(Editorial) Union Day or Dominion Day? Revisiting the Spirit of Panglong

12 February 2012: (Editorial) Each year since the military coup of 1962, the Union Day has been celebrated in the Union of Burma without much substance or historical significance. As the nation turns 65 years today, we can expect yet another hollow celebration this year, despite the recent measures of reform introduced by President Thein Sein.
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(Briefing) No Change on the Ground in Ethnic Areas

7 February 2011: (Briefing)There is no disputing that some changes have taken place in Burma. The release of some selected political prisoners, the easing of restrictions on press freedom, the decision to allow Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party to re-register and contest the April by-elections etc. are indeed positive moves towards the much needed democratic reform in a country that has experienced over six decades of despotic military rule. These recent moves by Naypyidaw have raised hope for further developments towards greater reforms.
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Why the April-Fools By-Elections Will be Free and Fair

28 January 2012: (Editorial) With the by-elections on the horizon in Burma and the main opposition National League for Democracy preparing to enter the race, there have been calls on the Burmese authorities to ensure a free and fair environment for the April 1 polls. But compared with the November 2010 general elections, there is every indication that the bi-elections will be free and fair.
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Ensuring Govt. Transparency through Institutional Checks and Balances

26 January 2012: (Opinion) The two Houses of Hluttaw have so far established about 20 parliamentary committees and subcommittees. However, there still needs to be more such committees formed, given the need of the country. The American Congress, by comparison, has a total of 38 permanent committees and 242 subcommittees.
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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi can be a Better Leader

24 January 2012: (Editorial) There is no doubt that Burma’s Nobel Peace Laureate and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi commands great respect from all citizens of Burma, including the country’s long-marginalized ethnic groups. That source of respect comes from her not just being the daughter of Burma’s independence leader General Aung San, but more importantly, from her personal sacrifice for the principles she has unwaveringly stood for during the last two decades.
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'Give Me Three Promises and You Will Get What You Want'

01 December 2011: The Secretary of States of the United States, Hillary Clinton is scheduled to visit Myanmar/Burma on December 1st to meet with President U Thein Sein and high ranking military back quasi-civilian government. One of the most compelling issues on the table is renewing diplomatic ties between two countries and lifting sanctions imposed by the US government. Before making a historic decision by a compassionate U.S. government, the Secretary of States, Hilary Clinton must carefully scrutinize what President U Thein Sein has said in a Bali Press Conference.
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Without Diversity, There Can Be No Unity

24 November 2011: The recent political developments unfolding in the Union of Burma are positive signs showing that we could possibly see the restoration of democracy and national reconciliation we have long sought for. The NLD – the party of Aung San Suu Kyi – has decided to formally register its party to vie for power; there have been high-level meetings aimed at resolving conflict between Minister Aung Min and leaders of ethnic opposition armed groups; and finally, the U.S. has intensified its diplomatic efforts.
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Burma Must Repeal Repressive, Outdated and Unconstitutional Colonial Era Laws

23 November 2011: (Legal Analysis) The post-independence civilian and military regimes in Burma uniformly detest the British colonial regime (1800s-1948); however, Burmese governments seem to love the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of laws that were enacted by the British regime to suppress its colonial subjects. Indeed, post-independence governments in Burma have continuously utilized colonial laws to suppress Burmese citizens. These laws are in direct conflict with the Nargis Constitution (the Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Burma, 2008) and contradict international human rights standards. Accordingly, they should be repealed outright or amended by the current Hluttaws with President Thein Sein’s signature and declaration. The following are among the many colonial-era laws utilized by President Thein Sein’s government to defend itself and to suppress the people.
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ASEAN Chairmanship and President U Thein Sein’s Government

16 November 2011: Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will meet in Bali, Indonesia on November 17-19. One of the most important items on the agenda will be whether Burma should chair ASEAN in 2014. Before the ASEAN leaders make a historic decision which could impact ASEAN members’ relationships with their international partners, they should strongly consider whether President U Thein Sein’s government represents ASEAN’s unique values. As a candidate for ASEAN Chairmanship, Burma must fulfil the principles embodied in ASEAN’s charter, including acceleration of economic growth, social progress, and cultural development; the promotion of regional peace and stability; and a respect for justice and the rule of law. Therefore, understanding the values represented by the ASEAN Chairmanship, President U Then Sein’s government must take the following actions immediately and unconditionally to demonstrate to the world that his government is fully qualified for ASEAN leadership.
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Misreading Naypyidaw: Premature hopes of change in Burma

27 September 2011: There has been much commentary recently by academics, activists and other observers regarding recent changes that have taken place inside Burma. These are said to include steps taken by the regime towards democratic reform of the country’s political system, the adoption of a more conciliatory attitude towards Aung San Suu Kyi and even a stated desire to end the country’s civil war.
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