Coup D’état or Coup de grace: Whither Myanmar?

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Anil Kumar Mohapatra


The Pandemic Covid-19 was not more ferocious for the people of Myanmar than the developments that unfolded after the coup d’état staged by the military junta on 1 February 2021. It dislodged a sitting democratic government led by the 1991 Nobel peace laureate Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and did not allow her a second innings despite her party's landslide victory in the November 2020 elections in the country. Justifying the coup through a frivolous allegation of election fraud, it belied its role as a democracy promoter. Thus, the country plunged into uncertainty. It gave rise to a condition like ‘state of nature’ where the murder of people, repression of dissent, torture, and detention of the protesters became commonplace. That provoked international condemnation of the arbitrary act of the military officially called ‘Tatmadaw’, followed by sanctions. Against this backdrop, this paper analyses the present conditions of democracy, human security, federalism, and military rule in that Southeast Asian state; while exploring the prospects of a new Myanmar. Thus it looks into the challenges and discusses their possible solution. This paper, therefore, makes a critical, descriptive contribution to our understanding of this country that is making a difficult transition from an authoritarian regime to democratisation.

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