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Alternative Asean Network on Burma
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BURMA ISSUES AND CONCERNS VOL. 7: LOCKED IN, TIED UP: BURMA’S DISCIPLINED DEMOCRACY

 
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On 30 March 2011, the military regime’s long-running play ‘roadmap to democracy’ concluded almost eight years after its release. In the military stronghold of Naypyidaw, President-elect Thein Sein was sworn in along two Vice-Presidents and 30 cabinet ministers. The ceremony also marked the dissolution of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). “Peace and Development Council” offices across Burma were renamed as “General Administrative Departments.”

Beyond the change from military uniforms to Burmese traditional dress, which has been described by the regime as a “transfer of power to a civilian government”, nothing has changed in Burma as a result of the 7 November election and the convening of a Parliament dominated by former high-ranking SPDC officials. The SPDC has perpetuated a cruel hoax on its own people and the international community. Whether the regime is successful in its sleight of hand depends on the resolve of international leaders to stay the course in keeping pressure on Burma’s new regime so it will enact true reform and engage in genuine dialogue for peace and national reconciliation.