Myanmar: What has been happening
since the 2021 coup?
CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN THE ASEAN PART 2
Where is Myanmar?
Myanmar, also known as Burma, is in South East Asia. It
neighbours Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, China and India.
It has a population of about 54 million, most of whom are
Burmese speakers, although other languages are also spoken.
The biggest city is Yangon (Rangoon), but the capital is Nay Pyi
The main religion is Buddhism. There are many ethnic groups in
the country, including Rohingya Muslims.
The country gained independence from Britain in 1948. It was
ruled by the armed forces from 1962 until 2011, when a new
government began ushering in a return to civilian rule.
When did the military coup take
The military seized control on 1 February 2021
following a general election which Aung San Suu
Kyi's NLD party won by a landslide.
It had backed the opposition, who were
demanding a re-run of the vote claiming
The election commission said there was no
evidence to support these claims.
What has happened since the
Opposition activists have formed the Campaign for Civil
Disobedience (CDM) and have helped organise strikes
and mass protests against the coup.
The military has put them down with live fire, water
cannons and rubber bullets.
What started as civil disobedience has now turned into
essentially a civil war across Myanmar.
Local militias calling themselves People's Defence
Forces, or PDFs, have attacked military convoys and
Who is Aung San Suu Kyi?
Aung San Suu Kyi became world-famous in the 1990s for
campaigning to restore democracy.
In 2015, she led the NLD to victory in Myanmar's first openly
contested election in 25 years.
Myanmar's democracy icon who fell from grace
Ms Suu Kyi has been sentenced to six years in jail for violating
the country's official secrets act, possessing illegal walkie-
talkies and publishing information that may "cause fear or
alarm". She was sentenced to six years in jail. She is 76 years
Ms Suu Kyi is going on trial again, accused of corruption over
the purchase of a helicopter, among other charges.
Military commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing has taken power.
He has long wielded significant political influence, successfully
maintaining the power of the Tatmadaw - Myanmar's military - even
as the country moved towards democracy. He has received
international condemnation and sanctions for his alleged
role in the military's attacks on ethnic minorities.
Gen Hlaing has said the military is on the side of the people and
would form a "true and disciplined democracy".
The military says it will hold a "free and fair" election once the state
of emergency is over.
Many in the international community are now
questioning whether ASEAN has a productive role
to play in responding to the coup. After all, its
policy of non-interference in internal affairs has
impeded ASEAN’s response to human rights
challenges and threats to democracy throughout
the region for a long time. Their response to the
coup in Myanmar is no exception.
Who are the Rohingyas? (1)
• The Rohingyas are one of the most persecuted
communities in the world.
to treat someone cruelly or
unfairly over a period of time,
especially because of their
religious or political beliefs:
Who are the Rohingyas? (2)
They have been living in the state
of Arakan since the 8th century.
They haven't been recognised as
citizens of The Union of Burma
since Burmese independence in
1948, instead they are known as
They have been under extreme
scrutiny by the Burmese
The Burmese Junta have discriminated the Rohingya,
because they are not similar in ….
o speak a different language
o have a different religion.
Why are the Rohingyas in
• As a means of clamping down on the Rohingya, the Junta
have restricted even the most basic of rights such as
education, marriage and citizenship.
Why are the Rohingyas in trouble? (4)
Why are the Rohingyas in trouble? (5)
o The Burmese government endorse
the Burmese culture and the Buddhist
faith for their national citizens.
o But the Rohingyas fall
outside of this ideal criteria
because they want to retain
their own culture and the
o As a result, the Rohingyas, sidelined
and marginalised, have to live with
their derogatory national status of
o Between 1978 and 1992, approximately 200,000 Rohingyas left
Burma to escape the tyranny of the Burmese military.
o Most of them moved to southern
Bangladesh where they remain as
o In one of the most densely populated countries in the world,
life in Bangladesh proved just as hard as it did in Burma.
Situation in Bangladesh
o In Bangladesh, the Rohingyas are faced with hardly any
protection from their host country.
o Another camp 15 miles away, in Leda Bazaar where approximately
25,000 Rohingya live, is where our focus has been.
o A burden to the densely populated country, the Rohingyas are
denied humanitarian aid which forces them to turn to other
means of income such as drug trafficking.
o There is one registered camp situated meters away from the
registered camp where 90,000 refugees live.
• Human rights abuses against the Rohingyas in Burma.
Human rights abuses against the
Rohingyas in Burma (1)
• In 1962, the Rohingyas were
systematically denied of political,
civil, economic and social human
Human rights abuses against
the Rohingyas in Burma (2)
• This affects their education and
access to medication.
• Nowadays, the Rohingyas in Burma
cannot commute from one village to
another due to the security forces
known as 'Nasaka' who patrol their
movement at various checkpoints.
• Rohingyas are denied citizenship
despite living in Arakan for centuries
because Muslims are portrayed as
'relics of a colonial past'.
Human rights abuses against
the Rohingyas in Burma (3)
• This stems from the fact that
Muslims supported the British
during the colonial period because
they were promised autonomy in
Rakhine previously known as
• Rohingyas have been subject to the systematic use of rape as
a weapon of war, forced labour, and land confiscation. Over
3,500 villages have been destroyed since 1996.
Human rights abuses against
the Rohingyas in Burma (4)
What is the best solution
f o r solving Rohingya issues ?
o This issue is very complex, we should try to deal with more
than simply government policy, but a cultural divide as well.
o The intolerance spans throughout the general populace, thus
you see violence against Rohingya, not only by authorities,
but by 'lynch mobs' as well.
o The answer is two-fold; government policy change, and
o Community cohesiveness must include the Rohingyas, as opposed
to them, or any Muslim, being an easy targets for xenophobia.
o The government must set examples by integr
showing tolerance, while equally, improving l
and industry in local communities.
ASEAN RESPONSE TO
ASEAN’s efforts to resolve the Rohingya have limited it
to specific elements of the crisis, such as humanitarian
assistance and the repatriation of refugees from
Bangladesh, two issues that unsurprisingly command
the support of the Myanmar government. Meanwhile,
it has mostly ignored the underlying questions such as
the restoration of citizenship rights and enforced
ethnic segregation, which in turn are based on ethnic
and sectarian divisions with deep roots in Myanmar’s
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) has failed to respond effectively to the
Rohingya crisis in Myanmar thanks to a lack of
leadership and the 10-member organisation's
inability to grasp the scale of the human rights
Unitary & Federal Countries
It is notable that the most stable and progressive
countries have federal forms of government. 63
Least & Most Corrupt Countries
Majority of countries belong to the most corrupt have
unitary form of government while the least corrupt are
Least Corrupt Countries
Most Corrupt Countries
NORTH KOREA AFGHANISTAN
as per Transparency International
An Equalization Fund shall be
established by the Federal Government to
provide more funding support for those
regions in need to accelerate their
development and progress
Federalism allows regions to exercise
right to self-determination such as to address
their problems based on their own geographic,
cultural, social and economic conditions
Incentives to Live, Work &
Invest Outside Manila
Federalism will promote
economic opportunities in the
regions and provide incentives for
Filipinos to live and work in
regions outside Metro Manila.
More investors may also decide to
put up their businesses outside
Manila thus creating more jobs and
opportunities to attract more people
away from the congested mega
Feasible Solution To The
The creation of the Bangsamoro
Regional Government within a federalist
system will address concerns of our Muslim
brothers and sisters who crave more
autonomy over the governance and
administration of Muslim Mindanao.
Federalism on Political
In federalism with a strong
political party system, political
dynasties will become irrelevant.
Political leaders will become more
accountable to their constituents.
will no longer have any
excuse for delays in
services or projects.
and Devolution of Powers
Under the unitary system, we
only have one center of power,
finance and development: the
Under Federalism, more powers are
decentralized and devolved to local
Power To Collect and Spend
For Own Development
Right now, local
government units can only
collect real estate taxes and
business permit fees.
In federalism, they can
retain most of their revenue
And they can spend the money on programs
and policies according to their needs.
Proposed Sharing of
Under the present system, 80% of the revenue
collections goes to the National Government and
only 20% is distributed to Local Government
In federalism, the
distribution will be
Basic Features of Presidential-
Parliamentary Political System
THE EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES OF
GOVERNMENT ARE MERGED. (Reason: The Separation
of Power causes intense rivalry and competition for power
between the executive and legislative in a system that has
turned very adversarial like Congressional Investigations of
executive policies and actions, which unnecessarily delay
and obstruct legislation. )
• THERE SHALL BE A BICAMERAL
LEGISLATIVE BODY. (Senate to act
as Principal Inter-governmental
Institution and there will be two (2)
Senators elected per region).
Basic Features, cont’d
There is a President who will be elected at large and is
nominated by a political party following established
procedures. He shall be the head of the state and
The President shall also have the authority to dissolve the
Parliament under specific circumstances;
There shall be a Prime Minister (PM) who shall be
nominated by the majority of the members of the
Parliament and appointed by the President. The PM shall
be the head of government and can be removed by
electing a new Prime Minister anytime during the term.
The President appoints the Minister
of Foreign Affairs, Defense and the
military officers with the rank of full
colonel and above.
Majority of the cabinet members are
chosen by the Prime Minister from
among the members of the
Manner of Election
1. Members of
SENATORS WILL BE
ELECTED BY REGIONS
PARLIAMENT SHALL BE BY
TWO (2) SENATORS FOR
EVERY REGION AND
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
FOR EVERY LEGISLATIVE
DISTRICTS AND PARTY
UNIICAMERAL / ELECTED
BY LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS
COMPOSED OF AT LEAST
TWO (2) REPRESENTATIVES
FOR EACH DISTRICT
Proposed Legislative Composition
It is proposed that there shall be as many
federal regions as there are as many ethno-linguistic
groups in the Philippines.
However, Regional Governments shall be
provided by the Federal Constitution following
territorial, population & GDP requirements to
determine sustainability. A Regional Government may
be formed by at least 3 provinces or highly urbanized
cities provided that it satisfies requirements provided
by the constitution.
Cordillera, Bangsamoro are deemed qualified
as Regional Governments,
Other autonomous territories for Indigenous
People (IP’s) shall also be provided
What Will Happen To The Local
Government Units Under A Federal
shall form part of
What Will Happen To The Judiciary
Each region shall
also have its own
Courts and adopt its
There shall be a Federal
MODE TO REVISE
• CON-ASS or Constituent Assembly,
constituted by the incumbent
Congressmen and Senators
• CON-COM or Constitutional
Commission, which will be
composed by the Men and Women
of integrity, patriotism and experts
in their respective fields whose
members are directly appointed by
It is probable that the constitutional revision shall
have been completed not later than 2018 and
submitted to the people thru a plebiscite by 2019,
coinciding with the Mid-Term National Election;
From June, 2019 to 2020, sub-national government
units (regions), in accordance with the ratified
Federal Constitution, will make their respective
Regional organic laws, submit for approval to
Parliament and shall be ratified by the people thru a
The Shift to Federal Republic
of The Philippines
By 2020 to 2021, the process of effective,
actual transition from unitary to a federal
government should take place.
On May 2022, we will probably elect the
President of the new Federal Republic of the
Philippines, together with the Members of
Federal President may be installed on June 30,
2022, and immediately thereafter, the first
Prime Minister and Members of the Cabinet
will be confirmed by the Parliament