In Myanmar, the social contract linking the average citizen to government has been damaged by decades of top-down military rule. People understandably do not trust government, or think that they benefit much from it. They have been conditioned to feel that government has little interest in their basic well-being. As such, there is a pressing need for government in Myanmar to rebuild trust and demonstrate value.
During most of the roughly three decades since climate change became a global concern, governments optimistically assumed that a green transition would happen naturally over time, as rising fossil-fuel prices nudged consumers toward low-carbon alternatives. The impediment, it was believed, was on the production side, as gushing returns on oilfield investments spurred ever more ambitious exploration.
The dramatic drop in malaria deaths since the beginning of the century is one of the great public-health success stories of recent years. Thanks to concerted investments in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, the number of people killed by the disease each year has declined 60 percent since 2000, saving more than 6 million lives.
In what some are seeing as the first step toward a stronger assertion of its interests in Myanmar, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will arrive on May 1 in the country’s first high-level engagement with Myanmar since the National League for Democracy government took office. The minister will meet President U Htin Kyaw and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who also holds the post of foreign minister.
For the first time in over half a century, Myanmar has a government with a popular mandate, led by the National League for Democracy. Although the armed forces still have extensive political powers under the 2008 constitution, and may seriously curtail the independent action of the new government, the inauguration of President U Htin Kyaw represents a radical increase in the internal and international legitimacy of the Myanmar state.
April 6, 2016: a neologism enters the already-overcrowded field of political vocabulary as a military member of parliament, Brigadier General Maung Maung, accuses the majority National League for Democracy of “democratic bullying”.