Burma. According to countryaah, Naypyidaw is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Burma. Burma remained internationally isolated and pressured in July to refrain from taking on the chairmanship of the regional cooperation organization ASEAN. Officially, the military junta declared that it needed to put its energies on the “reconciliation and democratization work” in the home country. However, the conference on a new constitution that has been going on since 1993 did not show any results this year and was mistrusted by the outside world as most opposition parties were not allowed to participate. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi spent his 60th birthday in June under continued house arrest. About 1,100 Burmese were estimated to be in prison for the sake of their views.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym BM stands for the country of Myanmar and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
The US and the EU renewed their financial sanctions against Burma, but received some criticism from the UN human rights investigator in the country, Paulo S谷rgio Pinheiro. He recommended less “megaphone diplomacy” and better international coordination of the pressure on the military junta so as not to make the regime uncontactable.
However, the regime voluntarily isolated itself even more when in November all ministries moved out of the country some 30 miles north of Rangoon. No explanation was given, but there were speculations that the military junta feared an invasion of a foreign power.
Four concerted blast attacks against malls in Rangoon in May officially claimed eleven human lives, according to civilian sources many more. The regime accused ethnic rebel groups and the democracy movement of being behind the attacks, which they denied. No clarity was ever given.
Former Prime Minister Khin Nyunt, who lost a power struggle in June 2004, was sentenced in July to 44 years in prison conditional on corruption. He was expected to spend the rest of his life under house arrest. 38 of his former employees in the intelligence service were sentenced to long prison terms.
In July 2009, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon visited Myanmar. met with General Than Shwe. Shwe refused to let Moon meet with Aung San Suu Kyi. Shwe preferred to talk about the upcoming elections in 2010 that will transform Myanmar into a democracy: “When we meet next time, I’m just an ordinary citizen,” the dictator declared.
In August 2009, regime forces in the Shan state of northern Myanmar fought for several weeks against various ethnic minorities – especially Han Chinese, Va and Chi. The fighting sent over 30,000 Burmese on the run into Yunnan Province in southern China.
As planned, the dictatorship held parliamentary elections in November 2010. However, it was boycotted by the opposition with Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD in the lead. Section 59F of the Constitution already banned the choice of Burmese married to non-Burmese. A paragraph to prevent Suu Kyi from posing. The election was won by the dictatorship party USDP with former prime minister Thein Sein in the lead. Sein had resigned as general ½ years earlier to run for office. USDP got 57.59% of the votes to Amyotha Hluttaw and 58.86% of the votes to Pyithu Hluttaw). The result was initially rejected by both the United States and Britain, while China, Russia and India expressed hope that the election could be a step towards democracy.
Six days after the election, Suu Kyi was released from his house arrest. She stated upon her release that she did not regret her party’s boycott of the election.
Than Shwe resigned in March 2011, handing over the presidential post to USDP’s Thein Sein. Sein was prime minister during the dictatorship last year, but was very interested in easing the West’s sanctions and met in August with Suu Kyi.
From 2011, Thein Sein government initiated a series of political and economic reforms: 313 political prisoners were released; censorship was eased and foreign media blocking lifted; a new improved labor law was adopted; and a National Human Rights Organization was established. In September, the government suspended construction of the disputed Myitsone Dam in Kachin state. A building that was otherwise supported by China. It also waived the demand for soldiers of the armed ethnic minority groups to be included in the border police.
At the parliamentary elections in April 2012, NLD decided to stand. NLD won 4 out of the 6 supplementary seats in Amyotha Hluttaw, while the ruling USDP had to settle for 1, and 37 out of 40 seats in Pyithu Hluttaw). China subsequently called on Western countries that had sanctions against Myanmar to ease these, and a few days later the United States relaxed its sanctions. Britain declared that easing was dependent on the release of political prisoners and continued democratic progress. However, the EU raised its sanctions that month. In November, US President Rangoon visited where he met with both President Sein and Suu Kyi.
In the summer of 2012, unrest erupted in the northern Rakhine state between Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine residents. Between 100 and 1,000 people were killed, 2,500 houses burned down and 115,000 fled. Authorities in June declared the state in a state of emergency. In July, Thein Sein ethnic cleansed the Muslim population of the state when he declared that they were foreigners and should be sent out of the country.
In August 2012, Sein underwent a government transformation in which 9 ministers and 15 deputy ministers considered hardliners were replaced by politicians who were closer to Sein’s moderate course. The reforms continued, but hundreds of political prisoners remained in the country despite the release, there were still restrictions on freedom of demonstration and the repression of ethnic minorities continued. However, ASEAN acknowledged the reform policy with increased trade and by making Myanmar the chair of the association for 2014.