International Relations : Burma Essay

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General background on Burma As the time of writing, Burma is seen to be on course towards political reforms in its gradual transition to democracy, headed by its President, (Senior General) Thein Sein and his cabinet members. As many analysts have predicted in the recent years, the General Election held in year 2010 would be tightly-managed by the ruling junta government which resulted to major victory of military-backed candidates and parties primarily Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), sidelining the pro-democracy opposition parties and other ethnic minorities. The United Nations and western countries have condemned the general election as fraudulent. As the result of the election, the government is now a quasi-civilian government; a rebranding exercise of the ruling military junta which has been retaining its power of the country since 1962, 12 years after gaining its independence from Britain. Burma never recovered since the military coup de tat in 1962. Burma was once seen as the most promising state in the South East Asia region, but now, is the poorest country in the region stamped with a ‘bad boy’ image. However in 2003, to the surprise of the international communities and the locals, (former) President Than Shwe announced that a roadmap towards ‘discipline-flourishing’ democracy will be undertaken. Steps toward democratization include the release of the ‘Darling of the West’ as previously mocked upon by military junta; Aung San Suu Kyi and other ‘political dissidents’. Perhaps to prove Thein Sein’s sincerity in pursuing democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) was allowed to contest in April 2012 by-election, to fill-up parliamentary seats left by military. Astoundingly, Aung San Suu Kyi and her candidates won 43 out of 45 seats contested in a by-election, indicating a real change is set and bound to happen, though

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