State Peace and Development Council

FYI: Myanmar's military regime has faced a lot of condemnation lately. But why did the army take over the country to begin with?

The military initially argued it had to seize control for security reasons. The second world war and the rapid unravelling of British and, briefly, Japanese rule had left Myanmar a pretty confused place.

Sunday, 25 November, 2007, 12:00am

UN envoy's visit raises hopes for an end to isolation

Which Southeast Asian country is run by a 'ruthless, trigger-happy bunch of thugs' whose main interest is 'killing civilians and repressing democratic activities'? Give yourself a pat on the back if you answered Burma, aka Myanmar.

1 Jun 2001 - 12:00am

New regime much less predictable

The new streamlined military junta is more likely to spring political surprises than its moribund predecessor, Rangoon-based diplomats said yesterday.

Yet the reshuffled Cabinet remains ill-equipped to deal with a modern world and a spreading economic crisis, they added.

19 Nov 1997 - 12:00am

Eager new boy becomes bounder sent to stand in the corner

Burma's Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw was like an eager schoolboy in the July annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, according to observers.

No matter how boring or routine the presentation, he could be seen nodding wisely or smiling quietly, as the occasion appeared to demand.

2 Sep 1997 - 12:00am

Making the same moves as Mao

FOUR decades ago, Mao Zedong unleashed the 'Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom, Let One Hundred Schools of Thought Contend' movement.

This policy of encouraging China's hitherto tightly controlled intellectuals to criticise the communist authorities has generally been seen as a wily trick to flush his liberal opponents out into the open - the better to destroy them later.

13 Jul 1997 - 12:00am

Beyond sanctions

Those who thought sanctions could shock Burma's rulers into changing course have been shown quite clearly what notice the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) takes of international pressure of this kind. The effect of sanctions is nearly always a great deal less than their authors hope, particularly when they are less than global.

24 May 1997 - 12:00am

Health rumours add to pressure on regime

Rumours that former dictator General Ne Win is ill in Rangoon have sparked fresh speculation about the future of the ruling junta.

The exact role played by the 85-year-old in the self-styled State Law and Order Restoration Council is unknown but he is thought to be more than just an elder statesman.

16 Oct 1996 - 12:00am

League shows up junta's lack of confidence

The country's military regime displayed its strength and confidence when it released the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi 10 months ago; but when it now detains scores of her associates, it reveals weakness and fear.

The generals are clearly nervous that the National League for Democracy's meeting this Sunday will draw attention to the illegitimacy of their rule.

23 May 1996 - 12:00am

A wealth of tainted handshakes

IT IS a country ruled by an unelected military junta, it is home to 'reformed' drug baron Khun Sa, it has been roundly condemned worldwide for alleged human rights violations, and - as is now apparent - it is a top destination for Hong Kong companies seeking early access to the next Asian economic miracle.

8 Mar 1996 - 12:00am

Generals must do much more

THE release of Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi comes as a shaft of light in a dark room that the military dictators, calling themselves the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), have turned the country into.

2 Aug 1995 - 12:00am

Motivated by greed

DAW Aung San Suu Kyi has her birthday today, still under house arrest.

She cannot be held after July, however, I am sure the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), will find reason to keep her incarcerated.

So much for the constructive engagement of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

19 Jun 1995 - 12:00am

Thailand turning blind eye

A SOCIETY where the rule of law prevails and even refugees under appropriate circumstances can appeal to the highest court of justice, as in the case of the three Vietnamese families, is indeed an enviable one.

5 May 1995 - 12:00am

Burma struggles struggles to fight poverty poverty

SEVEN years after emerging from a disastrous experiment with socialism, Burma's military government is still struggling to embrace an open-market system and lift its country out of least developed nation status.

14 Apr 1995 - 12:00am

Dictatorship shows true colours

I AM dismayed by the Burmese Army's sacking of Manerplaw, the headquarters of Burma's ethnic Karen National Union and also home to the National Coalition Government of Burma, formed by elected members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party.

16 Feb 1995 - 12:00am

Regime can be hazardous to health

BELATED but big congratulations are due to cigarette maker Rothmans for its deal to make and sell cigarettes in Burma in conjunction with the Burmese Government.

We completely agree that business and moral issues should never be mixed, and it's heart-warming to learn that despite their other little problems, the citizens of Burma will not be deprived of upmarket cigarettes.

29 Dec 1993 - 12:00am