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Home > Main Library > Internal conflict > Internal conflict in Burma > Armed conflict and peace-building in Burma - theoretical, strategic and general

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Armed conflict and peace-building in Burma - theoretical, strategic and general

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: "BurmaNet News" Border archive
Description/subject: Archive to October 2016
Language: English
Source/publisher: Various sources via "BurmaNet News"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 April 2012

Title: "Northern Alliance" - Google search results
Description/subject: "About 736,000 results" (4 December 2016)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Google
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 04 December 2016

Title: *Youtube search for Burma OR Myanmar - conflict* (video)
Description/subject: About 110,000 results (August 2017); 138,000, October 2017)
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Various sources via Youtube
Format/size: Adobe Flash or html5
Date of entry/update: 20 August 2017

Title: Free Burma Rangers
Description/subject: "... The Free Burma Rangers is an organization dedicated to freedom for the people of Burma. "De Oppresso Liber" is the motto of the Free Burma Rangers and we are dedicated in faith to the establishment of liberty, justice, equal rights and peace for all the people of Burma. The Free Burma Rangers support the restoration of democracy, ethnic rights and the implementation of the International Declaration of Human Rights in Burma. We stand with those who desire a nation where God's gifts of life, liberty, justice, pursuit of happiness and peace are ensured for all... MISSION: The mission of the Free Burma Rangers is to bring help, hope and love to the oppressed people of Burma. Its mission is also to help strengthen civil society, inspire and develop leadership that serves the people and act as a voice for the oppressed... ACTIONS: The Free Burma Rangers (FBR), conduct relief, advocacy, leadership development and unity missions among the people of Burma... Relief: ..."...FBR has issued some of the best documented reports on internal displacement/forced migration
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 21 May 2004

Title: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Description/subject: The largest body of high-quality reports on the civil war in Burma, especially focussed on the civilian victims - currently over 600 reports dating from 1992.
Language: English, Karen, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/index.php
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Karen National Union
Description/subject: Our Policies: "The Burmese military dictatorship spreads lies and misinformation about the KNU. We don’t recruit child soldiers, we don’t attack civilians and we are not trying to break up Burma. Read the truth about our policies here..."...Objectives: "The KNU Mission Statement is to establish a genuine Federal Union in cooperation with all the Karen and all the ethnic peoples in the country for harmony, peace, stability and prosperity for all. Read more here..."...Our Fallen Heroes: "Many brave Karen have given their lives in our struggle for freeedom. Find out more about them here..."...Our Leaders: "KNU leaders are democratically elected. Find out more here..."...Structure: "The KNU has a democratic structure, with regular elections. We also provide local services and administration in Karen State. Find out more about our structure and our democracy here..."...KNU History: "The Karen National Union is the leading political organisation representing the aspirations of the Karen people. The KNU was founded in 1947, its predecessor organisations date back to 1881..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen National Union
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 March 2011

Title: KNU Web-page
Description/subject: Aims, statements, history etc. Last updated 1998
Language: English
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Search results for "Burma Insurgency" in FAS
Language: English
Source/publisher: Federation of American Scientists
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.google.co.th/#hl=en&source=hp&biw=1055&bih=461&q=burma+insurgency&btnG=Google+Search&aq=...
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Shanland
Description/subject: Contains pages from the Shan Human Rights Foundation, Shan Herald Agency for News, Shan State Army, The Shan Democratic Union. Lots of historical and constitutional docs on the site
Language: English
Alternate URLs: http://english.panglong.org/page/15/?author=0
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Transnational Institute Burma Project
Description/subject: Important papers on Burma/Myanmar including: Financing Dispossession; Ending Burma’s Conflict Cycle?; Conflict or Peace? Ethnic Unrest Intensifies in Burma; Burma's Longest War: Anatomy of the Karen Conflict; Ethnic Politics in Burma: The Time for Solutions; A Changing Ethnic Landscape: Analysis of Burma's 2010 Polls; Unlevel Playing Field: Burma’s Election Landscape; Burma’s 2010 Elections: Challenges and Opportunities; Burma in 2010: A Critical Year in Ethnic Politics...
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 March 2012

Individual Documents

Title: Justice and National Reconciliation: Why Looking at the Past is the Key to the Future
Date of publication: 18 January 2018
Description/subject: "Since Burma embarked on its transition from a military government to a nominally civilian-led one in 2010, ‘national reconciliation’ has become a ubiquitous concept amongst its politicians and advocates for peace. The 2010 election was seen as an important opportunity for dialogue and cooperation, as well as a potential catalyst for peace in a country torn apart by more than 60 years of civil war. With the National League for Democracy’s (NLD) historic electoral win in 2015, hope was further renewed for rebuilding Burma into a genuine democracy and uniting its fragmented society....."
Author/creator: Janeen Sawatzky
Language: English
Source/publisher: Teacircleoxford
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 January 2018

Title: The Contested Areas of Myanmar: Subnational Conflict, Aid, and Development -ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ၏ အတိုက္အခံျဖစ္ပြားေနသည့္ ေဒသမ်ား - နယ္ေျမစိုးမိုး
Date of publication: 10 January 2018
Description/subject: "နယ္စြန္နယ္ဖ်ားတြင္သာရင္ဆုိင္ေနရသည့္ ျပႆနာတစ္ခုမဟုတ္ေသာ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ၏ နယ္ေျမစုိးမုိးေရး ပဋိပကၡမ်ားသည္ က်ယ္ျပန္႔စြာ ပ်ံ႕ႏွံ႔လ်က္ရွိၿပီး ႏုိင္ငံ၏ အေရးအႀကီးဆုံးေသာ ႏုိင္ငံလုံးဆုိင္ရာ အခက္အခဲမ်ားကို ပုံေဖာ္ေနသည္။ နယ္ေျမစုိးမုိးေရး ပဋိပကၡမ်ားသည္ ႏုိင္ငံ လူဦးေရ၏ ၄ ပုံ ၁ ပုံကို တုိက္႐ုိက္ ထိခုိက္ေစသည္။ ရာစုႏွစ္ဝက္ေက်ာ္ၾကာေအာင္ ႏုိင္ငံတစ္ခုလုံး၏ ႏုိင္ငံေရးလမ္းေၾကာင္း၊ စီးပြားေရးတုိးတက္မႈႏွင့္ လူသားဘဝ ဖံြ႔ၿဖိဳးတုိးတက္မႈမ်ားေပၚတြင္ အႀကီးအက်ယ္သက္ေရာက္မႈမ်ား ရွိခဲ့သည္။ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ၏ အမ်ိဳးသားႏုိင္ငံေရးျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲမႈမ်ားႏွင့္ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးလုပ္ငန္းစဥ္မ်ားသည္ သဘာဝအရ ခြဲမရေအာင္ ဆက္စပ္ေနၾကသည္။ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ၏ နယ္ေျမစုိးမုိးေရး ပဋိပကၡမ်ား ခ်ဳပ္ၿငိမ္းေစရန္ နည္းလမ္းရွာမည္ဆုိပါက ဒီမုိကေရစီ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲေရးကို ေအာင္ေအာင္ျမင္ျမင္ ေဆာင္ရြက္ရန္၊ လူေနမႈအဆင့္အတန္းမ်ား ျမႇင့္တင္ရန္ လိုအပ္သည္။ ၂ဝ၁၁ ခုႏွစ္မွ စၿပီး ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးကို ဦးတည္သည့္ ထင္ရွားသည့္ တုိးတက္မႈမ်ားရွိခဲ့သည္။ သုိ႔ေသာ္လည္း ေရရွည္တည္ၿငိမ္ၿပီး က႑စုံ ျပည့္စုံသည့္ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးရရွိရန္မွာ ဖြဲ႕စည္းပုံစနစ္မ်ား ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲရန္ လုိအပ္ေနသည္။ ႏုိင္ငံေရးအာဏာကို ျပည့္ျပည့္ဝဝ ခြဲေဝေပးျခင္းမွ အရပ္သား အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္မႈသို႔ေျပာင္းျခင္း၊လူမ်ိဳးစုတုိင္းရင္းသား အားလုံးက တရားဝင္ျဖစ္သည္ဟု လက္ခံအသိအမွတ္ျပဳသည့္ အစုိးရစနစ္တရပ္ေပၚထြက္လာေရးအထိ ျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲေရးမ်ားျပဳလုပ္ရန္လုိ္အပ္သည္။ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ၏ လက္ရွိၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးျဖစ္စဥ္သည္ တမ်ိဳးသားလုံးအဆင့္ ႀကိဳးပမ္းမႈျဖစ္ေသာေၾကာင့္ ႏုိင္ငံတကာ အသုိင္းအဝုိင္းမ်ားမွ အေရးႀကီးသည့္ အကူအညီေပးေရးဆုိင္ရာ အခန္းက႑တြင္ ရွိေနသည္။ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံ၏ ႏုိင္ငံေရးအေျပာင္းအလဲ၊ ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးတုိးတက္မႈမ်ား လ်င္လ်င္ျမန္ျမန္ျဖစ္ေပၚလာေစရန္ ေဆာင္ရြက္ေဆြးေႏြးေနမႈမ်ားကို အေထာက္အပံ့ျဖစ္ေစရန္၊ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရး အလားအလာမ်ား ျဖစ္ထြန္းအားေကာင္းလာေစရန္ The Asia Foundation သည္ တစ္ႏွစ္ေက်ာ္ၾကာ အခ်ိန္ယူၿပီး ျမန္မာနုိင္ငံ၏ အတုိက္အခံ ျဖစ္ပြားေနသည့္ေဒသမ်ား - နယ္ေျမစုိးမုိးေရးပဋိပကၡ၊ ေထာက္ပံ့ကူညီမႈ၊ ဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးေရး (The Contested Areas of Myanmar: Subnational Conflict, Aid, and Development ) စာတမ္းကိုျပဳစုခဲ့ပါသည္။ ပါဝင္ေရးသားၾကသည့္ သုေတသီမ်ားႏွင့္ ေဝဖန္သုံးသပ္သူမ်ား၏ အေတြ ႔အၾကဳံျပည့္ဝ ကြ်မ္းက်င္မႈအေပၚတြင္အေျခခံၿပီး စာတမ္းရွင္မ်ား ပူးေပါင္းေရးသားထားသည့္ စာတမ္းတစ္ခုျဖစ္ပါသည္။ ၂ဝ၁၃ ခုႏွစ္ တြင္ The Foundation က ထုတ္ေဝခဲ့သည့္ အာရွရွိ အတုိက္အခံ ပဋိပကၡမ်ားျဖစ္ပြားေနသည့္ ေနရာမ်ား - နယ္ေျမစုိးမုိးေရးပဋိပကၡႏွင့္ ႏုိင္ငံတကာဖြံ႔ၿဖိဳးေရး အကူအညီ (The Contested Corners of Asia: Subnational Conflict andInternational Development Assistance) စာတမ္းေပၚတြင္ အေျခတည္၍ ျပဳစုထားျခင္းျဖစ္ပါသည္။ အာဏာပုိင္မ်ား စင္ၿပိဳင္အေနအထားျဖင့္ အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္ေနသည့္ ပဋိပကၡ သက္ေရာက္မႈရွိသည့္ ေဒသမ်ား၊ အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္မႈမ်ား ေရာေထြးေနသည့္ ေဒသမ်ားအေၾကာင္း အပါအဝင္ ျမန္မာႏုိင္ငံတစ္ခုလုံးေပၚ သက္ေရာက္မႈရွိသည့္ အုပ္ခ်ဳပ္မႈဆုိင္ရာ အေၾကာင္းမ်ားကို ေဖာင္ေဒးရွင္းအေနျဖင့္ ၂ဝ၁၃ ခုႏွစ္မွစၿပီး တစုိက္မတ္မတ္ေလ့လာထားခဲ့မႈမ်ားေၾကာင့္ ႏုိင္ငံႏွင့္ ပတ္သက္သည့္ အဖုိးတန္ အခ်က္အလက္မ်ားကို ပံ့ပုိးေပးႏုိင္ခဲ့သည္"
Language: Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Asia Foundation
Format/size: pdf (2.5MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs24/AF-2017-10-ContestedAreasMyanmarReport-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 February 2018

Title: THE CONTESTED AREAS OF MYANMAR - Subnational Conflict, Aid, and Development
Date of publication: 16 October 2017
Description/subject: "As Myanmar emerges from decades of authoritarianism and isolation, significant progress toward peace has been made since 2011. But heavy fighting and deadly clashes have intensified in many of the country’s contested areas, in particular Rakhine State, which has led to massive displacement, and Kachin and Shan States. These conflicts are among the world’s most enduring, posing significant challenges to national political reforms, economic growth, and human development, according to a study released yesterday by The Asia Foundation. The year-long study, “The Contested Areas of Myanmar: Subnational Conflict, Aid, and Development,” comes at a pivotal moment amid longstanding conflicts in many parts of Myanmar, political dialogue to address the concerns of numerous ethnic groups, and a desire among international donors and aid agencies to support the peacebuilding process and the country’s political transition. Findings from the study shed light on structural changes that are crucial for achieving sustainable and comprehensive peace in a country of great ethnic and cultural diversity. In addition, it reveals the intimate connections between subnational conflicts and national politics in Myanmar, instances where development interventions have contributed to uneven power dynamics and fueled armed resistance, and ways in which international aid can sometimes damage prospects for peace when initiatives are not sensitive to conflict. In this context, the study underscores a critical need to continue the ongoing political and economic reforms while building a system of government that is widely recognized as legitimate by people of all ethnic nationalities. Below are some key findings from the study: Myanmar’s subnational conflicts are not a peripheral issue and directly affect much of the country In 2016, areas affected by active or latent subnational conflict were found in at least 11 of Myanmar’s 14 states and regions. One hundred and eighteen of 330 townships, containing almost one-quarter of Myanmar’s population, currently demonstrate live or latent characteristics of conflict. Myanmar’s conflicts are not caused by underdevelopment There is no simple correlation between human development, economic growth, and conflict in Myanmar, and subnational conflicts will not be resolved by measures to improve development outcomes. Conflict townships are on average only marginally less developed than non-conflict townships, particularly when Yangon is excluded. Some conflict townships exceed national averages, while others have the lowest development indicators in the country. Tackling underdevelopment alone will not create peace Development interventions alone can never lead to peace. Myanmar’s conflicts are inherently political and connect to the structure of the state. Political solutions are, therefore, required to solve subnational conflict. Given the complex nature of Myanmar’s armed conflicts, interventions and policies should be strengthened to address the underlying drivers of conflict and be more responsive to the power inequities that have driven conflict over years, especially during transitional political periods. Development policies can drive subnational conflict In many contested areas, economic changes and increased natural resource exploitation have ratcheted up tensions, engendered rivalries, fueled grievances, and provided funds that have sustained conflict. Foreign assistance can sometimes be manipulated to serve security objectives, particularly where government officials or leaders of ethnic armed organizations are able to decide project locations. In short, development interventions are never neutral. Aid can build momentum for peace as well as damage the prospects for peace Projects that serve the security aims of one side can damage the confidence of ethnic groups in the country’s transition, while programs that support political reforms, such as decentralization, can help build momentum. $13.7 billion in aid was committed to new projects between 2011 and 2015. Closer alignment of donors with government offers advantages in coverage, cost effectiveness, and sustainability, but it also poses risks for peace..."
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Asia Foundation
Format/size: pdf (15MB-reduced version; 16.1MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs24/AF-2017-10-ContestedAreasMyanmarReport-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 December 2017

Title: Dealing with displacement in Myanmar’s peace process (Working Paper).
Date of publication: September 2017
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Myanmar has been engaged in a process of political change since 2011. A central goal of these reforms has been the attempt to resolve political conflicts between ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) and the Myanmar Government. Talks began under the ‘civilian government’ led by Thein Sein and have continued under the National League of Democracy (NLD) - led Government. However, several years of talks have produced little concrete progress. This is a complex peace process, which has only the partial inclusion of Myanmar’s many ethnic armed organisations and which is being conducted in a climate of continuing conflict and state violence and continuing tensions between the Burman majority and other ethnic groups. This is evident in large - scale displacement from R akhine State (where more than 300,000 refugees fled to Bangladesh in September 2017) and in Kachin and northern Shan States (where more than 119,000 people have been displaced since 2011). There is also an urgent emerging problem of large - scale development and land acquisition projects creating further displacement. It is important not to be naïve about the scale of the challenges in Myanmar’s peace process, or indeed about the possibility that the peace process may break down entirely. However, it is a lso valuable to consider what would be required to maximise the chances of a successful peace process. There is no formula to determine why some peace processes work while others fail, but the chances of building a sustainable peace are substantially enhan ced when the process genuinely engages with and seeks to correct the inequalities and injustice that gave rise to conflict. For Myanmar, that must include addressing the causes and consequences of displacement . This working paper sets out the context an d experience of displacement in and from Myanmar. It identifies a number of areas that must be addressed, including: - The process of drafting a peace agreement, and displacement - specific provisions to include in a peace agreement; - The timing, design and implementation of return and reintegration of displaced populations; - Wider issues of legal protection, land governance and restitution. The working paper also identifies some cross - cutting themes, including the need to recognise a relationship between displacement and other aspects of peacebuilding (such as political autonomy for ethnic areas and land governance); the necessity of ensuring that displaced people themselves are central to the process of policy design, ideally through institutionalised mechanisms for dialogue, consultation and representation; and the importance of securing continued funding to support refugees and IDPs with a continuing need of international protection..."
Author/creator: Kirsten McConnachie
Language: English
Source/publisher: Political Settlements Research Programme
Format/size: pdf (1.5MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.politicalsettlements.org/files/2017/09/201709_WP_McConnachie_Myanmar-Executive-Summary.p...
Date of entry/update: 08 December 2017

Title: Why Myanmar’s ethnic minorities lose faith in federalism and peace
Date of publication: 03 August 2017
Description/subject: "In May 2017, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi invited representatives from across her deeply divided nation to a new round of peace talks. About 1400 delegates from government, parliament, military, political parties, civil society and ethnic armed organisations (EAOs) attended the meeting that covered political, social, economic, military and environmental issues. Unsurprisingly, a binding agreement on the most fundamental issue, the nature of federal power-sharing mechanisms between the country’s ethnic groups, remained elusive. The most controversial negotiation point at the meeting was the issue of “non-secessionism”. Fearing the disintegration of Myanmar, government officials insisted on inserting the term in any final agreement. Representatives of most EAOs officially reject secessionist aims and commit to finding a negotiated federal settlement. Against the background of a decades-long civil war, however, many feel that the option of self-determination should be retained as a matter of last resort. Importantly, the negotiation positions of EAO leaders cannot be understood in isolation from wider societal trends. This is because many of Myanmar’s ethnic insurgencies are strongly dependent on local support among ethnic minority communities. In fact, the organisations are inextricable parts of larger ethnonational projects. While some EAO leaders have demonstrated considerable willingness to compromise with the government, the perspective of their movement’s grassroots has often become more intransigent..."
Author/creator: David Brenner
Language: English
Source/publisher: ''New Mandala''
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 December 2017

Title: New Complexities in Myanmar's Peace Process
Date of publication: 06 May 2017
Description/subject: " On 15 April, 2017, seven Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAOs) - all non-signatories to the Nationwide Ceasefire Accord (NCA) - met in Pangkham, the de facto capital of the autonomous ‘Wa State’ within Shan State (northeast Myanmar). Convened by the United Wa State Army (UWSA) – the most powerful of all ethnic militias in Myanmar – the meeting lasted for five days, at the end of which the EAOs decided to create a new channel for political dialogue: the ‘Union Political Negotiation Dialogue Committee (UPNDC)’. That this came nine days before the government announced the date for the second 21st Century Panglong Conference (21CPC) – 24 May –is a significant development in Myanmar’s complex ethnic peace process. It represents a potentially new approach towards reconciliation and brings to question the credibility of Nay Pyi Taw’s agenda for peace, spearheaded by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi..."
Author/creator: Angshuman Choudhury
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.ipcs.org/region/myanmar/
Date of entry/update: 08 May 2017

Title: Peace and nation-building in Myanmar
Date of publication: 24 March 2017
Description/subject: "Inclusion, understanding, autonomy, conflict and poverty – often far from the reach of the state — reflect just some of the challenges, as opportunities and progress, linked to the emergence of an inclusive national identity in Myanmar. They were also the focus of an excellent panel discussion as part of the 2017 Myanmar Update hosted by the Australian National University on 17-18 February. Cecile Medail, PhD Candidate at the University of New South Wales, began the panel with a look at the grassroots voices of Mon people in forming an inclusive national identity in Myanmar. The challenges of national identity during transition, and particularly for minority communities, were noted..."
Author/creator: James T Davies
Language: English
Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 December 2017

Title: Myanmar: A New Muslim Insurgency in Rakhine State
Date of publication: 19 December 2016
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The deadly attacks on Border Guard Police (BGP) bases in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State on 9 October 2016 and the days following, and a serious escalation on 12 November when a senior army officer was killed, signify the emergence of a new Muslim insurgency there. The current violence is qualitatively different from anything in recent decades, seriously threatens the prospects of stability and development in the state and has serious implications for Myanmar as a whole. The government faces a huge challenge in calibrating and integrating its political, policy and security responses to ensure that violence does not escalate and intercommunal tensions are kept under control. It requires also taking due account of the grievances and fears of Rakhine Buddhists. Failure to get this right would carry enormous risks. While the government has a clear duty to maintain security and take action against the attackers, it needs, if its response is to be effective, to make more judicious use of force and focus on a political and policy approach that addresses the sense of hopelessness and despair underlying the anger of many Muslims in Rakhine State. Complicating this is that Aung San Suu Kyi has some influence, but under the constitution no direct control over the military. The insurgent group, which refers to itself as Harakah al-Yaqin (Faith Movement, HaY), is led by a committee of Rohingya émigrés in Saudi Arabia and is commanded on the ground by Rohingya with international training and experience in modern guerrilla war tactics. It benefits from the legitimacy provided by local and international fatwas (religious judicial opinions) in support of its cause and enjoys considerable sympathy and backing from Muslims in northern Rakhine State, including several hundred locally trained recruits. The emergence of this well-organised, apparently well-funded group is a gamechanger in the Myanmar government’s efforts to address the complex challenges in Rakhine State, which include longstanding discrimination against its Muslim population, denial of rights and lack of citizenship. The current use of disproportionate military force in response to the attacks, which fails to adequately distinguish militants from civilians, together with denial of humanitarian assistance to an extremely vulnerable population and the lack of an overarching political strategy that would offer them some hope for the future, is unlikely to dislodge the group and risks generating a spiral of violence and potential mass displacement. HaY would not have been able to establish itself and make detailed preparations without the buy-in of some local leaders and communities. Yet, this has never been a radicalised population, and the majority of the community, its elders and religious leaders have previously eschewed violence as counterproductive. The fact that more people are now embracing violence reflects deep policy failures over many years rather than any sort of inevitability. It is important for the government’s response to start from an appreciation of why a violent reaction from some Muslims in Rakhine State has emerged. The population has seen its rights progressively eroded, its gradual marginalisation from social and political life, and rights abuses. This has become particularly acute since the 2012 anti-Muslim violence in Rakhine. Disenfranchisement prior to the 2015 elections severed the last link with politics and means of influence. At the same time, the disruption of maritime migration routes to Malaysia closed a vital escape valve, particularly for young men whose only tangible hope for the future was dashed. An increasing sense of despair has driven more people to consider a violent response, but it is not too late for the government to reverse the trend. It requires recognising first that these people have lived in the area for generations and will continue to do so. Ways must be found to give them a place in the nation’s life. A heavy-handed security response that fails to respect fundamental principles of proportionality and distinction is not only in violation of international norms; it is also deeply counterproductive. It will likely create further despair and animosity, increasing support for HaY and further entrenching violence. International experience strongly suggests that an aggressive military response, particularly if not embedded in a broader policy framework, will be ineffective against the armed group and has the potential to considerably aggravate matters. So far, though there are indications of some training and solidarity, HaY does not appear to have a transnational jihadist or terrorist agenda. But there are risks that if the government mishandles the situation, including by continued use of disproportionate force that has driven tens of thousands from their homes or across the border to Bangladesh, it could create conditions for further radicalising sections of the Rohingya population that transnational jihadists could exploit to pursue their own agendas in the country. To avoid that requires subordinating the security response and integrating it into a well-crafted, overarching political strategy – building stronger, more positive relations between Muslim communities and the Myanmar state and closer cooperation and intelligence sharing with regional countries."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Crisis Group (ICG) Asia Report N°283
Format/size: pdf (430K-reduced version; 1.77MB-origibnal)
Alternate URLs: https://www.crisisgroup.org/asia/south-east-asia/myanmar/283-myanmar-new-muslim-insurgency-rakhine-...
Date of entry/update: 19 December 2016

Title: Burma’s Misguided Peace Process Needs a Fresh Start
Date of publication: 11 October 2016
Description/subject: "The Burmese government’s peace parley, dubbed “the 21st Century Panglong”, in Naypyidaw at the end of August was hardly over before the Tatmadaw went on the offensive again. Fierce fighting has been reported from Kachin State and northern Shan State. In Karen State, clashes have erupted between different local armed groups and in eastern Shan State, the powerful United Wa State Army (UWSA) has moved against what was considered a close ally, the National Democratic Alliance Army (Eastern Shan State) (NDAA[ESS]), also known as the “Mongla Group,” and took over several of its positions. “It is not a peace process,” one observer said. “It’s a conflict process”. The ultimate irony is that Burma has seen its heaviest fighting in decades, since the Thein Sein government came to power in March 2011 and launched its so-called “peace process.” Most of the fighting has occurred in Kachin and northern Shan states, with sporadic clashes in Arakan and Karen states. Burma’s civil war has not been this intense since the Tatmadaw launched offensives against ethnic Karen and communist forces in the late 1980s. The conflict never seems to end despite, or perhaps because of, the activities of foreign “peacemakers.” A popular practice has been to invite representatives of the Tatmadaw and of ethnic armed groups on study tours to other conflict areas across the world, including Northern Ireland, Colombia and South Africa. The main player behind those trips is a UK-based outfit called Intermediate, founded and led by Jonathan Powell, who served as then Prime Minister Tony Blair’s chief of staff from 1997-2007..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 October 2016

Title: Ethnic Politics and the 2015 Elections in Myanmar (English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Date of publication: 08 September 2015
Description/subject: Conclusion: "Myanmar goes to the polls in 2015 in a very different political context to the general elections in 2010 or 1990. Indeed, provided that political campaigning and the conduct of the polls are genuinely free and fair, it should become the most broadly contested election since independence in 1948. Yet, while political space has opened up and there have been many reforms since President Thein Sein assumed office in 2011, core ethnic aspirations have yet to be realized – either through parliament or the national peace process. The country and its politics remain polarized and ethnicity highly politicized. For this reason, while the elections have the potential to be reasonably credible and inclusive (although far from uniformly so) and ethnic parties may fare reasonably well, it is not clear that the structures and processes in Myanmar politics are at present capable of effectively addressing the legacy of decades of ethnic conflict and discrimination that continue to leave many communities in the country neglected and marginalised. It is therefore vital that the election is closely monitored and openly pursued and that, whatever the outcome, it is not perceived as an end itself but another step in a reform process that still has a long way to run in bringing peace, equality and democratic rights to all the country’s peoples. A historic challenge awaits Myanmar’s leaders through the 2015 polls. As with the peace talks towards a nationwide ceasefire, they provide the opportunity for different parties to work constructively together in building a democratic future for the country. The question remains: will the 2015 election become the platform from which the issues of ethnic peace and inclusive reform are really grappled with, or will they result in another failed opportunity to do so?"
Language: English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
Format/size: pdf (256K-en; 2.7-bu-reduced; 3.32MB-bu-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/TNI-2015-09-2015_elections-en.pdf
(Burmese version dated 16 September 2015)
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2015

Title: Democratization and Containing Ethnic Conflicts in Transitional Myanmar: A Study through Federalism Typologies and Model
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Introduction: "This paper aims to conceptualize Myanmar's current political system in federalism context by viewing relevant typologies, and models. It also intends to produce a new federalism typology/model that can be applicable to analyzing and predicting Myanmar's political architecture. The paper argues that transitional Myanmar is considered as a presidential-devolutionary federation with hybrid characteristics, combining various unitary and federal elements. More specifically and in dimensions relating to democratization and ethnic conflict management, which are significant in viewing the country's current politics, Myanmar is an oscillating state, pivoting on two different extreme poles (strong unity and strong autonomy or highly centralized unitarianism and highly decentralized federalism); thus making the state dependent much on uncertain-unstable circumstances and the country's federalization tends to be closely related to the fluctuation of power negotiations/competitions between two dominant stakeholders, composing of central government and ethnic opposition groups...".....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: Dulyapak Preecharush
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 (198K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2015

Title: Wardrums in Myanmar's Wa hills
Date of publication: 23 April 2014
Description/subject: "Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of Myanmar's armed forces, or Tatmadaw, is a man on the move. Since the beginning of the year he has traveled to Laos and Indonesia, attended large-scale war games in central Myanmar, reviewed the country's largest ever naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal, presided over the annual Army Day parade in the capital Naypyidaw and met with a string of foreign dignitaries. A recent less publicized engagement was arguably more significant for Myanmar's war and peace prospects. On April 6, Min Aung Hlaing flew north from Naypyidaw to the garrison town of Lashio in northeastern Shan State to hold talks with Bao You-ri, the younger brother of Bao You-xiang, the ailing leader of the United Wa State Army (UWSA). Based east of the Salween River in a self-governing "special region", the UWSA is Myanmar's largest insurgent group and is at present in an uneasy ceasefire with the government..."
Author/creator: Anthony Davis
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 May 2014

Title: Ongoing struggles
Date of publication: May 2013
Description/subject: Key Points: • Myanmar's central democratic reforms have received broad backing, enabling it to boost its legitimacy and consolidate its hold on power. • Although tentative ceasefires have been concluded with most of the ethno-nationalist armed groups, there is no clear timeline or plan to address longstanding demands for self-rule and the protection of cultural identities. • Meanwhile, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), the principal protagonist in the struggle for ethnic rights, has been the focus of sustained military offensives. As Myanmar's democratic reform process rumbles on, military offensives continue despite ceasefires between most of the ethno-nationalist rebel armies and the government. Curtis W Lambrecht examines the road to peace in the country.
Author/creator: Curtis W Lambrecht
Language: English
Source/publisher: Jane's Terrorism and Security Monitor, May 2013,
Format/size: pdf (95K)
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2013

Title: More war than peace in Myanmar
Date of publication: 18 December 2012
Description/subject: "LAIZA - Helicopter gunships hover in the sky above a battlefield. The constant sound of explosions and gunfire pierce the night for an estimated 100,000 refugees and internally displaced people. Military hospitals are full of wounded government soldiers, while bridges, communication lines and other crucial infrastructure lie in war-torn ruins. The images and sounds on the ground in Myanmar's northern Kachin State shatter the impression of peace, reconciliation and a steady march towards democracy that President Thein Sein's government has bid to convey to the outside world. In reality, the situation in this remote corner of one of Asia's historically most troubled nations is depressingly normal..."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 December 2012

Title: Ethnic key to US role in Myanmar
Date of publication: 10 October 2012
Description/subject: "...The present danger in Myanmar is that the US and other Western nations have focused solely on the figures of Thein Sein and Suu Kyi, both of whom dominated the limelight during recent trips to the US. By contrast, ethnic minority groups, including the Chin, Kachin, Karen, Mon, and Shan, have received comparatively scarce attention and have generally been relegated to the margins of US and European engagement initiatives. Minority ethnic groups, most of which have been disempowered, oppressed and impoverished by a succession of repressive military regimes for the past six decades, now find themselves at a significant disadvantage in bringing critical facts to the fore... Washington would be well advised to take a more balanced approach to engagement and development in Myanmar and one more inclusive of ethnics, or risk a repeat of the interventions in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. "
Author/creator: Tim Heinemann
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 October 2012

Title: Prospects for Ethnic Peace and Political Participation in Burma/Myanmar, Bangkok, July 8-9, 2012: Conference Report
Date of publication: 09 July 2012
Description/subject: "In July, TNI-BCN hosted a two-day conference, involving a diversity of ethnic groups from different areas of Burma/Myanmar, with the theme “prospects for ethnic peace and political participation”. Those taking part included 30 representatives from Burmese civil society, parliament and armed opposition groups. Political events in Burma are continuing to unfold rapidly, but reform is still at a tentative and early stage. Under the Thein Sein government, Burma has entered its fourth era of political transition since independence in 1948. Previous hopes for ethnic peace and the establishment of democratic structures and processes have been disappointed. A military coup in 1962 ended the post-independence parliamentary era, and the national armed forces (Tatmadaw) have dominated every form of government since. Meanwhile conflict has continued unabated in the ethnic borderlands. In recent months, new trends – many of them positive – have begun to reshape the landscape of national politics. Ceasefires have been agreed with the majority of armed ethnic forces; the National League for Democracy (NLD) has elected representatives in the national legislatures; Western sanctions are gradually being lifted; and the World Bank and other international agencies are returning to set up office in the country. Such developments are likely to have a defining impact on ethnic politics, which remains one of the central challenges facing the country today"..."In summary, Burma is now at a sensitive stage in its political transition. Under the Thein Sein government, encouraging prospects for the future have undoubtedly emerged. But reform is still at a very early stage, and there should be no underestimation of the difficult challenges that lie ahead. Ethnic conflict and military-dominated government continue in many areas and, after decades of division, intensive efforts are still required to bring about an inclusive and lasting peace. A new parliamentary system is in place, but further attention will be needed on such issues as electoral, census, land tenure rights, education, investment and economic reform to guarantee the rights of all peoples. Independent institutions must also strive to grow in an environment where power and decision-making are often in the hands of small elites. And, as events move quickly, it is vital that all parts of the country are included. The history of state failure has long warned of the debilitating consequences of political and ethnic exclusions."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland
Format/size: pdf (268K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/conference_report_july_2012.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 August 2012

Title: Myanmar's endless ethnic quagmire
Date of publication: 08 March 2012
Description/subject: "...Scrapping the 2008 constitution and drafting a new one based on some kind of federal concept is likely the only viable way ahead to resolving Myanmar's unresolved ethnic issue. Judging from the government's response to ethnic demands, that isn't likely to happen any time soon. Whatever the outcome of the present mass movement and the likelihood of some token NLD representation in parliament after the April 1 by-elections, Myanmar's ethnic quagmire will endure and the government's half-hearted calls for national reconciliation will remain unfulfilled."
Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
Format/size: html.
Alternate URLs: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/NC08Ae02.html
Date of entry/update: 08 March 2012

Title: The Dynamics of Sixty Years of Ethnic Armed Conflict in Burma (English)
Date of publication: January 2012
Description/subject: "...In this paper, I will analyse the dynamics of internal conflict that caused the conditions for over sixty years of civil war in Burma. In so doing, I will first investigate the root cause of ethnic armed conflict, and argue that the constitutional crisis and the implementation of the “nation-building” process with the notion of “one religion, one language, and one ethnicity” are the root cause of internal conflict and civil war in Burma. The political crisis in Burma, therefore, is not only ideological confrontation between democratic forces and the military regime but a constitutional crisis, compounded by the government’s policy of ethnic “forced-assimilation” through the “nation-building” process, which resulted in militarization of the state, on the one hand, and “insurgency as a ways of life” in ethnic areas, on the other..."
Author/creator: Lian H. Sakhong
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 1)
Format/size: pdf (650K)
Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012

Date of publication: 29 June 2011
Description/subject: • Despite the 7 November election’s illusory promise of an inclusive democratic system, the situation in ethnic nationality areas continues to deteriorate... • In addition to the ongoing offensives against ethnic non-ceasefire groups, the Tatmadaw increasingly targeted ceasefire groups who rejected the regime’s Border Guard Force (BGF) scheme... • In Shan and Kachin States, the Tatmadaw broke ceasefire agreements signed in 1989 and 1994 respectively... • Ongoing fighting between the Tatmadaw and ethnic ceasefire and non-ceasefire groups displaced about 13,000 civilians in Kachin State, at least 700 in Northern Shan State, and forced over 1,800 to flee from Karen State into Thailand... • Civilians bore the brunt of the Tatmadaw’s military operations, which resulted in the death of 15 civilians in Northern Shan State and five in Karen State... Tatmadaw troops gang-raped at least 18 women and girls in Southern Kachin State... • Desertion continues to hit Tatmadaw battalions, including BGF units, engaged in military operations in ethnic areas... • Reports on the alleged use of chemical weapons by Tatmadaw troops surfaced during offensives against Shan State Army-North forces... • In February, in response to the Tatmadaw’s ongoing attacks in ethnic areas, 12 ethnic armed opposition groups, ceasefire groups, and political organizations agreed to form a new coalition - the Union Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)... • The situation for residents living in conflict zones of ethnic States remains grim as the regime re-launched its ‘four cuts’ policy which targets civilians... • The situation is likely to continue due to Burma’s constitution and the recently enacted laws, including the national conscription law.
Language: English
Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
Format/size: pdf (116K)
Date of entry/update: 30 June 2011

Title: Myanmar tilts towards civil war
Date of publication: 29 June 2011
Description/subject: "Myanmar moved closer to civil war in recent weeks after fighting broke out in Kachin State, a former ceasefire area in the remote northern region. Myanmar's newly elected government now faces ethnic insurgencies on three separate fronts, threatening internal and border security. There is also the potential for more insurgent groups to take up arms and push their claims against the government. The escalating conflict is not going all the military's way and risks further stunting Myanmar's development and international confidence in its supposed democratic transition..."
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2011

Title: Conflict or Peace? Ethnic Unrest Intensifies in Burma
Date of publication: June 2011
Description/subject: "...The breakdown in the ceasefire of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) with the central government represents a major failure in national politics and threatens a serious humanitarian crisis if not immediately addressed. Over 11,000 refugees have been displaced and dozens of casualties reported during two weeks of fighting between government forces and the KIO. Thousands of troops have been mobilized, bridges destroyed and communications disrupted, bringing hardship to communities across northeast Burma/Myanmar.1 There is now a real potential for ethnic conflict to further spread. In recent months, ceasefires have broken down with Karen and Shan opposition forces, and the ceasefire of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) in south Burma is under threat. Tensions between the government and United Wa State Army (UWSA) also continue. It is essential that peace talks are initiated and grievances addressed so that ethnic conflict in Burma does not spiral into a new generation of militarised violence and human rights abuse..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) & Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN). Burma Policy Briefing Nr 7, June 2011
Format/size: pdf (407K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/bpb7.pdf
Date of entry/update: 25 June 2011

Title: Karen rebels go on offensive in Myanmar
Date of publication: 16 November 2010
Description/subject: While Myanmar's generals held their stage-managed elections, an ethnic rebel group forcibly seized control of two border towns and highlighted immediately the polls' ineffectiveness at achieving national reconciliation. Government forces on Tuesday forced the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) out of Myawaddy and Pyathounzu towns, but the attacks already had significant repercussions for the transition from military to civilian rule.
Author/creator: Brian McCartan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 15 November 2010

Title: Forget About the Sham Burmese Elections It's the growing risk of ethnic violence the world should worry about.
Date of publication: 05 November 2010
Description/subject: "As the world prepares to label this weekend's elections in Myanmar an undemocratic farce -- which of course they are -- a brewing potential crisis in the country's border regions is being ignored. While cease-fire agreements have tempered the civil wars that have raged for much of Myanmar's 62-year post-independence history, these conflicts have never been fully resolved. Fighting in the northeastern Kokang region in August 2009 forced more than 30,000 refugees to flee across the border to China. Now, the government's aggressive tactics are increasing tensions in a high-stakes game of ethnic politics, one that carries significant potential for violent conflict..."
Author/creator: Stephanie T. Kleine-Ahlbrandt
Language: English, Español, Spanish
Source/publisher: "Foreign Policy"
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/11/05/forget_about_the_burmese_elections
Date of entry/update: 11 November 2010

Title: The Kachin Assassin
Date of publication: September 2010
Description/subject: Zau Seng was groomed since youth to be a KIA commando, and in 1985 he carried out a rare assassination of a top Burmese military commander—who happened to be a fellow Kachin
Author/creator: Ba Kaung
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 9
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 September 2010

Title: Listening to Voices from Inside: Ethnic People Speak
Date of publication: June 2010
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Listening to Voices from Inside: Ethnic People Speak showcases the voices of people from civil society, and of different ethnic groups, who are rarely heard. Myanmar is an extremely ethnically diverse country. Regrettably, inter-ethnic conflict is a fundamental dynamic in Myanmar’s protracted civil war. Despite this, ethnic diversity and interethnic conflict seldom capture the attention of the international community who have a tendency to see inter-ethnic conflict as adjunct to the quest for peace and democracy in Myanmar. This publication, the result of a foundational study, presents the voices of eighty-seven civil society members from different ethnic groups who live in Myanmar. It documents their perceptions of opportunities and challenges in key areas of interactions with other ethnic groups, government and military relations, education, employment, health, and culture. It records their vision for the future and how external organisations can support that vision. Listening to Voices from Inside: Ethnic People Speak creates a channel for local people to be heard on inter-ethnic issues in Myanmar and is a resource to increase understanding of the issues among external and domestic actors. It brings inter-ethnic conflict back from the periphery to argue that transforming inter-ethnic conflict is central to building peace and democracy in Myanmar. The following summarises the key points under each section:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
Format/size: pdf (1.43MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.centrepeaceconflictstudies.org/publications/
Date of entry/update: 23 June 2010

Title: To Fight or Not to Fight
Date of publication: April 2009
Description/subject: As the 2010 election approaches, Burma's ethnic armies are becoming restless... "OVER the past decade, a patchwork of ceasefire agreements, if not actual peace, has reigned over most of Burma's ethnic hinterland. Of the many ethnic insurgent armies that once battled the Burmese regime, only a handful are still waging active military campaigns. The rest remain armed, but have shown little appetite for renewed fighting - so far. With an election planned for sometime next year, however, the status quo is looking increasingly unsustainable. The junta is pushing its erstwhile adversaries to form parties and field candidates, and while some have unenthusiastically complied, others have begun to chafe at the persistent pressure..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 April 2009

Title: Burma's Ethnic Jigsaw Puzzle
Date of publication: October 2008
Description/subject: "A new study on ethnic politics in Burma surveys a bewildering field and points the way forward...Whereas Smith's book was about conflict and ethnic identity, and Lintner's about conflict, state building and narcotics, Ashley South explores all these topics and then looks at contemporary debates on development and forced displacement, with a more academic discussion of shifting "identities" in Burma. Given the sheer range and depth of all these issues, South overviews them skillfully. The purpose of the book is to inject greater complexity and detail into the debates over ethnic politics: the role of resurgent civil society in ethnic ceasefire areas and the cities of Burma; the ethnic groups' constrained participation in the military government's national convention; and the uneven performance of local development projects. With a timely epilogue taking into account the effects of Cyclone Nargis, South suggests there are now opportunities in Burma for meaningful participation in national politics for Burma's long-suffering and splintered ethnic nationalities if they pursue a considerable strategic rethink -- what South calls "review, reform and re-engage..."
Author/creator: Review by David Mathieson of Ashley South's "Ethnic Politics in Burma: States of Conflict"
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 November 2008

Title: Search results for "Myanmar" on the ICRC site
Date of publication: 29 June 2007
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010

Title: Nyaunglebin / Toungoo Districts: Re-emergence of Irregular SPDC Army Soldiers and Karen Splinter Groups in Northern Karen State
Date of publication: 24 October 2005
Description/subject: "The situation observed in Nyaunglebin and Toungoo Districts ... of northern Karen State has for many years been highly volatile. Even now, with the existence of the verbal ceasefire between the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the Karen National Union (KNU), forced labour and extortion is rife and thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) live in hiding in the forests. The ceasefire has done little to help the lot of the villagers living in these areas. The SPDC has taken advantage of their relative freedoms of movement and activity under the ceasefire agreement, leading to recent developments in these two districts which threaten to make life for the villagers living there even harder. ... Since its formation in September 1998, the Dam Byan Byaut Kya (‘Guerrilla Retaliation Units’) have terrorised the villagers of first Nyaunglebin and later also Toungoo District, seeking out and punishing any villagers suspected of having contact with the resistance..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-B6)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2005/khrg05b6.html'>http://www.khrg.org/khrg2005/khrg05b6.html
Date of entry/update: 26 October 2005

Title: A Risky Farewell to Arms
Date of publication: June 2005
Description/subject: "The Burmese junta has succeeded in forging ceasefires with 17 ethnic minority rebel groups since 1989. But now its attempt to disarm them could backfire. Burma’s military regime seems to have practiced the maxim from Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu’s Art of War: “Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” The junta has used this approach since assuming power in 1988 by reaching ceasefire agreements with 17 ethnic minority armed groups. Since that time, fighting has died down in many areas and the generals probably think they have defeated their ethnic minority enemies—who took up arms against Rangoon after independence from Britain in 1948— without firing a shot. But maybe that comfortable situation is about to change. On the surface, it looks like the regime has also brought the groups into the political arena by now including them in the National Convention, which resumed in 2004 after eight years suspension. The NC is supposed to draft a new constitution aimed at resolving the country’s long stalemate among the ruling military, the opposition and ethnic minority groups. In fact, however, they are allowed only a token presence. They cannot take part in open discussions..."
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 April 2006

Title: Dying Alive - A Legal Assessment of Human Rights Violations in Burma
Date of publication: April 2005
Description/subject: AN INVESTIGATION AND LEGAL ASSESSMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS INFLICTED IN BURMA, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE INTERNALLY DISPLACED, EASTERN PEOPLES..."For over a decade, the United Nations and Human Rights organisations have documented systematic and widespread human rights violations inflicted on the people of Burma generally, and on the ethnic people in particular. Most reports, however, with the exception of some references to Article Three of The Geneva Conventions, have refrained from conceptualizing the violations in terms of International Humanitarian Law. This report addresses that gap and, in the aftermath of the State organised ambush of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's convoy on May 30, 2003; the ongoing, widespread, systematic destruction of substantial parts of the eastern ethnic peoples; and the failure to end impunity, recommends a period of consultation, education and consensus building to explore the practicality, political appropriateness, and morality of applying and enforcing relevant International Humanitarian Law. This report analyses the human rights violations, identified by, amongst others, UN Special Rapporteurs for human rights and Amnesty International, and expressed in UN General Assembly Resolutions, that have been inflicted on the people of Burma for decades..." NOTE ON FORMAT: There is a glitch in the CD the online version is based on, with lines from the next page creeping onto the current page. This will be fixed eventually. There is also a plan to break the text up into managable chunks.
Author/creator: Guy Horton
Language: English
Source/publisher: Guy Horton, Images Asia
Format/size: pdf (4.7MB)
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2006

Title: The Wounds of War
Date of publication: April 2005
Description/subject: Battered Burma’s unanswered question: when will the fighting end?... "The horrors of war are all too visible on Myo Myint’s scarred body. The former Burma Army trooper has only one arm and one leg. The fingers of one hand are just stumps, he’s almost blind in one eye and pieces of landmine shrapnel still lodge in his body. Myo Myint: Crippled and disillusioned by war Myo Myint is one of countless thousands of men and women maimed for life in Burma’s ongoing civil war, which has been raging for more than half a century—one of Asia’s longest unsolved conflicts..."
Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2006

Title: 'Peace', or Control? The SPDC’s use of the Karen ceasefire to expand its control and repression of villagers in Toungoo District, Northern Karen State
Date of publication: 22 March 2005
Description/subject: "Under the informal KNU-SPDC ceasefire, the SPDC Army should be scaling down its activities in the hills of Toungoo District, but instead it has increased military operations since December 2004. Using the increased freedom of movement it has gained under the ceasefire, the Army has sent out columns to consolidate control over civilians in the remotest parts of this mountainous district. Using villagers as forced labour to improve military access roads and haul supplies to support remote outposts, the Army is trying to flush out the displaced villagers who have evaded its control thus far. As the Army gains freedom of movement, villagers throughout the District find themselves less free to move, their trade routes, access to food and medicine markets, and even the paths to their fields blocked by SPDC movement restrictions, checkpoints, Army patrols and landmines..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F3)
Format/size: html, pdf (57 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2005/khrg05f3.html
Date of entry/update: 20 July 2010

Title: A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS: The uncertain future of Burma’s forests
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: A Briefing Document by Global Witness. October 2003... Table of Contents... Recommendations... Introduction... Summary: Natural Resources and Conflict in Burma; SLORC/SPDC-controlled logging; China-Burma relations and logging in Kachin State; Thailand-Burma relations and logging in Karen State... Part One: Background: The Roots of Conflict; Strategic location, topography and natural resources; The Peoples of Burma; Ethnic diversity and politics; British Colonial Rule... Independence and the Perpetuation of Conflict: Conflict following Independence and rise of Ne Win; Burma under the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP); The Four Cuts counter – insurgency campaign; The 1988 uprising and the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC); The 1990 General Election and the drafting of a new Constitution; Recent Developments: The Detention of Aung San Suu Kyi... The Administration of Burma: Where Power Lies: The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC); The Cabinet; The Three Generals; The Tatmadaw; Regional Commanders... Part Two: Logging in Burma:- The Economy: The importance of the timber trade; Involvement of the Army; Bartering; Burma’s Forests; Forest cover, deforestation rates and forest degradation... The Timber Industry in Burma: The Administration of forestry in Burma; Forest Management in Burma, the theory; The Reality of the SPDC-Controlled Timber Trade... Law enforcement: The decline of the Burma Selection System and Institutional Problems; Import – Export Figures; SPDC-controlled logging in Central Burma; The Pegu Yomas; The illegal timber trade in Rangoon; SLORC/SPDC control over logging in ceasefire areas... Ceasefires: Chart of armed ethnic groups. April 2002; Ceasefire groups; How the SLORC/SPDC has used the ceasefires: business and development... Conflict Timber: Logging and the Tatmadaw; Logging as a driver of conflict; Logging companies and conflict on the Thai-Burma border; Controlling ceasefire groups through logging deals... Forced Labour: Forced labour logging... Opium and Logging: Logging and Opium in Kachin State; Logging and Opium in Wa... Conflict on the border: Conflict on the border; Thai-Burmese relations and ‘Resource Diplomacy’; Thais prioritise logging interests over support for ethnic insurgents; The timber business and conflict on the Thai-Burma border; Thai Logging in Karen National Union territory; The end of SLORC logging concessions on the Thai border; The Salween Scandal in Thailand; Recent Logging on the Thai-Burma border... Karen State: The Nature of Conflict in Karen State; The Karen National Union (KNU); The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA); Logging in Karen State; Logging and Landmines in Karen State; Charcoal Making in Nyaunglebin District... The China-Burma Border: Chinese-Burmese Relations; Chinese-Burmese relations and Natural Resource Colonialism; The impact of logging in China; The impact of China’s logging ban; The timber trade on the Chinese side of the border... Kachin State: The Nature of Conflict in Kachin State; The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO); Jade and the KIA’s insurgent Economy; Dabak and Mali Hydroelectric Power Projects; The New Democratic Army (Kachin) (NDA(K)); The Kachin Defence Army (KDA); How the ceasefires have affected insurgent groups in Kachin State; HIV/AIDS and Extractive Industries in Kachin State ; Logging in Kachin State; Gold Mining in Kachin State; The N’Mai Hku (Headwaters) Project; Road Building in Kachin State... Wa State: Logging in Wa State; Timber Exports through Wa State; Road building in Wa State; Plantations in Wa State... Conclusion... Appendix I: Forest Policies, Laws and Regulations; National Policy, Laws and Regulations; National Commission on Environmental Affairs; Environmental policy; Forest Policy; Community Forestry; International Environmental Commitments... Appendix II: Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG): Ministerial Declaration... References. [the pdf version contains the text plus maps, photos etc. The Word version contains text and tables only]
Language: English (Thai & Kachin summaries)
Source/publisher: Global Witness
Format/size: pdf (4 files: 1.8MB, 1.4MB, 2.0MB, 2.1MB) 126 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.globalwitness.org
Date of entry/update: 20 July 2010

Title: Uncounted: political prisoners in burma's ethnic areas
Date of publication: August 2003
Description/subject: Contents: 1. Executive Summary; 2. Introduction; 2a. Scope of report; 3. Background; 4. Definitions and Regulations; 4a. What is a political prisoner?; 4b. International and domestic regulations governing treatment; 4c. Conflict zones; 4d. Cease-fire and "Pacified Areas"; 4e. Support and perceived support for armed groups; 5. Politically Motivated Detentions in the Conflict Zones; 5a. Accusations; 5b. Places of detention; 5c. Were charges laid?; 6. Treatment of Detainees and Outcomes of Detention; 6a. Arbitrary detention; 6b. Torture; 6c. Extrajudicial killings; 6d. Disappearances; 7. Political Motivations Behind Detentions; 7a. Weakening/destruction of the People's Movement; 7b. Power and absolute control; 7c. Eradication of armed forces; 7d. Other motivations; 7e. Secondary Effects; 8. Inclusion in Existing Reporting; 9. The Bigger Picture; 10. Conclusion; 11. Recommendations... 12. Appendixes: a. Summary of cases; b. Ethnic Armed and political groups; c. Relevant international laws and regulations; 13. Glossary; Map of Burma; Map of Locations of Detention... Executive Summary: In Mr Paulo Sergio Pinheiro's report to the 59th Commission on Human Rights he stated, "Political arrests since July 2002 have followed the pattern of un-rule of law, including arbitrary arrest, prolonged incommunicado detention and interrogation by military intelligence personnel, extraction of confessions of guilt or of information, very often under duress or torture, followed by summary trials, sentencing and imprisonment." This report presents a sample of 46 cases that comply with the description in Pinheiro's statement but remain unrecognised as political arrests. They are people mostly in Burma's ethnic areas detained on accusations of supporting non-Burman ethnic nationality opposition groups. The accusations range from offering support through food and accommodation, to knowledge of opposition group movements, to actually being a member of a non-Burman ethnic nationality opposition group..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Issues", Altsean-Burma
Format/size: pdf (796K) 82 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaissues.org/En/reports/uncounted.pdf
Date of entry/update: 21 September 2003

Title: Expansion of the Guerrilla Retaliation Units and Food Shortages
Date of publication: 16 June 2003
Description/subject: KHRG Information Update #2003-U1 June 16, 2003 "The situation faced by the villagers of Toungoo District (see Map 1) is worsening as more and more parts of the District are being brought under the control of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) through the increased militarisation of the region. At any one time there are no fewer than a dozen battalions active in the area. Widespread forced labour and extortion continue unabated as in previous years, with all battalions in the District being party to such practices. The imposition of constant forced labour and the extortion of money and food are among the military’s primary occupations in the area. The strategy of the military is not one of open confrontation with the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) – the armed wing of the Karen National Union (KNU) - but of targeting the civilian population as a means of cutting all lines of support and supply for the resistance movement. There has not been a major offensive in the District since the SPDC launched Operation Aung Tha Pyay in 1995-96; however since that time the Army has been restricting, harassing, and forcibly relocating hill villages to the point where people can no longer live in them. Many of the battalions launch sweeps through the hills in search of villagers hiding there in an effort to drive them out of the hills and into the areas controlled by the SPDC. Fortunately, the areas into which many of them have fled are both rugged and remote, making it difficult for the Army to find them. For those who are discovered, once relocated, they are then exploited as a ready source for portering and other forced labour..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2003/khrg03u1.html
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2003

Title: Zum Verständnis ethnischer und politischer Konflikte in Burma / Myanmar
Date of publication: May 2003
Description/subject: Der Artikel beschreibt die historische Entstehung ethnischer Konflikte seit der Kolonialzeit sowie die Instrumentalisierung der ethnsichen Zugehörigkeit unter dem Militär; historical development of ethnic conflicts; instrumentalisation of ethnicity
Author/creator: Hingst, René
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Heinrich Böll Stiftung
Format/size: pdf (916.60 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.boell.de/downloads/hingst_burma2003.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 November 2010

Title: War, History and Identity (a review of Ashley South
Date of publication: April 2003
Description/subject: "A new book on the Mon ethnic group makes a much-needed contribution to the study of Mon history and sheds light on some of the complexities of Burma’s ethnic conflicts... Although ethnic conflict is a key issue in modern Burmese politics, few writers and researchers seem to have covered the topic in detail. Ashley South’s latest book, Mon Nationalism and Civil War in Burma: The Goldensheldrake (Routledge Curzon, 2002), is perhaps the first comprehensive study of Mon history and offers a timely contribution to the issue of Burma’s ongoing ethnic conflicts... South’s detailed and authoritative book is a must for all interested in Mon history and ethnic minority politics, and for those curious about the dynamics of the civil war and conflict that has raged in Burma for more than 50 years..."
Author/creator: Tom Kramer
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: May 2003

Date of publication: March 2003
Description/subject: A Dissertation Presented to The Faculty of the College of Communication of Ohio University In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy by Lisa B. Brooten March 2003... "...This study examines the impact of new information technologies (NITs) on the Burmese opposition movement-in-exile based in Thailand. The intent of the research is to determine whether NITs, primarily computers and the Internet, are helping to reduce, maintain, or intensify ethnic conflict within the movement. The study explores implications for political mobilization by examining what groups within the movement have access to which technologies, and how these groups understand and use global media and the discourses they produce. The research is a multi-sited ethnography conceived within the epistemological framework of standpoint theory, providing an empirically grounded exploration of the Burmese opposition movement in both its local and global contexts. It employs participant observation, in-depth interviews and discourse analysis to examine the impact of global communications at the local level. The work begins with an historical examination of the development of the modern state in Burma, which provides the context for exploring how militarization, gender and ethnicity have affected the development of nationalisms and conflict defined largely as "ethnic" in nature. This is followed by a discussion of how the history and current state of communications both inside and outside Burma constrain attitudes toward the possible uses of communications technologies and media among the opposition-in-exile. An overview of opposition media investigates the degree to which these media have opened a space for dialogue between groups. Interviews with opposition activists and refugees from Burma demonstrate how the Burmese regime's militaristic values are both perpetuated and countered within the opposition movement itself. The research finds that the introduction of NITs and patterns of foreign funding have reinforced existing hierarchies within the opposition movement. Finally, this study demonstrates how the "local" reinvents the "global" through the use of a global discourse of human rights which acts subtly but powerfully to shape social conventions within the movement. This results in an unstated hierarchy of human rights that perpetuates the inequitable gender and ethnic composition of the opposition political groups and the hierarchy of access and use of technologies among these groups."
Author/creator: Lisa B. Brooten
Language: English
Source/publisher: Lisa B. Brooten (Ohio University thesis)
Format/size: pdf (2.2MB)
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2005

Title: Myanmar: Lack of Security in Counter-Insurgency Areas
Date of publication: 17 July 2002
Description/subject: "...In February and March 2002 Amnesty International interviewed some 100 migrants from Myanmar at seven different locations in Thailand. They were from a variety of ethnic groups, including the Shan; Lahu; Palaung; Akha; Mon; Po and Sgaw Karen; Rakhine; and Tavoyan ethnic minorities, and the majority Bamar (Burman) group. They originally came from the Mon, Kayin, Shan, and Rakhine States, and Bago, Yangon and Tanintharyi Divisions.(1) What follows below is a summary of human rights violations in some parts of eastern Myanmar during the last 18 months which migrants reported to Amnesty International. One section of the report also examines several cases of abuses of civilians by armed opposition groups fighting against the Myanmar military. Finally, this document describes various aspects of a Burmese migrant worker's life in Thailand..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced labour, refugees, land confiscation, forced relocation, forced removal, forced resettlement, forced displacement, internal displacement, IDP, extortion, torture, extrajudicial killings, forced conscription, child soldiers, porters, forced portering, house destruction, eviction, Shan State, Wa, USWA, Wa resettlement, Tenasserim, abuses by armed opposition groups.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: PDF version (126K) 48pg
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/007/2002/en/6901af02-d81a-11dd-9df8-936c90684588/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/007/2002/en/7471b112-d81a-11dd-9df8-936c90684588/asa1... (French)
Date of entry/update: 19 November 2010

Title: The ICRC in Myanmar
Date of publication: 22 January 2002
Description/subject: Extract from the ICRC Annual Report 2000: Help for detainees; Assistance for internally displaced people and vulnerable groups; Speading awareness of humanitarian law; Working with Myanmar REd Cross Spociety.
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Format/size: PDF (238K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.icrc.org/WEBGRAPH.NSF/Graphics/AC_AS_MYANMAR_AR.pdf/$FILE/AC_AS_MYANMAR_AR.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: A strategy of subjugation: The Situation in Ler Mu Lah Township, Tenasserim Division
Date of publication: 21 December 2001
Description/subject: "This report aims to provide an update on the situation in Tenasserim Division, Burma’s southernmost region. It is based primarily on interviews from Ler Mu Lah township in central Tenasserim Division, but also gives an overview of some background and developments in other parts of the Division. At the end of the report two maps are included: Map 1 showing the entire Division, and Map 2 showing the northern part of Tenasserim Division and the southern part of Karen State’s Dooplaya District. Many of the villages mentioned in the report and the interviews can be found on Map 1, while Map 2 includes some of the sites mentioned in relation to flows of refugees and their forced repatriation..." An update on the situation in central Tenasserim Division since the Burmese junta's mass offensive to capture the area in 1997. Unable to gain complete control of the region because of the rugged jungle, harassment by resistance forces and the staunch non-cooperation of the villagers, the SPDC regime has gradually flooded the area with 36 Battalions which have forced many villages into relocation sites where the villagers are used as forced labour to push more military roads into remote areas. Thousands continue to hide in the forests despite being hunted and having their food supplies destroyed by SPDC patrols. They have little choice, though, because if they flee to the Thai border they encounter the Thai Army 9th Division, which continues to force refugees back into Burma at gunpoint." Additional keywords: Tanintharyi, Burman, Mon, Karen, Tayoyan, road building, free-fire zones, destruction of villages, resistance groups, extortions, internal displacement, refoulement, forced repatriation, killing, torture, shooting, restrictions on movement, beating to death, shortage of food, 9th Division (Thai Army). ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2001-04)
Format/size: html, pdf (1.2 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2001/khrg0104.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Burma: Protracted Conflict, Governance and Non-Traditional Security Issues
Date of publication: May 2001
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "Of all countries in Southeast Asia, Burma has the unenviable reputation of having the largest number of armed ethnic insurgencies, as well as an entrenched civil opposition to the ruling military regime. The ethnic insurgencies began in 1948 while civil opposition has grown more open during the last decade. These conditions of protracted conflict raise a number of related questions: (1) Why has the conflict been so persistent and how is this related to “governance” in Burma? (2) Is it possible to distinguish non-traditional security issues in this conflict and, if so, what are the implications in relation to regional co-operation and stability? This paper seeks to address these questions through an examination of developments in Burma since 1988, a watershed year in domestic politico-military relations. It also seeks to establish a clear delineation of “governance” as an analytical concept and to set out non-traditional security issues arising from the conflict in Burma. The non-traditional security issues arise principally from the existence of approximately 120,000 refugees in Thailand, cross-border violations of Thailand’s territorial sovereignty, and the massive influx of narcotics from Burma into Thailand and China. These issues are situated in relation to developments in Burma and proximate inter-state interactions. Finally, the paper examines the implications of these issues in the broader context of regional co-operation and stability, and undertakes a re-assessment of the relationship between non-traditional security issues and traditional (politico-military) issues."
Author/creator: Ananda Rajah
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies Singapore (Working Paper 14)
Format/size: pdf (430K) 32 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.rsis.edu.sg/
Date of entry/update: 20 July 2010

Title: Ethnicity and Civil War in Burma: Where is the Rationality?
Date of publication: 1998
Description/subject: Ananda Rajah's chapter (minus a page of footnotes) in "Burma: Prospects for a Democratic Future" (Robert Rotberg (ed). Section headings are: "An Absence of Rationality?", "The Shan and Factionalism", "The Karen and Federalism", "Substantive and Formal Rationality", "Conclusion".
Author/creator: Ananda Rajah
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma: Prospects for a Democratic Future" (Robert Rotberg (ed) via Google Books
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 February 2009

Title: Ethnic Groups in Burma: Development, Democracy and Human Rights
Date of publication: November 1994
Description/subject: "...For a generation Burma languished behind closed doors. Then suddenly, in the summer of 1988, the doors burst open as angry protests were violently put down by the security forces and the chilling scenes made headline news around the world. 'In-depth pieces' reported on the political and civil repression that had been going on for years. But there was little examination then, and there has been little since, of the targeted repression which had been going on, and is continuing, against whole groups of people - Burma's ethnic minority groups. Burma is a country of proud cultural and historic traditions, and it is rich in natural resources. But nearly half a century of conflict has left Burma with a legacy of deep-rooted problems and weakened its ability to cope with a growing host of new ones: economic and social collapse; hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced people; environmental degradation; narcotics; and AIDS. These problems touch on the lives of all Burmese citizens. But it is members of ethnic minority groups who have suffered the most, and who have had even less say over their lives and the destiny of their peoples than the majority 'Burmans'. Many minorities claim that a policy of 'Burmanisation' is manifest. Amidst the upheavals, gross human rights abuses have been committed, including the conscription, over the years, of millions into compulsory labour duties, the ill-treatment or extrajudicial executions of ethnic minority villagers in war-zones, and the forcible relocation of entire communities..."
Author/creator: Martin Smith
Language: English
Source/publisher: Anti-Slavery International
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB)
Date of entry/update: 18 November 2005

Title: The Hunting of the SLORC
Date of publication: June 1993
Description/subject: "The Chinese sage Sun Tsu says in The Art of War that "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting". In its conduct of the civil war SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council, the martial law administration ruling Burma), is currently using Low Intensity Conflict strategies which avoid major military confrontation, but are designed to force a "political" (read "politico-military") settlement on the ethnic opposition and divide them from the political opposition. These strategies are closely tied to SLORC's attempts to acquire constitutional "legitimacy" by means of a National Convention, and are aided by the pressure which Burma's neighbors are putting on the non-burman ethnic groups to sign cease-fires. But no lasting solution to the country's problems will be achieved until the three main actors -- the military, the political opposition and the ethnic opposition -- meet on a basis of equality and with a strong political will to achieve national reconciliation and the restoration of democracy. The politico-military devices described in this paper must therefore be seen as measures by SLORC to retain power, reverse international criticism, especially at the UN General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights, and attract foreign investment and development assistance..."
Author/creator: David Arnott
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Peace Foundation
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Burma Army tracks across Shan State
Description/subject: "Since 2009, the Burmese military regime (the State Peace and Development Council – SPDC), has been constructing a new 361-km long railway between Mong Nai in southern Shan State and Kengtung in eastern Shan State. The regime is claiming that the railway will promote the development of Shan State, facilitate passenger travel and ‘contribute to swift fl ow of commodities.” However, the speed and ruthlessness with which the railway is being carved through this isolated border area reveal a much more sinister agenda. Scores of bulldozers and trucks are at work at each end of the railway, where thousands of acres of farmlands have already been confi scated. Attempts by farmers to complain have been met with threats of prison. Preparing for war The real purpose of the railway is strategic. It cuts between the northern and southern territories of the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the largest ceasefi re group, which has refused to come under the regime’s control as a Border Guard Force. In the event of an offensive against the UWSA, or the resistance forces of the Shan State Army-South, the railway will enable rapid deployment of heavy weapons and other military supplies to this remote mountainous area. Apart from munitions, the main commodities that the railway will carry are natural resources plundered without consent from local communities. The railway runs directly through Mong Kok, where the regime and Thai investors are planning to excavate millions of tons of lignite for export to Thailand..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN); Shan Human Rights Foundation
Format/size: pdf (920K)
Date of entry/update: 26 October 2015

Title: Developing the Forgotten Land – Eastern Nagaland in Northwest Burma
Description/subject: "Eastern Nagaland has greatly suffered under the coercive control of the Burmese military junta, and is undoubtedly one of the most forgotten and least developed areas in the whole world. In a land that was forcibly divided by the British, and later annexed by Indian and Burmese forces, development is non-existent. Naga people continue to suffer due to decades of political games that have resulted in severe lack of education, electricity, hospitals or medicine. While most people survive with shifting cultivation, many lives are lost for opium as well as for the continuing battle against oppression. Read on to understand more about the Naga culture and the humanitarian situation in Eastern Nagaland as told by Shapwon, an Eastern Naga leader who founded Eastern Naga Development Organization (ENDO) in exile in Thailand."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 March 2016

Title: I Am One of the Top People on Their Lists to Be Killed: Naga Leader Part 1
Description/subject: "hapwon is a leader of the Naga. He joined the nationalist movement in 1975 and is now the Joint Secretary of Naga National Council. He is a leader who is still miraculously alive after all his colleagues have been wiped out by Indian and Burmese forces as well as Naga socialists. For decades, numerous groups have tried to assassinate Shapwon in this present day head hunt. His love for his people has caused him great suffering, but there is no other way this brave leader could have chosen to live. This is part 1 of Shapwon’s story – Nothing short of a Hollywood thriller."...See the Alternate link for part 2.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalink.org/one-day-world-will-recognise-sovereignty-naga-leader-part-2/
Date of entry/update: 19 March 2016

Title: Please Support Our People, Not the Government – They Are Cheating the World: Mahn Robert Ba Zan
Description/subject: "Mahn Robert Ba Zan is a former Karen freedom fighter and an advisor to the Karen Communities of Minnesota. He served in the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) for more than 30 years, following in the footsteps of his father Mahn Ba Zan, the first commander of the Karen National Defence Organisation (KNDO) and a former President of the Karen National Union (KNU). In 2000, Mahn Robert Ba Zan resettled to the United States of America with his family, changing his revolutionary tactics towards raising awareness and educating the Karen and other ethnics. In this interview, Mahn Robert Ba Zan talks about the ceasefire and car permits, ethnic unity, and how the international community can help the Karen in their quest for genuine peace and freedom."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 March 2016

Title: Ta’ang (Palaung) Leader’s Message to the International Community: ‘Come and See the Real Picture in Our Areas’
Description/subject: "The Ta’ang, also known as Palaung, are one of Burma’s myriad ethnic groups who have been fighting for basic human rights and autonomy for decades. Despite the international enthusiasm over Burma’s reform process, the reality in Burma’s ethnic borderlands remains dire, and the Burmese military continues its brutal offensive against ethnic civilians. Tar Aik Bong joined the Ta’ang struggle in 1987, and is now the Chairperson of the Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), the Head of military commission of the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), as well as a member of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) council and Foreign Affairs Department. The PSLF/TNLA is one of the few prominent ethnic armed groups yet to sign a ceasefire with the Burmese government. The following is Tar Aik Bong’s message to the international community."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Link
Format/size: pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 March 2016