Ethnic Nationalities Council (Union of Burma)
|Title:|| ||Discrimination, Conflict and Corruption: The Ethnic States of Burma
|Date of publication:|| ||02 November 2011|
|Description/subject:|| ||Executive Summary:
"Since achieving independence in January 1948, successive
Burmese governments, elected and military dictatorships, have
sought to address the complex issues involving the country’s
many ethnic groups. They have sought to do this primarily
through confronting a perceived separatist agenda pursued
by the many ethnic groups who have taken up arms against
the various governments.
However, ethnic groups have called for a genuine federal union
based upon the principles of equality for all of the country’s
citizens. It is this that is the motivating factor behind the
continuation of armed struggle, as central Burmese
administrations have refused to concede to the political
grievances of the ethnic groups.
Now that a new, ostensibly civilian, government has taken over
the administration of the country, the time has come for new
efforts to fully understand the current problems affecting the
ethnic groups and to re-evaluate those previous strategies that
have continued to perpetuate armed conflict.
While armed conflict has become a dominant factor among
the problems affecting ethnic peoples, it is not the only one.
Wide-scale discrimination against ethnic groups, prevalent
corruption, and human rights abuses have continued
throughout the decades of civil war. The Governments of
Burma, especially from 1962 until 2010, have pursued only a
military solution to what is primarily a political problem, and
have consequently given ethnic groups no other option but
to engage in armed struggle. Ethnic citizens, therefore, have
been regarded as possible insurgents without just cause. They
have been discriminated against up to the present day.
While the ceasefire agreements of the late eighties and early
nineties have characterised some of the achievements that
could be found by co-operating with the Military Government’s
framework, they still failed to alleviate poverty and inequality
for most of the ethnic populations. Many of those groups who
had not totally supported the military government’s line found
the original concessions that they had been granted gradually
The fact that the previous Military Government’s response to
the ceasefire groups call for equal recognition led to the
coerced creation of Border Guard Forces (BGF), in which ethnic
armed forces accepted Burma Army authority, demonstrated
that the military still did not understand what was needed for
the ethnic groups to realise their aspirations and did not trust
them to be equal members of the union. While the new
government has made a number of concessions to reform laws
and instil democratic values, it must recognise the equality of
all peoples of the country.
The failure of the BGF programme, the resumption of war in
2011 in Kachin State and the widening of conflict in Shan and
Karen States clearly show that the ethnic issue needs to be
addressed not by military force but by political compromise.
It is this solution that must recognise and redress the inequality
that many of the ethnic minority populati on feel."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Paul Keenan|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Strategic Studies Department, Ethnic Nationalities Council - Union of Burma|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (592K - OBL version; 698K - original)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.encburma.net/images/files/publications/Discrimination-Conflict-and-Corruption-Report-1.pdf'>http://www.encburma.net/images/files/publications/Discrimination-Conflict-and-Corruption-Report-1.p...
|Date of entry/update:|| ||02 November 2011|