Contact: Roland Watson, roland@dictatorwatch.org


January 20, 2018

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Everybody goes on and on about how complicated the situation in Burma is, but when you boil it down there are only four options.

The first is just to accept things as they are, a Burman dictatorship and now with Aung San Suu Kyi as its spokesperson. This means continuing racism and attacks in the country's ethnic nationality homelands, and low-grade but never-ending repression everywhere else, including against the media. But, while the Burma Army will carry on buying new weapons systems, the ethnic armed organizations will never disarm, and the Civil War will endure. The generals will never be able to impose their will such that the resistance is defeated. With this status quo, the refugee and IDP crises will never be resolved. Economic development will further never take off. The people will remain impoverished.

The second option is renewed popular uprising, in combination with the ethnic resistance. Particularly when Suu Kyi is gone, the people may finally decide that enough is enough. This would have the two-fold benefit that all the different groups in the country would be united, and the likelihood, not only the possibly, that the regime would be overthrown. If everyone works together, the dictatorship can be vanquished in short order.

The third option is that some of the ethnic nationalities on their own declare independence. This possibility reflects the fact that the Burman dictators will never willingly cede power, and also the prospect that through offensive guerrilla warfare the Burma Army can be expelled from their homelands. This option currently applies for the most part to the members of the Northern Alliance Burma, and looking at the map it is easy to envision both Kachin and Shan States separating and becoming new, free countries - federal democracies in their own right.

The fourth option follows from the third. Were the Northern groups to declare independence, many of the other resistance armies around the country might follow suit. One or a few freedom struggles could transform into the long-awaited national liberation revolution. If the people then took to the streets as well, including the Burman general public, this would effectively duplicate option two and the country would soon be free.

The generals and Suu Kyi have made their choice clear - option one. We await the day when the people are determined to fight without compromise for their democratic aspirations.