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Home > Main Library > Politics and Government > The Burmese democracy movement (outside Burma) > National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) > The Burma Fund > Working Papers of the Technical Advisory Network of Burma

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Working Papers of the Technical Advisory Network of Burma
Published by The Burma Fund

Individual Documents

Title: Reforming the Banking System in Burma: A Survey of the Problems and Possibilities - TAN
Date of publication: November 2002
Description/subject: "...The transformation of Burma into a fully institutionalised liberal democracy based on a market economy will be a multi-faceted process. One aspect of this must be, however, the creation of a properly functioning financial system. Financial institutions are integral to economic development. In a market economy they provide the central coordinating mechanism through which resources are allocated. At best, they do this in ways that maximise the wealth and welfare of their respective national economies. The foundations of a proper functioning financial system are transparency, accountability and the effective transmission of market signals. Burma’s existing financial system, unfortunately, possesses few of these virtues. Worse, its principal financial institutions may be little more than facades for the activity of criminals and a narco-state. Reforming Burma’s financial system, in particular the banks that make up its core, will require the privatisation of its state banks, the legitimisation of its existing private banks and the opening up of the sector to foreign competitors. Before these measures can be undertaken, however, fundamental institutional reform will be necessary. Burma must become an economy and a society ruled by law and not the whim of generals. The Burmese people must have rights to property in order to best liberate their latent skills and energy. Financial regulation must adopt practices that have been demonstrated to work elsewhere. Macroeconomic policy must leave the irrational world and enter that which reason and history teaches us can achieve all that governments are able. Burma’s political economy, in short, awaits its transformation..."
Author/creator: Sean Turnell
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: The Burma Fund (Technical Advisory Network of Burma) WP07
Format/size: pdf (287K)
Date of entry/update: 10 June 2007

Title: Impunity Inconceivable
Date of publication: April 2002
Description/subject: "In the future transition of Burma, the political leaders coupled with the families of victims may decide that justice must be done against the culprits of the past regimes in order to set a precedent, and also to serve as a deterrent against future crimes. But there are others who will suggest that national reconciliation is critical for a peaceful progress of democratization and that Burma needs to set a precedent by avoiding the "winner takes all" forms of justice, hence the best way to achieve with justice is to follow the traditional religious values of forgiveness via amnesty. This paper attempts to examine this dilemma by using case studies such as South Africa, Guatemala and Cambodia while taking these lessons learned from abroad to the Burmese context. The author uses good practices already available within the Burmese cultural frameworks to conduct truth and reconciliation efforts in democratic transition of Burma."...The "full" version (1.2MB) includes Burmese text and the front and back covers. covers
Author/creator: Kanbawza Win
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: The Burma Fund (Technical Advisory Network of Burma) WP 01/02
Format/size: pdf (432K)
Date of entry/update: 10 June 2007

Title: Multi-Nationalism, Democracy and “Asymmetrical Federalism” (With Some Tentative Comparative Reflections on Burma)
Date of publication: 2002
Description/subject: "For those of us interested in the spread and consolidation of democracy, whether as policy makers, human rights activists, political analysts, or democratic theorists, there is a greater need now than ever before to reconsider the potential risks and benefits of federalism. The great risk is that federal arrangements can offer opportunities for non-democratic ethnic nationalists to mobilize their resources. This risk is especially grave when elections are introduced in the sub-units of a formerly non-democratic federal polity—as they were in the USSR and the former Yugoslavia—prior to democratic countrywide elections and in the absence of democratic countrywide parties.1 Of the nine states that once made up communist Europe, six were unitary and three were federal. The six unitary states are now five states (East Germany has reunited with the Federal Republic), while the three federal states — Yugoslavia, the USSR, and Czechoslovakia — are now 22 independent states. Most of postcommunist Europe’s ethnocracies and ethnic bloodshed has occurred within these post-federal states. Yet in spite of these potential problems, federal rather than unitary is the form most often associated with multinational democracies. Federal states are also associated with large populations, extensive territories, and democracies with territorially based linguistic fragmentation. In fact, every single long-standing democracy in a territorially based multilingual and multinational polity is a federal state.2 Although there are many multinational polities in the world, few of them are democracies. Those multinational democracies that do exist, however (Canada, Belgium, Spain and India), are all federal. Although all these democracies have had problems managing their multinational polities (and even multicultural Switzerland had the Sonderbund War, the secession of the Catholic cantons in 1848), they remain reasonably stable. By contrast, Sri Lanka, a territorially based multilingual and multinational unitary state that feared the “slippery slope” of federalism, could not cope with its ethnic divisions and plunged headlong into a bloody civil war that has lasted more than 15 years..."
Author/creator: Alfred Stepan
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: The Burma Fund (Technical Advisory Network of Burma, WP 02/02)
Format/size: pdf (228K)
Date of entry/update: 10 June 2007

Title: Burma's Armed Forced Under Civilian Rule: Return to the Past?
Date of publication: May 2001
Description/subject: "Neither the National League for Democracy, nor the Burmese democratic movement as a whole, have yet announced any detailed policies on defense issues. Yet it is clear that their vision for the country's armed forces, derived largely from the writings of independence hero Aung San, is different in several key respects from that of the current regime. Should a democratically elected civilian government of some kind come to power in Rangoon, there is not likely to be many immediate or dramatic changes in the armed forces. Over time, however, a democratic government will need to consider major adjustments to the size of the Tatmadaw, its share of the national budget, the role of the military intelligence apparatus and the way in which the armed forces were employed as an institution of the state."
Author/creator: Andrew Selth
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: The Burma Fund (Technical Advisory Network of Burma) WP 02/01
Format/size: pdf (331K)
Date of entry/update: 14 June 2007

Title: Adapting Consociationalism: Viable Democratic Structures in Burma
Date of publication: November 2000
Description/subject: "In 1990 the first open elections were allowed by the military regime of Burma since 1962. After a devastating defeat at the polls, the regime rejected the election results, and instead demanded a new constitution. These events sparked renewed interest in the possibility of a democratic future in Burma. This study focuses on those democratic structures that might best facilitate stability in Burma, by asking a question not fully addressed in the current literature. Assuming that a democratic constitution could be implemented tomorrow, what types of institutions would it feature? This paper adapts the tenants of consociationalism to the special cultural context of Burma in order to provide suggestions for a democratic future. First, a brief look at historical and ethnic conflict influences in Burma is provided in order to define the case. Next, two structures derived from consociationalism - proportional representation and regional autonomy - are combined with presidential-parliamentarianism. These institutions may represent some possible solutions to the democratic dilemma in Burma."
Author/creator: Clare M. Smith
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Burma Fund (Technical Advisory Network of Burma) WP 03/00
Format/size: pdf (400K)
Date of entry/update: 10 May 2007

Title: Military Regimes: Nature, Structures, Power Dynamics, and Political Transition
Date of publication: August 2000
Description/subject: "The 'military=' regime is vulnerable when there is a 'transition' in the configuration of power within the upper reaches of such a regime, i.e., when there appears a power vacuum or the problem of leadership, and correspondingly, there is a problem in maintaining political cohesion within the armed forces. Chao-tzang Yawnghwe provides a useful analytical framework to examine the institutional dynamics of military regimes and recommends a wide range of policy options for the would-be democratizers in dealing with the military's disengagement from politics."
Author/creator: Chao-tzang Yawnghwe
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: The Burma Fund (Technical Advisory Network of Burma, WP 02/00)
Format/size: pdf (224K)
Date of entry/update: 23 June 2007