Balkanization of Myanmar


The conflict in Burma – seemingly going on forever – has generally, if not usually, been portrayed as “ethnic”. It conjures up a Bosnia scenario where ethnic groups killed each other in bloody wars, or that of a fragile country about to be “balkanized”, i.e., broken into warring ethnic segments were it not for the country’s military rulers. In order to justify its harsh rule, the military regime has diligently played the ethnic-conflict and the balkanization theme which more or less haunts all states and governments of the world.

Looking at Burma, it is conventionally seen as a country of numerous ethnic groups which are mutually hostile and suspicious, and as a country where governments, even military regimes (as at present, and since 1962), have had a very hard time holding it together. From this perspective, unity in Burma looks very fragile, or that the sense of common nationhood is non-existent. This view does seem to justify military rule since the military is, in this argument, the only force capable of preventing the breakup of the country and keeping the 135 “national races” from tearing each other apart.

Read more here…CONFLICT IN BURMA: ETHNIC OR POLITICAL Dr. Chao Tzang Yawnghwe

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