Beyond Armed Resistance: Ethnonational Politics in Burma by Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung

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By Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung

This paper sheds gentle at the actions of non-armed individuals of ethnic minorities in Burma, insufficiently studied actors within the traditional examine of ethnic politics in Burma that has lengthy been ruled via a spotlight on ethnonational armed resistance teams and ceasefire teams. concentrating on the Kachin, Karen, Mon, and Shan ethnic teams, the examine describes 9 significant financial, political, and geographical different types of civilian event, by means of 4 contributions that non-armed participants of ethnic minority teams may perhaps make to the political process: (1) helping the established order, (2) remodeling or undermining the established order, (3) selling collective id and tradition and addressing humanitarian wishes, and (4) supporting to mediate ceasefire agreements. The examine demonstrates the necessity to concentrate on the whole diversity of nonviolent political activities that exist between ethnic minority populations and argues that coverage responses needs to glance past the position of armed teams and develop into extra delicate to the wishes of the various participants of ethnic groups.

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Additional resources for Beyond Armed Resistance: Ethnonational Politics in Burma (Myanmar) (Policy Studies (East-West Center Washington))

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But it has also led to a greater military presence, intense exploitation of natural resources, and development-induced displacement (Oo and Min 2007; South 2007, 2008). In addition, the ceasefire ended in April 2009, when the government attempted to disarm these groups and integrate them into the national army, eventually declaring those who refused to do so to be insurgents. Non-armed People’s Strategies and Perspectives Members of ethnic minority groups who choose not to engage in armed resistance are referred to in this paper as non-armed—and as “quiet,” partly because they do not attract attention from the outside world and partly because many of them have resorted to a low-key, nonadversarial approach to addressing their personal and collective needs.

The positions were also seen as attractive because they are part of the executive branch, which was perceived to have greater power and influence over important policy matters than the legislative branch. This optimistic interpretation of the role of ethnic affairs minister, a role that is not clearly explained in the constitution, may not be confirmed or disproved for years (interview with an ethnic affairs minister, Rangoon, February 2011). What actors pursue change-from-within strategies? One such group is made up of reformed-minded ethnic leaders who joined the USDP with a desire to promote their communities’ interests and peaceful coexistence among different nationalities, and to secure greater political and economic progress.

In both cases, ceasefires saw intense flows of communication and interaction between civilian groups and armed ceasefire groups, as well as a rapid increase in humanitarian, cultural, educational, and development activities in both ceasefire and government-controlled areas. For instance, the NMSP was able to work with its non-armed counterparts to develop Mon language curricula and manage 186 Mon national schools and mixed schools by running them cooperatively within the government system (South 2004: 240).

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