Ominous breaking news coming out of Myanmar
By Romain Caillaud, principal of the consulting firm SIPA Partners and researcher associated with the Singaporean think tank ISEAS.
Ominous breaking news coming out of Myanmar:
Ten years after the transition to democracy started, the country is facing a huge setback with the Tatmadaw rounding up elected political leaders including Aung San Suu-Kyi and other National League for Democracy (NLD) senior members, and declaring a state of emergency hence putting an end to the civilian government.
What’s next – popular demonstrations, violent crackdowns, international sanctions, disinvestment – like we saw in the 1990s and 2000s?
The military’s motivations to take such steps are difficult to fully grasp – breakdown in trust and communication with the NLD that just got reelected with overwhelming popular support in the November 2020 elections; frustration with the situation in Rakhine State and NLD approach to the challenges; conclusion the 2008 constitution would not work out as the National Defense and Security Council (NDSC) was not being convened by the NLD government; personal ambitions as Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing was supposed to retire, etc.
In any case, consequences will be dire. This is a different world from 1989 with globalization, social media, COVID-19, new US administration, China’s infrastructure ambitions, etc. Backlash against the Tatmadaw will be intense.
I wonder how the Japanese government and private sector will respond – tricky path to navigate ahead.