Ethnic Conflict in Burma

In the last few decades there have been numerous military oppressions and constitutional arrangements by the successive governments to bring an order out of the chaos by attempting to prevent ethnic conflicts. All such attempts have so far been proved to be futile as it has been widely believed that the army has been oppressing the local population with cruelty that goes unpunished, and applying force in the ethnic regions. The ethnic conflicts have been intensified with the forced labour practice by the military government. The military usually targets the ethnic minorities to make them work as labours. In the recent years the government has been providing peace overtures to the rebellious groups, but the army has yet to gain the confidence of the local population. These efforts of the government include a peaceful approach towards the border regions of Burma that are inhabited by several major rebellious groups. But there are still many groups who even now remain skeptical of the government’s intentions and get involved in armed conflicts to gain self-determination. The recent steps taken by the government have the potential to initiate conversation between the regime and the opposition, thus ensuring cessation of the ethnic conflicts. This paper focuses on the background of the ethnic conflicts in Burma with the latter half concentrating on discussing potential solutions to the problem.
Burma got independence from Britain in the year 1948 and since then ethnic conflicts have become a continuous affair in the regions inhabited by the minority groups. Every government that has come into power since independence has witnessed large scale armed conflicts of the hundreds of ethnic groups prevalent in Burma. In the entire period post independence till the current period there has been diversity of ideologies, goals and strategies of