What’s next for Myanmar? Our expert can help if you are covering.March 3, 20212 min read
The troubled and fledgling democracy that existed in Myanmar has been overtaken by a military coup. The tiny South-Asian country is no stranger to military dictatorships and the uprisings occurring are the third time in recent history that the country has been in disarray.
The reason for the interventions, as it’s being spun by the military, is to preserve the concepts of democracy with the promise of new elections on the horizon.
“The Burmese military has long considered itself as the principle protector of the Myanmar nation, and they have treated internal critics and democratic reformers as enemies of the nation,” said Dr. Andrew Goss,” chair of the Department of History, Anthropology and Philosophy at Augusta University. “While the partial democratic reforms instigated by the military a decade ago gave many hope that Myanmar was changing, the election last year did not produce the results the military expected.”
In his first televised address since the takeover, Min Aung Hlaing, a career military officer who is commander in chief of Myanmar's armed forces, repeated claims of fraud in November's election, and said the military will hold new elections and transfer power to the winner. He did not specify when those elections would take place, though the military had previously declared a year-long state of emergency.
The military has imposed numerous restrictions on gatherings and activities in the country's largest cities of Yangon and Mandalay, effective Monday until further notice.
Restrictions include an 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew, as well as a ban on motorized processions and gatherings of more than five people. They are effective on a township-by-township basis.
In his address, Min Aung Hlaing said an electoral commission did not properly investigate irregularities over voter lists or allow fair campaigning, according to the BBC, which notes that the commission did not find evidence to support claims of widespread fraud. He also promised that a reformed commission would oversee another election, and spoke of achieving a "true and disciplined democracy."
But when those elections will happen and who will be able to seek office have yet to be explained.
The situation has garnered international attention and condemnation – and if you are a journalist covering these ongoing developments in Myanmar, then let our experts help with your coverage.
Dr. Andrew Goss is a renowned expert in Asian history and can speak to reporters covering the events taking place now. To arrange an interview with Dr. Goss, simply click on his name.
Andrew Goss Professor of History
An expert in Southeast Asian history and politics, including Myanmar and Burma.