undermine UN efforts
One might expect the United Nations to play a critical role in encouraging democracy and human rights reforms in Myanmar, as these are core components of the UN mission. and, in fact, the UN has made recent attempts to encourage reforms in Myanmar.
In 2006, the United States brought Myanmar in front of the UN Security Council for its record of human rights abuses, including repressing minorities, and Security Council members voted to put Myanmar on its permanent agenda, which is a first step toward sanctions (Shea, 2006). The U.S. And the European Union currently have trade sanctions against Myanmar and there was certainly logic to asking the UN Security Council to take some action that could lead toward global sanctions (Pepper, 2006). In the six years since the UN assigned human rights inspectors to monitor the situation in Myanmar, they have never once been allowed into the country (UN: States must cooperate, 2006). Clearly, Myanmar has thumbed its nose at the UN, and not without reason.
In the end, it will prove difficult for the UN to take any harsh stances on Myanmar because two important Security Council members, China and Russia, have large financial interests in Myanmar. China currently does a billion dollars a year in trade with Myanmar and other nations, such as Russia, India, Thailand and South Korea have been active in business ventures in Myanmar (Pepper, 2006). As just one example, China, India and South Korea have all been active in a plan to develop natural gas fields off the coast of Myanmar (Pepper, 2006).
In fact, it was their own economic interests that led China and Russia to vigorously oppose placing Myanmar on the UN Security Council’s permanent agenda, even though Myanmar has never allowed UN human rights inspectors into the country, and has a terrible record on human rights and democracy. By using economic interests to turn a blind eye toward abuses in Myanmar, China and Russia are financing repression and human rights abuses in Myanmar, according to Human Rights Watch, an international human rights group, (Burma: UN must act, 2006).
Regrettably, as long as China and Russia sit on the UN Security Council and as long as they have economic interests in Myanmar, it will be difficult for the UN to be a driving factor for change in Myanmar (Myanmar: Sanctions, 2004). The real hope is that China and Russia may one day realize that their current positions are somewhat short-sighted. After all, a more politically and economically stable Myanmar may prove to be a better economic partner. This is a logical philosophical leap that China and Russia may one day make, but, for now, it does not appear to be in the cards.
Despite strength, ASEAN takes weak approach
While it is questionable whether the United Nations may be able to use sanctions to drive progress in Myanmar, due largely to certain members’ divergent interests, one might expect Myanmar’s Southeast Asian neighbors to wield some influence. Indeed, groups such as the European Union have urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Myanmar is a member, to become more involved in encouraging democratization and human rights reform (EU demands Myanmar, 2006).
Historically, ASEAN has taken a disappointingly weak approach toward encouraging change in Myanmar. The member nations, which include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, have taken such a hands-off approach that even after the blatant assassination attempt on Aung San Suu Kyi in 2003, ASEAN only issued a short statement encouraging Myanmar’s government to find the parties responsible, and saying that ASEAN was encouraged by the junta’s stated commitments to reform (Excerpts from, 2003).
ASEAN is well within its rights to argue that it is not the organization’s role to get involved in Myanmar’s internal affairs, as offensive as they might be. In fact, a group of ground rules agreed to by ASEAN nations in 1976 states specifically that member nations agree to not get involved in the internal affairs of other member nations (ASEAN Web, 2006). The group, really, is more about promoting economic cooperation and opportunity.
However, ASEAN’s stake in a stable Myanmar, from an economic perspective, is considerable. Despite its attractive economic resources, such as natural gas, Myanmar still has the lowest per capita income of any member nation and the highest inflation (Selected ASEAN macroeconomic, 2005). Plus, Myanmar has seen foreign direct investments plummet by half in the past 10 years, despite interest from powerful countries such as China, Russia and India (Foreign direct investment, 2005). Finally, Myanmar’s black market economy is reportedly huge – perhaps as large as its reported economy – which makes Myanmar an unreliable economic partner (World Factbook, 2006). In short, if it is the role of ASEAN to promote economic cooperation and opportunity, the organization should consider that Myanmar is giving the region a black eye, perhaps suppressing trade and foreign investment.
Some experts believe that Myanmar’s ruling junta has no desire to see the nation portrayed as an economic liability, and that, in fact, the junta hopes that through economic improvement it can reduce some of the calls for political reform (Myanmar: The Military, 2001). This is a point of pain that ASEAN can use to influence Myanmar and help it make economic progress.
And ASEAN has demonstrated in recent history that the organization can influence Myanmar. ASEAN rotates its chairmanship each year, so every member nation gets a turn. In 2006, Myanmar was to have its turn at chair, but ASEAN member nations spoke out against the notion – as did non-ASEAN nations – and Myanmar elected to take a pass, sparing ASEAN from a political embarrassment (ASEAN expects, 2005 and Myanmar: Sanctions, 2004).
And, on other isolated occasions, ASEAN member nations have used the group to influence actions in Myanmar. For example, in order to even gain admission to ASEAN, Myanmar first had to allow for the repatriation of thousands of Muslims to pacify Malaysia and Indonesia, and then implement changes to its foreign investment policies to appease Singapore (Challenges to Democratization, 2001).
ASEAN may yet prove a powerful force for encouraging democratic and human rights reforms in Myanmar. Historically, the group has reacted mostly with indifference to the conditions in Myanmar, hiding behind the principle of non-interference. However, as ASEAN, which has a mission primarily based on economic assistance, continues to realize that Myanmar is damaging the economy of the region, we may find that ASEAN becomes more of a power broker in encouraging political changes in Myanmar.
Sanctions can work in Myanmar
Some experts claim that debates over UN and ASEAN inaction are mostly academic, as Myanmar’s ruling junta is so isolationist that it does not care about sanctions (Myanmar: Sanctions, 2004). The problem with this theory is that it does not always hold up to scrutiny. Myanmar has sent mixed messages that suggest, at least to some degree, a level of concern with how it is perceived in the world, and a level of aversion to sanctions.
For example, in 2006 Myanmar was removed from an international list of states that supported money laundering, after it took steps to crack down on banks that were engaged in the practice (Myanmar removed from, 2006). The Financial Action Task Force praised Myanmar for its aggressive efforts to close rogue banks and prosecute their operators (Myanmar removed from, 2006).
In addition, Myanmar has taken successful steps to curb opium cultivation within its borders. The country, which had long been the second-largest opium grower in the world, trailing only Afghanistan, reduced opium cultivation by 83% from 1998 to 2006 (UN: Myanmar’s 2006, 2006). This move was designed to appease not only the international community, but also China, where many of the illicit drugs being produced in Myanmar were ending up (Challenges to Democratization, 2001).
Quite clearly, Myanmar’s decisions to crack down on money laundering and opium cultivation were in direct response to global and regional pressures and perceptions of Myanmar in the global community as a nation that turned a blind eye toward lawlessness.
Myanmar also reacted sharply after it was placed on the United Nation’s permanent agenda, as a first step toward sanctions. The country’s rulers blasted the measure as counter-productive, claiming the American actions were a violation of the UN’s charter (Shea, 2006). Next, the ruling junta reconvened talks that had been stalled for months on a national constitution that would arguably bring democracy and human rights reform to Myanmar (Myanmar reopens, 2006). It is worth noting that these constitutional talks are seen by many as a farce, and they certainly have been used as a political bargaining chip in the past. In fact, the National League for Democracy, the main opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi, has refused to participate in the talks and there were reports on government crack-downs on political dissidents in the period leading up to the talks (Myanmar reopens, 2006).
But, for the purposes of this discussion, we can set aside the issue of whether Myanmar’s ruling party is committed to democratic or human rights reforms. The more important issue for our research is that Myanmar’s ruling junta does seem interested in global opinion and is not completely disengaged. Myanmar’s government cracked down on money laundering and opium cultivation to improve the nation’s standing in the global and regional community. Also, the ruling junta, through its talks on a constitution, took steps — half-hearted or not — to beat back sanctions that could have a harmful effect on the nation’s economy.
The picture that emerges of Myanmar’s ruling party is of a group that is bent on preserving its power. However, the notion that the ruling party is completely disengaged from global politics, which would render steps like sanctions useless, does not appear to be completely accurate. Political pressure may one day provide a path to progress in Myanmar after all.
It is too early to tell whether any legitimate winds of changes are blowing in Myanmar, and, at any rate, change can not come soon enough for the millions of Myanmar residents who have lived too long under an oppressive regime. If political and human rights changes are ever to occur within Myanmar, a number of obstacles must first be overcome.
The United Nations must continue to press Myanmar’s regime for change, using sanctions as a threat. Ultimately, nations such as China and Russia will make it difficult to apply such pressure, but it is an action worth taking if for no other reason than to keep Myanmar on the global front burner. Also, the United Nations may find that China and Russia eventually become more cooperative as they continue to do business with Myanmar and find that they have a strong economic interest in the nation’s stability.
ASEAN also must take a leadership role in pressing Myanmar for reform. The regional organization, of which Myanmar is a member, has mostly taken a hands-off approach to Myanmar, adopting a policy of non-interference and focusing instead on economic issues. However, Myanmar is a black mark against Southeast Asia, which could damage ASEAN’s ability to promote economic investment in the region. ASEAN has the power to influence Myanmar, and one day may be forced to use it in order to meet its mission of improving economic opportunities in the region.
Finally, groups such as the UN and ASEAN, as well as individual countries, can not be afraid to use sanctions as a tool for encouraging reform in Myanmar. The theory that Myanmar’s ruling junta is too isolationist to be concerned about sanctions simply does not hold water. Myanmar’s leadership has shown an aversion to economic penalties and a willingness to take some measures, even if half-hearted, when faced with threats. This knowledge should encourage nations and multi-national organizations to keep up the pressure on Myanmar, as such pressure may one day yield tangible results.
In the end, change in Myanmar will come from persistence. There are plenty of obstacles that stand in the way, such as resistance from the UN and ASEAN, as well as the actions of the Myanmar regime itself. But none of these things are necessarily permanent obstacles. Ironically, the groups and nations that most hinder pressure being applied to Myanmar would benefit most from its stability. A stable, democratic Myanmar will be a better economic partner for China, Russia and Myanmar’s neighbors. We can expect that these nations, individually and through global and regional organizations, will eventually press for stability and reform in Myanmar. Until that time, the rest of the world must keep Myanmar front and center in the dialogue of global politics.
ASEAN Expects Myanmar’s Decision on Leadership Issue Next Month (2005). Retrieved Oct. 7, 2006 from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Web site at http://www.aseansec.org/afp/120.htm
ASEAN Web site (2006). Accessed Oct. 7, 2006 at http://www.aseansec.org
Burma: U.N. Must Act to End Attacks on Karen (2006). Retrieved Oct. 9, 2006 from Human Rights Watch Web site at http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/05/03/burma13301.htm.
Challenges to Democratization in Burma (2001). International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Stockholm, Sweden.
EU demands Myanmar free Aung San Suu Kyi (2006). Accessed Oct. 11, 2006 at the Khaleej Times Web site at http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/theworld/2006/October/theworld_October300.xml§ion=theworld&col=.
Excerpts from the Joint Communique of the 36th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (2006). Retrieved Oct. 7, 2006 from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Web site at http://www.aseansec.org/14876.htm
Foreign direct investment in ASEAN by host country (2005). Accessed Oct. 9, 2006 from the Web site for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at http://www.aseansec.org/Stat/Table6.1.pdf.
Myanmar campaign seeks release of activists (2006). Accessed Oct. 11, 2006 at http://asia.news.yahoo.com/061009/3/2r34d.html.
Myanmar removed from list of money-laundering countries (2006). Accessed Oct. 14, 2006 at the Star Web site at http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/10/14/apworld/20061014202454&sec=apworld.
Myanmar reopens democracy talks (2006). Accessed Oct. 11, 2006 from the CNN Web site at http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/10/09/myanmar.convention.ap/index.html?section=cnn_latest
Myanmar: Sanctions, Engagement or Another Way Forward (2004). International Crisis Group. ICG Asia Report #78. Yangon/Brussels.
Myanmar: The Military Regime’s View of the World (2001). International Crisis Group. ICG Asia Report #28. Bangkok/Brussels.
Myanmar: The Role of Civil Society (2001). International Crisis Group. ICG Asia Report #27. Bangkok/Brussels.
Pepper, Daniel (2006). “Burma headed the wrong way, watchers say.” San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 15, 2006. a-18.
Selected ASEAN macroeconomic indicators (2005) Accessed Oct. 9, 2006 from the Web site for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at http://www.aseansec.org/stat/Table1.xls.
Shea, Griffin (2006). Myanmar lashes out at U.S. As charter talks resume. Accessed Oct. 11, 2006 at http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20061010/wl_asia_afp/myanmarpolitics_061010083851.
UN: Myanmar’s 2006 Opium Poppy Cultivation Down Sharply (2006). Accessed Oct. 7, 2006 at the NASDAQ Web site at http://www.nasdaq.com/aspxcontent/NewsStory.aspx?cpath=20061014%5cACQDJON200610140556DOWJONESDJONLINE000008.htm&.
UN: States Must Cooperate With Human Rights Council (2006). Retrieved Oct. 9, 2006 from Human Rights Watch Web site at http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/09/29/global14287.htm
World Factbook, the (2006). Retrieved Oct. 9, 2006 from the Central Intelligence Agency Web site at https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/bm.html
Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?
- Plagiarism free papers
- Timely delivery
- Any deadline
- Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
- Subject-relevant academic writer
- Adherence to paper instructions
- Ability to tackle bulk assignments
- Reasonable prices
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Get superb grades consistently
Online Academic Help With Different Subjects
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
What discipline/subjects do you deal in?
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
What if I don’t like the paper?
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
- When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
- We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.
In the event that you don’t like your paper:
- The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
- We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
- Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.
Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
What if the paper is plagiarized?
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
When will I get my paper?
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
Will anyone find out that I used your services?
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
How our Assignment Help Service Works
1. Place an order
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
2. Pay for the order
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
3. Track the progress
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
4. Download the paper
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!