Myanmar needs a new kind of democracy

Conflict and economic inequality mean that tens of millions in Myanmar live the most precarious of lives. Such conditions won’t produce anything other than a facade of democracy.

Demonstrators flashing the three-finger salute, a symbol of resistance, as they displayed banners depicting leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a protest against the military coup in Yangon on Saturday. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Myanmar needs a fresh path to democracy. Free and fair elections (and respect for the results) are essential. But also essential is the transformation of a society shaped by decades of dictatorship, international isolation, brutal armed conflict, racial and religious discrimination, extreme poverty and widening inequality.

A narrow focus on political change will mean only the continued military domination of this country of 54 million people. Since the military coup last Monday, dozens of prominent political figures - including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi - have been detained, and a new administration under the army commander-in-chief is now in charge.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.