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The Political Engagement Of Burma

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As Burma seeks to distance itself from China, despite Burma’s failed engagement on the energy front, India may very well be destined to be the major beneficiary. Burma has been grateful that India has focused on education, provision of technology and services, and infrastructure just as much as it has focused on energy (Maini, 2014). With all things considered, China virtually has monopoly over Burma’s offshore gas fields. Its economic and political engagement in Burma is greater than any other country in the world beyond comparison.

Tribal Rights Approximately 33% of Burma’s population consists of tribal groups. The population ranges from the Wa and Kachins in the North, to the Chins in the Northwest, to the Rohingya Muslims with ties
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Contrary to popular belief, the tribes are weary of Burma becoming a democracy too soon. “Suu Kyi is little more than a symbol of the wrong issue – democracy first! Ethnic rights and the balance of ethnic power are preconditions for democracy (Kaplan, 2011). The granddaughter of famous military general Aung San, Aung San Suu Kyi, has led Burma’s National League of Democracy. India has a strong relationship with Suu Kyi, as India supported Burma’s democracy leader prior to changing its policy to engagement with the regime. Suu Kyi studied in India, won the Nehru Award for International Peace in 1982, and her family has strong ties to Jawaharlal Nehru (Myint-U, 2011). Although Suu Kyi and the tribes are against the same military, their visions for the order are different by which a transition to a civilian government must to occur. The major concern of the tribes is their rights through a federation that grants them self-rule. Suu Kyi specifically desires elections, with less regard for the distinctive approach that will be necessary in order to satisfy the tribes. India and Suu Kyi have distanced from each other, creating an opportunity for India to advocate for the tribes. The tribes may very well look to India as a model to follow given India’s own form of
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