Reforms in Myanmar: 4 reasons the military changed course

For more than half a century, Myanmar’s military governments were synonymous with brutality and corruption, but a year ago the military stepped aside, handing power to a nominally civilian government. Here are four reasons why this change occurred.

By

Little credit goes to "Arab Spring"

What is happening in Myanmar, however, is not an Asian version of the “Arab Spring.” The generals launched themselves on the road to political reform several years ago, albeit slowly – long before they might have been frightened into it by events in the Middle East.
 
More importantly, the reforms have not come as a result of popular uprisings; in fact the government successfully (if brutally) put down uprisings in 1988 and 2007, when many observers thought Buddhist monks might be leading a “Saffron Revolution.” Instead, the reform process has been imposed from the top down. The generals decided for their own reasons (see previous points) that they wanted to leave power on their own terms.

Of course, watching the “Arab Spring” unrest spread around the Middle East, they probably congratulated themselves for being prescient.

4 of 4
What'd we miss? Tell us what angles to cover next.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Share this story:

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...