One decade ago today, Myanmar’s then-ruling military government held a referendum on whether to ratify a Constitution that not only political observers but also many ordinary citizens saw as a thinly veiled rubber stamp for the military’s continued involvement in the country’s politics. Led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and in collaboration with civil society organizations, the National League for Democracy has declared its intention to amend the charter, which it claims is undemocratic — but so far its efforts have been in vain. On the 10th anniversary of the referendum, we post here a collection of opinion pieces from The Irrawaddy — some dating back to 2008 — relating to the Constitution, the possible options for amending it, and the ways in which it limits democracy in Myanmar, among other topics.
As analysts and activists debate how to respond to the regime’s draft constitution, others ask if it will cement the generals’ hold on power or trigger a popular uprising
What can the international community and the opposition do to ensure that next year’s election puts Burma on the road to genuine political reform?
The democracy icon says she wants to be president, but to get there, she’ll need some help from a tough crowd: military-appointed members of Parliament.
As the reform process loses momentum, foreign diplomats and donors should not be fooled by political manipulation or the progress of three years ago.
President Thein Sein has not shown any indication that he is serious about amendments, but the clock is ticking and we’re tired of waiting.
Whatever form the dialogue on constitutional change takes, what’s most important is that the discussion is substantive and its participants approach the matter genuinely.
The international community must press the Burmese government to go further in its top-down reform program.
The Irrawaddy speaks with Zipporah Sein, vice chairperson of the Karen National Union and leader of a newly formed ethnic negotiating bloc.
Constitutional change is crucial, and we should be careful that any attempt to achieve it is not counter-productive.
Burma’s generals got the Constitution they wanted, hence the NLD’s victory is unlikely to affect the country’s power structure with the military at its apex.
With the National League for Democracy hitting its 40th day in office this week, Irrawaddy Dateline examines what challenges and opportunities remain for the party.
Myanmar has had three constitutions since securing its independence in 1948. Here is a brief history of each.
Party laying the groundwork for reform, remains committed to charter change, spokesman says.