The Stream

Is democracy dead in Myanmar?

On Monday, January 31 at 19:30 GMT:
It has been one year since the military coup in Myanmar. The army seized power, claiming fraud in a democratic election won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party. Suu Kyi and members of her party were detained and the military declared a year of national emergency.

Since then, the country has been in turmoil. Millions took to the streets in protest, calling for the military to give up power. Security forces responded with brutal violence and arrests. Human rights groups accuse them of crimes against humanity, including murder, torture, deprivation of liberty, disappearances, and rape. More than 10,000 protesters have been detained and more than 1,000 killed, according to activists.

Anti-coup political movements have mushroomed. Members of parliament, ethnic minority representatives, and civil society activists formed a National Unity Government to contest the junta. And anti-junta People’s Defence Forces (PDF) militias have formed throughout the country, targeting security force personnel and perceived civilian supporters of the junta. Intense fighting and unlawful bombings by the army in ethnic minority areas have displaced more than 30,000 civilians.

The regime has made clear what its plans are, announcing early on a “five-point road map” that includes holding elections in mid-2023, after which the junta says it will hand over power to an elected president.

So what are the prospects for democracy in a country whose economy is in freefall, where millions face poverty and food insecurity, and where violence is increasing at an alarming rate? In this episode we’ll discuss the coup in Myanmar, one year on.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Wai Hnin Pwint Thon, @MissWHPT
Senior Advocacy Officer, Burma Campaign UK

Thin Lei Win, @thinink

Thinzar Shunlei Yi @thinzashunleiyi
Pro-democracy activist and Advocacy Coordinator, Action Committee for Democracy Development