Reforms in Myanmar: hype and realities - The Nation | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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Upon a closer and honest look, Myanmar's extraordinary reforms begin to lose their lustre.

There is no denying that the country's quasi-civilian government has ushered in a new era of reforms. However, the types of reforms that President Thein Sein, an ex-general and a figurehead, are pursuing are ones that will protect the military's core interests above all else. At heart, the reforms are largely geared towards creating a "late developmental state" along the lines of Vietnam and China, a benign Leviathan that will secure the generals' electability on the basis of its economic performance and along popular "Buddhist" racism. When the illiberal society's deeply ingrained racism thunders the traditionally liberal discourses of human rights, democracy and multi-culturalism go muted.

The current reform movement therefore lacks real potential to result in a new democratic polity which will build, and in turn feed off, a new and sustainable economic system. Sadly, the West and the rest alike are choosing to overlook the apparent pitfalls of Myanmar's reforms ignoring the cries of the wretched in a new Myanmar.  ....