Military Machinations in Myanmar

With the emergence of the new year, new conflicts are taking over the world. Myanmar, a country located in South East Asia, is currently undergoing a coup, and its military has now taken control of its government.

Myanmar (formerly Burma) originally gained its independence from Great Britain in 1948. It had somewhat of a democratic system of government implemented during its initial stages. However, the military took control of the state in the late ‘60s, which led them to have a significant amount of both political and economic control. The military actually changed the name of the country to Myanmar, which is what we know the country as today. This military rule lasted until 2011 as a constitution was created, helping to establish more democratic principles such as elections with fair voting. Civilian rule became more apparent in the society, until recently.

Myanmar has been dealing with several issues including discrimination against the Rohingyas, who are an ethnic minority of Muslims forced to flee the country for safety, and their lives have only gotten worse with the coup. It began on February 5th, 2021, due to the results of the election where the leader of the National League of Democracy (NLD) party, Aung San Suu Kyi, won in a landslide. 

The military was no longer going to hold as much substantial political power as they did before, so they claimed that the election was rigged and seized control. The military coup involved detaining several members of the NLD party.  As for Suu Kyi, she has been placed under house arrest and is not in power anymore. The commander and chief of the army, Min Aung Hlaing, has assumed control. He has received international condemnation, but he still holds that this coup was for the greater good. The military is now imposing restrictions to limit protests and gatherings. The future looks very uncertain for Myanmar moving forward, and the whole world is watching.