Monday, April 02, 2012

 

Extraordinary turn around in Burma


I can hardly believe the volte face by Burma's murderous and reactionary regime.It seems only a short time ago that In May 2010 the military backed Union Solidarity and Developmnt Party declared it had won 80% of the votes in the general election on a 77% turnout; international bodies condemned a fraudulent election. Given the Generals' apparent determination to stay in power, it seemed An Sang Sui Chi's house arrent would never be rescinded. But, suddenly, it was. The long imprisoned leader was released together with 200 others and a series of liberal reforms apparently passed.

Why did a ruling elite, one of the most reactionary, btutal and insensitive of all such rogue regimes,suddenly decide to turn 'good guys' and join the liberal democratic majority? An Sang Sui Chi herself has praised president Thein Sein for engineering such a turnaround. Her party won a huge victory in yesterday's elections and I for one am delighted that the fight of a leader who has spent over two decades in internal exile, can now maybe lead her country to a peaceful and more prosperous future.

But I'm still astonished that a ruling elite, so deeply entrenched and with a big stake in the way economic rewards are distributed, should voluntarily abandon its power. I just wonder if the story is not yet over and a few nasty surprises are in store...? As long aas one quarter of the parliament is reserved for the military the danger of thekind of coup that has characterised Burma's modern history, remains.

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