Myanmar (Burma) is undergoing significant political and economic reforms. On November 8, 2015, The National League for Democracy, led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (who was under house arrest from 1989 to 2010), won a stunning nationwide election, defeating a military establishment that has ruled Myanmar since 1962. The country’s election commission announced that the party had won 348 seats, enough for a majority in Parliament, and well more than the 40 won by the ruling (military) party. Yet the military will continue to hold many levers of power, suggesting that a complex dance between entrenched interests and the will of the people is the new reality.
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma (until 1989), is the second largest country in Southeast Asia and boasts a population of more than 50 million. Myanmar emerged from British colonial rule in 1948, and has remained under military control since General Ne Win overthrew the civilian government in a 1962 coup. The country’s modern history has been marred by persistent human rights violations, ethnic strife, cronyism and failed state-run economic management that has resulted in widespread poverty.
Join our discussion about Myanmar’s political and economic changes, together with Larry Dohrs, Chairman, U.S. Campaign for Burma.
For more information about Larry Dohrs, visit our biographies page.