Discuss the fallout of Myanmar’s democratic experiment being derailed by the 2021 military coup. What are its impacts on the external players, including India?
Myanmar was having a limited democracy before the military coup in 2021. Almost 21 months have passed since the military coup in Myanmar and there has been no improvement, even after interventions from UN, ASEAN and other multilateral bodies.
Background of Military Coup in Myanmar:
- The Aung San Suu Kyi-led National league for democracy was elected to power in November 2020, however the Myanmar military was unhappy with the victory and launched a coup operation, ending the decade old experiment with limited democracy.
- The military faced public anger and rebellion, which led to the killing of more than 2300 people and imprisonment of thousands.
- The opposition party ‘National Unity Government (NUG)’ has played an important role in restraining the military from gaining full control over Myanmar by channelizing popular indignation against military rule and getting political and financial support from abroad.
- Various ethnic armed groups present in Myanmar have adopted different approaches to deal with the coup, either by supporting NUG or by engaging in armed conflict with the army.
- However, the lack of leadership in NUG and lack of resources make defeat of the army by these groups unlikely.
- Migration of millions of Rohingya to Bangladesh and Northeast India.
- Violence, killing and imprisonments of thousands.
- There has been a sharp division of opinions among the international community over the coup.
- The West has generally been critical to the military action, whereas Russia has supported the military action.
- ASEAN is also divided over the course of action in Myanmar.
- The bilateral conditions are adversely impacted between India-Myanmar post coup.
India can play the role of a mediator along the ASEAN and like minded neighboring countries. Also the international community needs to provide a suitable environment for political settlement.