Should the ANP Be Reorganised?

Min Htee 01 Jun 2021

A statement issued by Arakan National Party (ANP) Chairman U Thar Tun Hla at a press conference on May 5 said the ANP’s decision to suspend its affiliation with the military-led State Administration Council was illegal and inconsistent with party policy. The issue was posted on the social media page of the ANP’s policy steering committee. The party’s Central Executive Committee has no authority to decide whether or not to continue working with the State Administrative Council, and it is instead up to a meeting of the Central Committee (CC) to decide.

Our Scars Are All Similar

DMG 25 May 2021

Blood-stained slippers abandoned in the streets; armed security forces shouting orders at the citizens they are sworn to protect; and seemingly every day the sound of gunfire, explosions or both. This is the new reality in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. Six months ago, few would have predicted such scenes of bloodshed and chaos in the commercial capital.

Can the ANP Restore a Political Reputation in Decline?

12 May 2021

“We just worked together. We didn’t join the State Administration Council. For example, Daw Aye Nu Sein joined the State Administration Council because of offers from some people close to the Tatmadaw,” U Thar Tun Hla, chairman of the Arakan National Party (ANP), told reporters at a press conference on May 5. 

After Three Months of Cooperation With Junta, It Is Too Late for ANP to Mend Fences

Min Htee 10 May 2021

However, some Arakanese politicians who preferred to push for reforms through the parliament formed the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP) to contest the first general election since the 1990 poll, in 2010. The RNDP won the largest number of seats in Arakan State — a testimony to the overwhelming support of Arakanese people for the party.

A Federal Fix for Myanmar in Crisis

Min Htee 07 May 2021

The military-drafted 2008 Constitution is against federalism and will not guarantee self-determination for ethnic states. The National Unity Government (NUG), the new shadow administration that was formed in mid-April by deposed parliamentarians to oppose the junta, has announced that it has scrapped the 2008 Constitution. When there is no common ground, talks between the two sides are unlikely.

Bullied, Bullies and Arakan Society

Moe Myint 27 Apr 2021

Because there was no road, locals had to travel through the mountains for three hours and then take a ferry to sell vegetables in the town of Kyaukphyu. On their way back home, they were often robbed by dacoits in the forest.

Distilling the Way of Rakhita

Min Htee 20 Apr 2021

As the Arakan Army (AA) celebrated the 12th anniversary of its founding on April 10, not only Arakanese people but also the leaders of other ethnic groups waited with interest to read the remarks of AA Commander-in-Chief Major-General Twan Mrat Naing. From his message, they hoped to decipher the AA’s stance on Myanmar people’s resistance to the military coup of February 1.

How Myanmar’s Political Mess Might End

Min Htee 23 Mar 2021

Under U Than Shwe’s military regime, China did not encourage Myanmar’s democratic transition while Western countries imposed sanctions against Myanmar. It stood with military dictators and received many projects and substantial natural resources from Myanmar. So, the majority of Myanmar do not like and/or are actively against Chinese projects.  

Amid National Political Upheaval, Arakanese Attitudes Toward Coup Relatively Muted 

14 Mar 2021

People across Myanmar including in rural areas took part in the 1988 pro-democracy general strike, but today people from some parts of Myanmar are completely silent on the military coup. In some parts of the country, anti-coup protests have taken place but are relatively small, and it is questionable whether anti-military coups have left many people in ethnic states angry. 

In Arakan, a Litany of Challenges for Peacebuilders and Policymakers in 2021

31 Jan 2021

Arakanese people have had little say in the ongoing projects, such as the Shwe gas pipeline, which exports natural gas from the coast of Arakan to China, the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ), and the India-sponsored Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project. On the other hand, socioeconomic needs such as 24-hour electricity supply, access to quality education and healthcare, and decent roads and other transport infrastructure, remain unmet in many parts of Arakan State.

Rebalancing the Kyaukphyu Equation

Min Htee 25 Jan 2021

What will be the outcome and credibility of the main feasibility study on the Kyaukphyu-Mandalay railway? These are very important questions. China is ready to pursue its strategy of undermining international criticism of its projects in Myanmar.

Neither Stick nor Carrot in the Peace Process

Rammar Kyaw Saw 15 Jan 2021

There has been no fighting between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army in Arakan State for more than two months. Meanwhile, the Arakan Army released three NLD candidates from Taungup Township as a result of negotiations between the Tatmadaw and the ethnic armed group. No more fighting in Arakan State, but there are still landmine explosions. Another problem is that some IDPs are reluctant to return home because Tatmadaw troops are still stationed near their villages.

Is Ballot Box Politics Out of Fashion in Arakan?

Tin Aung Ko 13 Jan 2021

Arakan State, one of Myanmar’s 14 administrative regions, has a population of 3.1 million, comprised of two main communities: the Arakan (Rakhine) Buddhist majority and, second-largest, the Muslim community, with smaller ethnic groups of different faiths.

Searching for Union Spirit in Arakan at Independence, and Today

04 Jan 2021

U Aung Zan Wai was also the only Arakanese politician who travelled to Panglong for the forging of the Panglong Agreement in 1947. In Arakan politics, there was a parliamentary grouping, led by the former Prime Minister Sir Paw Tun on the nationalist right. Then, on the left, the armed Arakan People’s Liberation Party was established by the leadership of U Seinda in November 1945.

The Price of Life and Dignity in Arakan State 2020

28 Dec 2020

In July, a Tatmadaw column entered Chainkharli village in Rathedaung Township and shot dead U Maung Tun Sein, a 60-year-old vendor, according to his wife. She fled to avoid being shot herself, leaving her husband’s body behind.

Myanmar’s Democratic Colonialism

27 Dec 2020

Colonialism is the policy of a country seeking to extend or retain its authority over other people or territories, and attendant suppression and exploitation of colonised people. Countries colonise others by various means including waging wars, trading, and interfering in the internal affairs of the targeted countries, including the introduction of the colonisers’ religions. Countries such as Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal have exercised colonialism in Asia, South America, Africa and elsewhere in Europe. 

Japan and Signs of Détente in Arakan State

14 Dec 2020

Since a conflict in Arakan State that began in late 2018 has more recently subsided, both Myanmar’s military and the Arakan Army (AA) confirmed last month that there was a mediator in peace negotiations between the two sides. Not long after, the Japanese special envoy for national reconciliation in Myanmar arrived in Arakan State.   

What Does the NLD’s Election Loss in Arakan Demand for Arakan’s Future Politics?

23 Nov 2020

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s charismatic and legal-rational legitimacy, in line with Max Weber’s framework, does not work in Arakan State despite it having a largely positive impact in most other parts of the country. Her image has been damaged in the Rakhine community for, among other reasons, her unilateral decisions regarding the Arakan State government’s installation, the arrest of the popular leader Dr. Aye Maung, and as a result of her stance in armed conflict issues with the Arakan Army.

2020 Election Will Deepen Legitimacy Crisis in Arakan

28 Oct 2020

Although the UEC has the legal authority to cancel or postpone voting in line with Section 10(f) of the UEC law, the National League for Democracy (NLD) government and the military have the informal power to influence those decisions politically. Thus, the cancellations raise questions as to whether the NLD and military have the political will to hold elections in Arakan.

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