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Burma Under the Military Rule in 1962-1988 Coursework

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The Military Junta Ceased the Control over the Country in 1962

After the declaration of independence, Burma became a democratic country. The nation faced major issues any other country in the region had to solve. The government was unable to solve economic and social problems, and the Burmese people were unsatisfied. In 1960, the government led by U Nu asked Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Ne Win, to use the military force to address the social unrest (Egreteau & Jagan 2013). In 1962, Ne Win seized power in a military coup d’état. It is necessary to add that the public had a specific idea on the military as people believed the military could rule the country as they had the authority and the necessary instruments.

The Rule of the Revolutionary Council in 1962-1974

After the military had ceased power, the Union Revolutionary Council was established. This governing body was in power from 1962 to 1974 (Fink 2009). The Revolutionary Council was mainly governed by Ne Win and his supporters. The regime introduced strict regulations, and any protests were suppressed. This strong oppression made people understand the danger of military rule. The regime chose planned economy and strict control over all aspects of people’s lives. This resulted in the almost destroyed economy and a great rate of poor people.

Major Protests

During the military rule, several major protests took place. The student protest in 1962 ended in the death of 15 students, but the military held the power. Anti-government protests also took place in 1974, 1975, 1977, and in the late 1980s, but they all were suppressed (Topich & Leitich 2013). The government jailed the most active protestors and people who fought for civil rights. Interestingly, monks played an important role in anti-government protests (Keys 2010).

The adoption of the constitution in 1974

The social unrest, economic issues and the increasing number of protests made the military regime show their readiness to create a democratic state. The referendum held in 1973 showed people’s desire to have the constitution. The constitution was enacted in 1974. Major civil rights were declared. It also ensured the balance of power through the existence of the judicial, legislative and executive powers. However, the strict control over all aspects of people’s lives was still in place. The constitution was a way to hide the true rulers, the military. It was not democracy, but the constitutional dictatorship (Devi 2014).

The NLD Wins the Elections, but the Results Are Ignored in 1990

Clearly, the introduction of the constitution without important changes had no effect, and the country still faced major economic and social issues. The protests became more frequent and more violent. More and more people were ready to resist the power of the military. The regime decided to hold elections to show people that the country is really democratic (Bandow 2011). In 1990, the National League for Democracy won the elections as it got 80% of the seats. However, the ruling regime ignored the results of the elections. Only twenty years later the military junta gave the power to the government that was formed by democratic parties.

References

Bandow, D 2011, ‘Military rule in Burma’, The American Spectator, Web.

Devi, KS 2014, ‘Myanmar under the military rule 1962-1988’, International Research Journal of Social Sciences, vol. 3, no. 10, pp. 46-50.

Egreteau, R & Jagan, L 2013, Soldiers and diplomacy in Burma: understanding the foreign relations of the Burmese praetorian state, NUS Press, Singapore.

Fink, C 2009, Living silence: Burma under military rule, Zed Books, New York.

Keys, D 2010, ‘Burma: why its military dictatorship still survives’, History Extra, Web.

Topich, WJ & Leitich, KA 2013, The history of Myanmar, ABC-CLIO, Oxford.

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