Presentation on theme: "Asia Burma. Burma/ Myanmar Independence 1948 Ethnic conflict 1962 Military Junta State Peace and Development Council 1988 Protests 1990 elections nullified."— Presentation transcript:
Burma/ Myanmar Independence 1948 Ethnic conflict 1962 Military Junta State Peace and Development Council 1988 Protests 1990 elections nullified National League for Democracy 2007 Jasmin Revolution 2010, elections 2011 – continued political reforms and economic liberalization 2012 elections
Ethnic Conflict Burman ethnic group 60% of the population, 40% of land. Dominate the government and economy Major ethnic minorities engaged in conflict: Arakanese, Chin, Kachin, Shan, Karenni, Karen, and Mon
Features of Transition Role of technology in democracy movements non-violent resistance Influence of foreign civil society organizations as capacity builders and sources of finance Aiding domestic CSOs in serving as a mediator between government and population
Military Rule widespread use of forced labour Over 1 million people forced from their homes 150,000 in refugee camps 70,000 child soldiers - more than any other country in the world Rape as a weapon of war against ethnic women and children Nearly half the government budget spent on the military One in ten die before the age of 5 meetings of more than 5 people are banned. Media heavily censored
1988 Protests 1988, students, workers, and others launched nationwide protests calling for freedom and democracy. military responded by gunning down thousands of demonstrators General Thein Swe has acknowledged that the demonstrations came close to toppling the military government elections were held in 1990 in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy(NLD) won 82% of the seats. Military negated results
Saffron Revolution 2007 Anti government protests sparked by reduced fuel subsidies Monasteries raided, monks beaten and arrested Violent crackdown regime cut off all internet access and made international phone usage impossible for two weeks
On 7 February 2008, SPDC announced that a referendum for the Constitution would be held, and Elections by "disciplined, flourishing democracy" 2010 November: The main military-backed party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), claims victory in the first elections for 20 years. Opposition groups allege fraud and many Western countries condemn the vote. The junta says it marks the transition from military rule to a civilian democracy. A week after the election, Aung San Suu Kyi - who had been prevented from taking part - is released from house arrest.
Aung San Su Kyi Chairperson of the National League for Democracy Party won the general election of % of the vote Imprisoned for 15 years over a 21 year period Released in 2010
2011 January: The government authorises internet access for Aung San Suu Kyi. March: Thein Sein is sworn in as president, civilian government established May: thousands of prisoners freed under an amnesty, August: Aung San Suu Kyi is allowed to leave Rangoon to visit President Thein Sein in Nay Pyi Taw. September: President Thein Sein suspends construction of controversial Chinese-funded hydroelectric dam, seen as showing greater openness to public opinion. October: More than 200 political prisoners are freed as part of a general amnesty. labour laws allowing unions are passed. Joins ASEAN December: President Thein Sein signs a law allowing peaceful demonstrations The NLD re-registers as a political party Burmese authorities agree a truce with rebels of the Shan ethnic group and order the military to stop operations against ethnic Kachin rebels.
2012 January: The government signs a ceasefire with the Karen hundreds of prisoners released student protesters, monks involved in the 2007 demonstrations April Election: NLD wins 43 out of 45 seats in parliamentary elections Results considered valid July: Aung San Suu Kyi enters parliament, December: private news papers legalised
January: The government abolishes ban on public gatherings of more than five people. The Asian Development Bank resumes loans after 30 years Thein Sein embarks on his first European tour as head of state. April: The European Union lifts sanctions - except those on arms sales, January: Myanmar finalizes a landmark agreement to open its telecoms network to foreign investment.
Economic Reform, Technology, Development, Democracy since 2011, Burma has embarked on policy reforms of anti-corruption laws, currency exchange rates, foreign investment laws and taxation. Foreign investment increased from US$300 million in to a US $20 billion in , (about 667%). Expanding freedom of expression, an increasingly independent media and freedom of association and assembly mean that it will be easier for the voice of the population to be heard by decision- makers.
Censorship of media, and internet mobile phone SIM card 2000$ down to 1.50$ in % of the population has access
External Civil Society Religious and community-based organisations were active under military rule, providing services to people living in areas affected by conflicts newly acquired freedoms in recent years have led to an expansion of civil society activities,. Discreet challenge of power structures without openly promoting democratic rights Some CSOs engage in activities that are traditionally considered the responsibility of the state. Local organisations, especially in ethnic areas, have broad experience in working with education, health services and relief efforts. Cyclone Nargis in 2008 Highlighted inability of the state to address the humanitarian crisis Most relief work conducted through CSO with international support This changed the way in which the military junta and civil society related to each other,
Civil society activities have expanded considerably since 2011, due to the newly acquired freedoms and increased financial support from international donors. Knowledge about democratic governance is limited This opens an opportunity for CSOs to engage with political actors through capacity-building work. relations between political parties and civil society are often based on personal connections.
civil society in Myanmar reaches out to political parties, not the other way around some party members are more willing to engage with civil society than others. Reformists are particularly willing to maintain contact and seem to acknowledge civil society’s expertise express an interest in learning from CSOs. Others only tolerate CSOs because of international pressure. USDP have engaged with civil society capacity-builders as a response to the poor results in 2012 by-elections Government has reached out to some organisations as advisors Suspicion of certain CSOs, especially in ethnic areas
Going Forward The increased political and civil liberties in Myanmar since 2011 present opportunities and challenges to the interaction between political parties and civil society. The legislature has proved to be an institution where civil society can exert some influence through informal and formal relations with MPs. The country currently faces several critical processes such as the national ceasefire negotiations and the upcoming 2015 elections.
Civil Society India
Social Demography of India Population billion 166 million dalits (untouchables) 70 million people are physically / mentally challenged; religious minorities 20% of the population- including over 138 million Muslims and 24 million Christians; 25% live below the poverty line; adivasis (indigenous people / tribals) account for another 84 million; 2.4 million with HIV/AIDS approximately 500,000 internally displaced, due to armed conflict, ethnic, communal and other forms of violence; 300 million migrants 400 million, more than 85% of the working population work in the unorganised sector. 120 million are women.
Human Rights Movements The Emergency Rule detention without trial for a large number of people-students, youth, political personalities, censorship, constitutional amendment curtailing basic rights to life and freedom in the name of national security and violation of civil liberties. Media monopoly of the government was totally controlled by the ruling party
Formation of HR Movements Citizens for Democracy, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), People's Union for Civil Liberties and Democratic Rights (PUCLDR) Dozens of state level and city based groups were also formed during this period. CPDR in Mumbai APDR in Hyderabad
Caste System Divides people based on occupation Discrimination against lower castes is illegal in India under Article 15 of its constitution Castes still rarely intermarry and are not changeable Contributes to economic disadvantages 36.3% of people own no land at all, 60.6% own about 15% of available land, with a very wealthy 3.1% owning 15%
Dalit Rights Movement Untouchables Perform tasks deemed impure, manual labour, waste and sewage collection 13 Dalits murdered every week, 5 Dalits’ homes or possessions burnt every week, 6 Dalits kidnapped or abducted every week, 3 Dalit women raped every day, 11 Dalits beaten every day and a crime committed against a Dalits every 18 minute
Development Resisting Displacement Induced By ‘Mega Development’ Projects The recognition of inequity, and of violation of the basic rights of the affected people, has resulted in growing interaction between local communities and activists from beyond the affected region, and the articulation of the rights and the injuries has been molded in the process of this interaction. Resource rights were demanded in the early years of protest in the matter of forests; conservation and the right of the people to access forest produce for their subsistence and in acknowledgment of the traditional relationship between forests and dwellers in and around forests.
Peasantry Farmers Suicides Volatility in the Indian agriculture in the post reform period has resulted in economic hardship Two factors have transformed agriculture from a positive economy into a negative economy for peasants: rising of costs of production & falling prices of farm commodities. policies of trade liberalization and corporate globalization.
Women’s Movement Nationwide anti-rape campaign in 1980 Anti Dowry struggles Campaign for Reforms in the Family Laws Prevention of Sexual Harassment at workplace Environmental struggles Domestic workers rights Fight against witch- hunting & honour killing
Gulabi Gang Formed 2006, Active across northern India Response to domestic abuse and violence against women Most are Dalits 400,000 members Observe government food distribution Campaign against child marriage, dowry, female illiteracy
Delhi Rape Case 23 yr old medical student 16 December 2012 Mumbai police chief “rapes were happening because women are kissing in public” "Don't tell us how to dress, just tell men not to rape us." public protests against the state judicial committee to amend laws to provide quicker investigation and prosecution of sex offenders. Breaking the taboo on discussions on sexual violence Six new courts established