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Research Papers

Lyer, Venkat. "Federalism and the Protection of Minority Rights: Some Lessons for a New Democratic Burma," Burma Lawyers’ Council 4 (1999).


Preece, Emma. "Toward a New Narrative: Ethnic Conflict, Cooperation and Reconciliation in Burma," Australian Institute of International Affairs (2010).

Summary: "This paper discusses inter-ethnic conflict and cooperation, focusing on both the disunity and attempts at unity in this diverse and divided country. It will also give an overview of some critical factors affecting inter-ethnic relations and argue that recognition of ethnic difference and rights is necessary but insufficient to ensure a fruitful democratic future for Burma." [Author]

Sakhong, Lian H. "A Struggle for Democracy, Equality and Federalism in Burma: An Ethnic Perspective," Ethnic Nationalities Council (2008).

Summary: In this paper, the author argues that Federalism is the only viable solution to Burma’s current political crisis, including five long decades of civil war. Federalism, therefore, is essential to the ultimate success of the democracy movement, to guarantee political equality for all nationalities, the right of self-determination for all member states of the Union, and democratic rights for all citizens of the Union." [Author]
Schein, Jonathan K. "Ethnofederalism and the Accommodation of Ethnic Minorities in Burma: United They Stand," Naval Postgraduate School (2013).
Summary: "Burma’s minorities, which have been in conflict with the national government since independence in 1948, remain skeptical of recent reforms and continue to call for a “return to Panglong,” a 1947 agreement to provide autonomy and self-government for ethnic minority regions. Minority groups have consistently demanded federal institutions to protect their rights, and many scholars have advocated an ethnofederal accommodation of Burma’s minorities." [Author]


All You Can Do is Pray. New York: Human Rights Watch, 2013.

Purpose: To urge the end of the crimes humanity and the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya.

Content: "This report describes the role of the Burmese government and local authorities in the forcible displacement of more than 125,000 Rohingya and other Muslims and the ongoing humanitarian crisis." [Human Rights Watch]

Myanmar: A New Peace Initiative. Jakarta/ Brussels: International Crisis Group, 2011.

Purpose: To address the ethnic minorities conflict in Myanmar.

Content: "As preparations for the new civilian government were being made in recent years, the outgoing military administration aggravated already fraying relationships with the ethnic minorities. Stepped up fighting and treating their long-standing political grievances as a security problem did not address core concerns of making peace, promoting equality, ending human rights abuses, providing economic opportunity, equitable resource sharing and strengthening regional autonomy." [Author]

Unrepresented Nations and People's Organization (UNPO). Myanmar. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2011.

Purpose: To raise questions on Myanmar's national and international failure to adress and protect Minority Rights.

Content: This Report includes the following issues: UNPO members in Myanmar; Myanmar's normative and institutional framework and international obligations; The failure of the 2008 Myanmar Constitution to protect the rights of minorities and the urgency of the SPDC's to fulfil its obligations as signatory to international and regionalinstruments relevant to minority and indigenous rights.

The Repression of Ethnic Minority Activists in Myanmar. UK: Amnesty International Publications, 2010.

Purpose: To call for halting government repression of ethnic minorities before forthcoming national and local elections.

Content: The Repression of ethnic minority activists in Myanmar, draws on accounts from more than 700 activists from the seven largest ethnic minorities, including the Rakhine, Shan, Kachin, and Chin, covering a two-year period from August 2007.


Relevant Websites

Minority Rights Group International
About: Minority Rights Group International (MRGI) campaigns worldwide with around 130 partners in over 60 countries to ensure that disadvantaged minorities and indigenous peoples, often the poorest of the poor, can make their voices heard. Through training and education, legal cases, publications and the media, MRGI supports minority and indigenous people as they strive to maintain their rights.


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Pyidaungsu Institute

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