Published in Kachinland News on February 28, 2017| Burma’s November 2015 elections attracted significant national and international attention. The National League for Democracy (NLD) under the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi won the vast majority of popular support, securing 887 parliamentary seats – 77.1% of the contested seats. International observers pronounced the elections to have been appreciably free and fair. The elections have been widely regarded as a landmark in Burma’s political history, as most commentators and pundits anticipated that the new government would likely focus on constitutional reforms and peace building in the country.
23 May 2016 - One year after the heavy landslides that had devastated parts of Hakha, Chin State, those displaced are still struggling for their livelihoods. They said that the government had only done precious little to rehabilitate them despite procurement of land and construction of so-called ‘permanent shelter’ on the new relocation site. And with a new monsoon season setting in with yet another round of possible disaster on the horizon, things are looking gloomier by the day for residents of Myanmar’s poorest State.
The role of media, as ‘the fourth pillar’ of the nation-state is important for country’s transition process. Media freedom (media awareness) in Burma got improved when transitions process started after the general election in decades was held in 2010. After the quasi-civilian democratic government was established in Burma in March 2011, the government ended 50 years of strict press control and lifted restriction on news publication in ethnic languages in December 2012. Alison (2014) stated censorship was eliminated; a number of imprisoned bloggers and journalists were released; private daily papers are permitted to publish; some political opinions or comments are allowed in the publications. A distribution of newspapers, however, in the isolated and underdeveloped ethnic areas like Chin State is a big challenge. On the one hand, although Burmese is the official national language, the fact that Chin State is one of the most remote and isolated regions in Burma has meant that the vast majority of Chin people cannot read or speak Burmese. This is where the importance of the role of Chin-language media comes in promoting freedom of information/expression and media awareness in the Chin society. I believe that peace and sustainable transition to democracy can be achieved only if the people have a basic understanding of human rights, democracy and the root cause of national conflicts. This is what I learnt from our short existence towards promoting freedom of information/expression and media awareness in Chin State. Despite the relaxation of media restrictions, on the other hand, numbers of publications in ethnic regions are few especially in Chin State and it could not reach by the mainstream media, while those that have been set up face many hurdles and difficulties including shutter by the state government and the financial constraint.
|November 4, 2010| - As Burma prepares for its first general elections in 20 years this Sunday, a young journalist/activist working in Burma considers what the military’s version of change will mean for the country.
One doesn’t need to be a prophet to foretell Burma's upcoming 2010 Elections and its possible outcomes. It doesn’t take a sharp political mind to make the right prediction either. Everyone is well aware of, and could make their own prediction, on what the military-planned 2010 Elections will bring and what will happen next in Burma. However, anyone can at the same time be a prophet in this matter, particularly in Burma. Why?