The highly volatile situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State adds dangerously to the country’s political and religious tensions. Long-term, incremental solutions are critical for the future of Rakhine State and the country as a whole.
01 November 2014
Govt 1 Oct announced plan not to release sensitive census data on religion until 2016, after 2015 elections. 3,000 prisoners pardoned 7 Oct: small number of political prisoners among released includ ...
It was Myanmar’s military that initiated the end of its own dictatorship; to advance stable reform, it needs to continue withdrawing from civilian life.
Unless there is an effective government response and change in societal attitudes, violence against Myanmar’s Muslim communities could spread, jeopardising the country’s transition as well as its standing in the region and beyond.
The deal that has now been struck between the Myanmar government and the Kachin armed group is a major step forward, but securing a sustainable peace will require much more work.
Even as Myanmar’s democratic transition continues apace, ethnic violence in Rakhine State represents a threat to national stability. It demands decisive moral leadership from all the country’s leaders as they strive to find long-term solutions to the many challenges that lie ahead, including longstanding discrimination of the Rohingya and other Muslim minorities.
Political transition and economic reconstruction are deeply entwined in Myanmar, and the government, the country’s elites and the international community must embrace both for the dramatic reforms underway to succeed.
With Myanmar embarked on a remarkable top-down transition from five decades of authoritarian rule and extensive reforms already in place, it is time for the international community to help it address the remaining complex and numerous challenges by ending sanctions and looking to cooperation rather than coercion to promote further change.
After demonstrating commitment to an extraordinary series of social, economic and political reforms, Myanmar’s new government has launched a bold peace initiative with potential to resolve the devastating 60-year civil war with ethnic groups.
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