The international community, whose Western representatives so readily flock to Myanmar in both good will and selfish interest, is often an unwitting contributor to the country's persistent instability. This will likely lead not to intended peace but to more unwanted war until certain facts are fully faced.
Today Myanmar is essentially a massive Land Rush, the likes of which the world has not seen since America's Sooners swept across the state of Oklahoma grabbing up the ancestral lands of native American Indians who were in the way of "progress". Myanmar's "last frontier markets" have become cash cows for various Western governments, businesses and aid agencies, a cause celebre to promote their causes, agendas and budgets.
For all of President Thein Sein's reformist professions and gestures that leverage international favor for immunity from close scrutiny, the facts about real reform in this troubled but promising land are ominous and enduring. The pressure to deliver on reforms will mount ahead of national elections in 2015, the assumption of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation's (ASEAN) chair this year, and the balancing act of leveraging Western economic alliances to counter China's expansionism.
After decades of debilitating military rule, base survivalism, not enlightened reform, is on the march today in Thein Sein's Myanmar. While the face of reform may appear confident, there are cracks just below the cosmetic surface. Nowhere is that more evident than with ongoing ethnic tensions, including but not confined to the armed conflict in Kachin State. Ethnic armies have confounded Burman generals and foot soldiers on the battlefield for decades.
Full Story: Asia Times
News and updates on Myanmar's ethnic internal conflicts.
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