ROLE OF ASEAN IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION: CASE STUDY OF MYANMAR
TABLE OF CONTENT
TO THE TOPIC
SITUATION IN MYANMAR
AND RECENT ROHINGYA CRISES
Research was conducted on ASEAN and it role in Conflict Resolution and my main
focus will be on Myanmar. Myanmar is the south East Asian nation of more than
100 ethic group. It borders with India, Bangladesh, China and Thailand. The
largest city of Myanmar is Yangon and the population of Myanmar is 52.89 million (2016).
ASEAN was formed in 1967 and Myanmar has joint ASEAN as a member state in 1997
after 10 years of its formation. Currently 10 states are associated with ASEAN.
Myanmar has a record of world longest ongoing
conflict. Due to recent reforms of democratization Myanmar came under the light
of media and the recent ethnic conflict catch the attraction of international
Through my finding I have highlighted the role
of ASEAN in Myanmar and I will sort out
how far ASEAN is successful in Conflict resolution in Myanmar and if it
is not successful then I will find out the reasons why ASEAN is ineffective in conflict
resolution in Myanmar.
finding of the research is based on close and careful study of different books,
article and research papers. I had watched different documentaries related to
current situation in Myanmar for this purpose.
is the Association of South East Nations is a regional organization aims to
promotes economic, political and security cooperation among its members states.
It is formed in 2 august 1967. Since its formation Indonesia, Malaysia,
Singapore, Philippine and Thailand are it member. Later its membership is
expanded to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Currently
there are 10 members’ states. The ASEAN was founded during cold war aims to
promote stability in the region. This association was further expanded to
create ASEAN PLUS THREE forum in 1977 which include Japan, South Korea and
organization strive toward peace and stability in the nation, the members
states have develop a treaty not to develop nuclear weapon and most have agreed
on counter terrorism pact which include sharing intelligence and easing the
extradition process of terror suspect.
claims to opening up of Myanmar is most significant recent achievements, having
monitored a policy of positive engagement and non- confrontation. Myanmar
joined ASEAN as a member on 23 July 1997. ASEAN approved Myanmar as a member
despite objection from international community, which consider Myanmar as a
crook country because a country is governed by military rule defendant of human
rights violation. In 2014 Myanmar hosted successfully ASEAN annual summit in
its new political capital Naw Pyi Taw and started its new chapter of engagement
with regional group. Despite lack of diplomatic experience the country the
country has successfully organize more than 1000 meetings that the organization
holds each year.
years of dictatorship Myanmar in 2015 military rule was peacefully resigned
leadership to National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who won majority in
national and regional level through election. It was the best event in for
ASEAN and ASEAN consider Myanmar as a success story.
Beside this success story Myanmar is not that
much successful in regional initiative such as upholding in human rights etc.
focusing on democracy and human rights issue the role of ASEAN in Myanmar is
has the greatest number of outfitted ethnic uprisings of all the part states in
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and a settled regular
limitation to the choice military organization. The ethnic uprisings began in
1948 while regular confinement has grown more open in the midst of the latest
decade. There are seven formally renowned ethnic social occasions in Burma
isolated from the Burman overwhelming part: the Chin, Kachin, Karen, Karenni
(Kayah), Mon, Rakhine (Arakanese) and Shan. This, in any case, fails to
consider incalculable talking more than 100 lingos. This ethnic not too bad
assortment and these ethno-loyalist objectives, joined with the communist
advancement, shaped irritating issues.
Myanmar got independence on 4
January 1948, named the Union of Burma with Sao Shwe Thaik as its first
President and U Nu as its first Prime Minister. Majority rules system completed
in 1962 when General Ne Win drove a military overthrow. He oversaw for around
26 years and looked for after plans under the rubric of the Burmese Way to
Socialism. In the vicinity of 1962 and 1974, Burma was directed by a dynamic
board headed by the general, and about all parts of society (business, media,
creation) were nationalized or brought under government control (counting the
Boy Scouts). With a ultimate objective to consolidate control, General Ne Win
and many best officers surrendered from the military and took non military
staff posts and, from 1974, set up races in a one get-together system. In the
region of 1974 and 1988, Burma was satisfactorily overseen by General Ne Win
through the Burma Socialist Program Party (BSPP).
In 1988, trouble over money related screw up
and political mishandle by the organization incited in all cases virtuoso vote
based framework shows all through the country known as the 8888 Uprising.
Security powers butchered a large number of demonstrators, and General Saw
Maung sorted out defiance and confined the State Law and Order Restoration
Council (SLORC). In 1989, SLORC articulated military law after no matter how
you look at it questions. The military government closed plans for People’s
Assembly races on 31 May 1989. SLORC changed the country’s real English name
from the “Union of Burma” to the “Union of Myanmar” in
1989.In May 1990, the governing body held free races unprecedented for
practically 30 years. The National League for Democracy (NLD), the get-together
of Aung San Suu Kyi, won 392 out of a total 489 seats, however the choice comes
to fruition were repudiated by SLORC, which declined to wander down. Driven by
Than Shwe since 1992, the military organization has impacted stop to fire
concurrences with most ethnic guerilla social occasions. In 1992, SLORC
revealed plans to make another constitution through the National Convention,
which began 9 January 1993. In 1997, the State Law and Order Restoration
Council was renamed the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). On 23 June
1997, Myanmar was surrendered into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Current situation in Myanmar
To describe the current situation we will look at the political,
legal, economic, social and aspect of the country.
POLITCAL AND LEGAL ASPECT
Administered by military junta
(1962-now), with loaded with intimidation and no popular government
Numerous prodemocracy activists, common
social orders, and restriction components have been stifled, confined, and
imprisoned without reasonable legal process (counting priests), and some of
them were executed
Condemned and squeezed by Western
nations, and additionally UN (and ASEAN for some expands), yet moderately close
with India, China, and Russia (in 2007, the SC draft determination about human
rights infringement was vetoed by Russia and China)
To a great degree degenerate state (rank
178 of 180 nations in 2008 Transparency Internationals CPI).
Junta utilizing hostile to subversive
and inner security constitution to destruct the democratization procedure.
2008 constitution submission guaranteed
to held Election in 2010 and perform “vote based system” later on.
Until 1960’s, Myanmar was the wealthiest
nation in Southeast Asia and the world’s biggest exporter of rice.
Since administered by junta
administration, normal rate of yearly GDP development just 2,9%, GDP per capita
USD233 and expansion rate achieve 30-60%
Restricted venture and exchanging from
US and other Western nations
Remote venture comes basically from
China, Singapore, South Korea, India, and Thailand (India is the greatest
financial specialist in regular assets and industry).
Absence of frameworks, with the
exception of in Thai outskirt, through which the fundamental unlawful
medications are trade.
World’s second biggest maker of opium,
and increasing national salary through illicit medications (some banks got 40%
commission from cash clothing)— some of them worked together with MOGE
(national oil organization).
· 55 million populaces, with more
than 295,800 outcasts exist along Indian, Bangladeshi and Thai borders while a
few thousand are in Malaysia.
· 135 unmistakable ethnic
gatherings, with 108 dialects. Bamar is the greatest ethnic, with 68% of
populace and Buddhist is the greatest religion.
· Human Development Index 0,583
· Minority ethnic and religious
mistreatment to join the armed force or land government positions, the
principle course to achievement in the nation.
· UN distinguished substantial
human rights infringement, including enormous assault and executing of Karen
minority ethnic by military.
· Military junta confines the
universal helpful aids to keep the general population’s reliance from
· There are 101 colleges, 12
foundations, 9 degree schools and 24 universities in Burma.
Why the role of ASEANS is not
effective in conflict resolution in conflict resolution in MYANMAR?
I think the best hypothesis to
my research question is that non –interference policy is retarding ASEAN from
taking meaningful action for conflict resolution.
As we know from the
earliest that Myanmar joining of ASEAN is not that easy process. There were
many opposition of Myanmar admission into ASEAN not only from external but
Internal from ASEAN itself due to undemocratic system and Military rule in
ASEAN. In the face of all these difficult situations Myanmar realizes that in
the age of Globalization and regionalism living in Isolation is not only
difficult but it could May also be thread to the survival of the county. So
joining of any regional organization became priority of the Myanmar at that
time. But being the member of ASEAN still not be able deal with political
change and democratic transition in Myanmar. There was not such work has been
done by ASEAN to resolve the problem related to the military rule in Myanmar
If we look at the history the conflict in
Myanmar is most intractable conflict in the whole world. Myanmar holds a record
of 60 years ongoing civil war. More than 100 ethnic groups are fighting with
each other to preserve their identity in front of majority barman. The civil
war started in 1948 with independence from British colonial rule. Many ethnic
rebellion and communist insurgency became a reason behind the failure of
parliamentary system formed after getting independence. To restore the country
situation military took over the government and then the military rule
continued for five decades. In 2004 military first step toward slow transition
to democratic rule. New constitution was made in 2004 and in 2010 election was
held. Democratic government emerges in 2011. Next elections were held in 2015
and Daw Su Kyi party came into power by winning 80% seats through fair
In the Southeast Asian
politics the policy of non-interference in the affairs of states is very
important and this noninterference principle limits the role of ASEAN in
Myanmar. In resolve conflict ASEAN prefer the informal approach focusing on
relationships rather than formal structure. These are called soft approach. In
Myanmar issues ASEAN is using soft approaches. In 42 ASEAN Ministerial meeting
in Thailand the Prime minister of Thailand said “the soft way (ASEAN Way)
approaches are is more productive rather than sanction mechanism that will make
Myanmar more isolated.”Non- interference policy limit the role of ASEAN and
Myanmar itself realize that summit diplomacy and consensus building is not
enough for solving its issues therefore Myanmar refuse to debate it problems
with ASEAN. ASEAN role is limited in
Myanmar not only because of non – interference policy but also due lack of
commitment from member states regarding human rights and conflict management.
Non – interference
policy is considered the central pillar of Southeast Asian regionalism but on
the other hand this policy is also underpinning ASEAN from taking meaningful
action like tackling with economic crises and security issues.
The role played by
ASEAN in Myanmar is not proved by any resolution. ASEAN is playing the role of
forum. There are different meetings in the forum to discuss any problem. ASEAN
is providing forum for a countries to discuss their issues related to conflict
resolution. Many meeting took place I this forum for conflict resolution for
example in 2000 ASEAN established ASEAN troika to enhance interaction and
address the issue like regional peace and harmony. In 2003 ASEAN planned ASEAN
security community which declared that member states should promote political
development to achieve peace, stability and security in the region.
Myanmar is not only
using ASEAN as a forum but also as an instrument. Myanmar is using ASEAN basic
principle Non- interference to avoid participation of ASEAN in its internal
affairs. It’s clearly showed that ASEAN don’t like those other parties
interfere in its internal affairs especially ASEAN. Myanmar is failed to
response ASEAN rather it is intrumentaliziing the organization for its own
and Rohingya Crises
The Rohingya crises
started in June 2012. At first there was communal riot between Rohingya Muslim
and Rakhine Buddhist and later it turned into persecution and forces
displacement of Muslim minority. Now five years later this issue is turned into
humanitarian cries and it’s a time for ASEAN to take important steps to resolve
the issue and to present a regional response.
The ASEAN regions to which
the Myanmar is also a member is regionally, politically and economically
interconnected. It means the humanitarian crises and the conflict growing in
one country can cause regional security thread. For solution of such kind of
thread Myanmar has to change its attitude toward ASEAN and has to engage itself
with others partners of ASEAN. Although ASEAN respect the sovereignty and Non –
interference policy of other states, the regional grouping has now started work
on conflict resolution, humanitarian issue and security promotion. An ASEAN
nation has to promote preventive diplomacy, prevent conflicts and problem and
address issues at both local and regional level. They ASEAN expressed its full
support for Myanmar in order to bring peace, stability, rule of law and to
promote reconciliation between various committees.
ASEAN will lose it
credibility and confidence of international committee if it continues to ignore
the plight of Rohingya. It has to act earlier to prevent Rohingya crises to
become regional issue. If ASEAN will unable to contain these crises it will
open up the concept of deeping cultural and religious division and potential
danger of identity politics will be increased.
ASEAN’s guideline of
non-interference has permitted the part states to focus on country building and
administration strength while keeping up agreeable ties with different states.
While ASEAN’s standard has never been outright, and has frequently been
utilized as a device for legitimizing state-conduct in light of a legitimate
concern for the overwhelming political and monetary first class, lately regular
interests have come to assume a more vital part in the affiliation’s lead of
provincial issues. This is occurring in light of expanding reliance among the
part states and the developing acknowledgment that standards of good
administration ought to be considered all together for the relationship to
recapture importance and believability among the area’s own nationals and also
on the more extensive worldwide scene. In this regard, the rule’s capacity as a
managing light for the affiliation’s conduct in territorial issues has turned
out to be progressively delicate as of late. With its new arrangement of taking
into account open feedback of other states’ issues where local security is in
question, together with a more emphatic position on human rights, ASEAN has
moved past its conventional non-obstruction approach. However, the
non-obstruction guideline, as it is deciphered today, still goes about as a
relatively solid restriction on ASEAN’s conduct in territorial issues. The
rule’s directing capacity is truly undermined, yet to date another set of
principles as a suitable substitution for the non-obstruction strategy
demonstrates hard to create in light of the proceeding with local
precariousness in a considerable lot of the part states.