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Myanmar Index
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Constitutional Background

Myanmar, formerly "Burma", is ruled by a military junta in Rangun "The State Law and Order Restoration Council" (SLORC) under leaders Khin Nyunt and Than Shwe. The junta is responsible for the 1988 massacre suppressing the democracy movement. The national symbol of democratic resistance, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, was detained by military. The NLD (National League for Democracy) clearly won the 1990 elections, but the military refused handing over the power. A committee charged by the junta with drafting a new Constitution reportedly intends to include an article banning Myanmar citizens married to foreigners from political activity -- that would exclude Mrs Suu Kyi who is married to a British national. The NLD refused to participate in the Constitutional Convention.

History and News

  • 23 July 1996: Myanmar, for the first time, is admitted by ASEAN to a security forum in Jakarta.
  • 7 June 1996: The ruling SLORC adopts a new law declaring the unauthorized drafting of a constitution as an offence punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
  • 28 May 1996: After a three-day party conference with many arrests of participants, Aung San Suu Kyi announces NLD plans to draft a constitution separately from the government panel.
  • 29 Nov 1995: Deadline for NLD participation in Constitutional Convention.
  • 27 Oct 1995: The military regime frees another 30 political prisioners. 2277 are now freed, but still leaves at least 1000 in prisons.
  • 3 Aug 1995: Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw attended ASEAN meeting as guest of the presidency, but was told that more progress towards normalizing political life would be necessary before becoming a full member.
  • 10 July 1995: Military ends a six-year house arrest of Aun San Suu Kyi who stated in a TIME interview that she would be willing to contribute to a new constitution.
  • Jan 1993: Constitutional Convention starts meetings.
  • 1991: Aung San Suu Kyi is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent promotion of democracy.
  • 1990: NLD wins 392 out of 485 seats, but the military SLORC refuses handing over the power.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - December 18th, 2010 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.