Ominous breaking news coming out of Myanmar
By Romain Caillaud, principal of the consulting firm SIPA Partners and a 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.