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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 November 18 - 24  > Myanmar’s democratization to be tested
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2015 November 18 - 24 [WORLD]

Myanmar’s democratization to be tested

November 20, 2015
Akahata ‘current’ column

The National League for Democracy (NLD), the political party which has led the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar, won a landslide victory in the recent general election. The poll results probably reflect people’s great expectations for the party leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

In 2010, Myanmar’s military government released Suu Kyi from house arrest. The country began to show signs of vitality after the current administration which succeeded the military government implemented a series of measures in support of democratization. However, many Myanmarese do not see it as results achieved by the present military-backed regime. “Our country changed because of the release of Suu Kyi. It’s all thanks to her,” said a local resident.

One of the difficult problems facing the incoming government is how to establish peace with more than 20 armed groups of ethnic minorities. At present, only eight groups have agreed to a truce with the current administration.

Myanmar has 135 different ethnic groups. For example, at a restaurant beside Lake Inle, a sightseeing spot in the eastern state of Shan, workers from four different ethnicities - Burmese, Shan, Paoh, and Yin - are working together. The owner of a local brewer near the lake said, “It was not until 12 years ago that tourists came to visit here. Until then, the battle had continued between government forces and the Paoh militant group.”

An armed organization official in Shan State told a local newspaper that Suu Kyi is an admirable political leader and that he wants her to carry out her campaign promises for “change” in his region as well. The paper points out that Suu Kyi’s leadership ability will be really tested.

Past related article:
> Ogata meets with political party executives in Myanmar [April 4, 2015]
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