Books – Burma Under Military Rule: Breaking the Silence

Living Silence. Burma under Military Rule by Christina Fink. Published by Zed Books, 2001. Burma. Political Economy under Military Rule edited by Robert H Taylor. Published by Hurst & Company, 2001.The Making of Modern Burma by Thant Myint-U. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2001.

The World Today Updated 26 October 2020 Published 1 August 2001 3 minute READ

John Bray

Burma remains one of the least known and most poorly understood of southeast Asian nations. The country is now more readily accessible to travellers than in previous decades, and the government newspaper – the New Light of Myanmar – is available on the worldwide web. But the paper’s reports are largely devoted to official speeches by apparently omniscient generals on stilted state occasions. Independent political discussion is stifled.

Yet Burma faces major political and social dilemmas. Is it possible to balance the army’s political aspirations with popular demands for democratic reform? How best can the country achieve a harmonious relationship between the Burman majority and the ethnic minorities? How will it manage relations with its neighbours? And how can Burma resolve any of these questions without open public debate?

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