Sai Wansai's "Tracking the Transition: The Path from Quasi-civilian Rule to Fully Fledged Democracy," brings together his most important articles, and for the first time makes these available to a wider audience. As he points out, after decades of civil war and military rule, there is still a long way to go before ethnic conflict can be solved in Myanmar. Sai Wansai’s clear writing provides an excellent guide to navigate through Myanmar’s complicated political process to achieve peace and reconciliation. He explains the history of the conflict and conflict dynamics in Myanmar, the key grievances and aspirations of the country’s ethnic nationalities, the conceptual differences among the key stakeholders, and he points towards possible solutions. This book is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand ethnic conflict and the current political reform process in Myanmar.
DOCUMENTATION FOR THE YEAR 2015-2016:
“INSIGHT INTO A BOOK THAT COVERS THE CRUCIAL PERIOD OF MYANMAR'S RECENT HISTORY”
Excerpt from Mizzima Weekly- August 24, 2017
By: Sai Wansai
‘Tracking the Transition,’ a book by writer Sai Wansai published by Mizzima Media Group, has just been released.
Recently, I was asked to give a short account on the end of the Union State and Development Party-Military (USDP-Military) era headed by Thein Sein and the start of the National League for Democracy-Military (NLD-Military) regime led by Aung San Suu Kyi for the period from March 2015 to April 2016. As my commentaries in Mizzima Weekly covered the said time-span, I thought it would be appropriate to go back a little further on how the Thein Sein government came to power and the ensuing peace process that still has an impact on Myanmar’s political landscape.
Following the approval of the Military-drafted 2008 constitution, which was said to be endorsed by more than 90% according to the Military but rejected by many as being manipulated, multi-party nationwide elections took place at the end of 2010. The main Bamar opposition party the NLD and main ethnic nationality party Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) refused to take part. They argued that the military-drafted constitution would not usher in a democratic transition and the establishment of a federal union.
But after some months in power, the Thein Sein-led USDP-Military government made a deal that allowed the NLD into parliament through by-elections and participate in the multi-party parliamentary system. Accordingly, Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD in the by-elections of 2012, got elected in 43 of 44 seats it contested and entered parliament.
Thein Sein also started the peace negotiation process to end ethnic armed conflicts in 2011. His government reached out to all armed groups, offering first more flexible terms, including dropping the demand for the groups to become border guard forces, and then an unprecedented national conference to seek political solutions to ethnic divisions.
Against this backdrop, the period of 2015-2016 that led to the NLD taking power from the USDP administration has been documented by me weekly and the book “Tracking the Transition – The Path From Quasi-Civilian Rule To Fully Fledged Democracy” is all about what happened during this period.