How much power do the Myanmar military have and is this OK?

In Myannmar the military are, although significantly less then they used to be, very powerfull. According to CNN 'In 2008 a new Constitution allocated a quarter of the seats in parliament to the military' and 'In the Constitution, the role of the commander-in-chief -- who is the ultimate military authority. -- often overrides that of the President. Along with nominating military candidates for seats in both houses of parliament, the Constitution also allows the commander-in-chief, in the event of a state of emergency "the right to take over and exercise State sovereign power.".'

Myannmar used to be completley ruled by the military until a campaign, led largely by Ann Sang Suu Kyi campaigned for democracy, eventually suceeding.

So the military aren't technically in control, but because of their presence in the government, they can legally make changes. For instance, when Ann san Suu Kyi's party was about to be elected the military changed the constitution to make 'the condition that no one with dual-citizen relations (including parents or children) can ever be president. Because both of Suu Kyi's adult sons are British citizens, as was her late husband, she was unable to assume the presidency. ' They didn't want Ann San Suu Kyi to be president so they craftily changed the constitution so that, by law, she couldn't assume the role.

What's my opinion

So I think the situation of the military is far better then something like 3 decades ago, when they ruled the country totally. However, I think that they still have far too much power. Although they only have a quarter of seats in parliament, they still influence the country a lot and have clauses in the constitution allowing them to override the president. At the moment, I think they are taking advantage of this power and the knowledge that they are in some way protected by the constitution and as a result they are killing and persecuting the Rohingya people without fearing punishment. Because of this power that they have, I worry that the persecution of the Rohingya will not stop soon. Generally on the hub, I am getting the opinion that most people, including myself in recent posts are blaming Ann San Suu Kyi for not doing anything. However, if she did speak up, there is a fair possibility that the military might just override her, possibly even start persecuting the Rohingya people more. The fact that a country's troops can be ordered by the head of the miltary to persecute a whole race of people and not be punished for it is shocking and should not be allowed to happen. The fact is that the miltary are killing and persecuting all these people and not being punished or stopped.This is not OK.On paper, the military do not have enough power to do this and get away with it (they only have 1 quarter of seats) but in real life they do, they have edited their constitution, their law to limit the power of democracy and give them as much power as possible. I think that it is quite possible that if the military did not have so much power, that the persecution of these Rohingya people would not be happening, or atleast not to this extent. If Myanmar's military were controlled solely by the government, rather than the commander in chief, they would not be able to do what they wanted without getting permission from parliament, they would not be able to kill and punish all of these innocent people. This is why I believe they should have less power in the government, perhaps none at all because if they could be stopped easily by the government and if they couldn't do whatever they wanted, Myannmar and the Rohingya people wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.

So what do you think, how much power do you think the military have, should they have the power they do and, considering the military's role in all of this, is Ann Sang Suu Kyi really at fault here?



Comments (9)

  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ Topical Talk
    26 Sep 2018

    Well done for taking on board my feedback from a previous post. The focus on using your research to build your own opinion is clear! That's why you have been awarded a star.

    You've outlined what you think should happen. What about what is realistic? If the military hold so much power, is it likely that the changes you've suggested will happen? How can the international community encourage the changes you have suggested?

    1. Faringdon-logo-250x250.jpg fantastic_duck | Faringdon Community College | United Kingdom
      Tiff @ Topical Talk's comment 04 Oct 2018

      So I have said that I think the military should have as little power as possible, preferably none. However, in reply to your comment, I think this, currently very unlikely because I don't think anyone in the position to make a statement (anyone who is of a significant high level in the government) would or even could say anything. I believe this because with the power that the military have, anyone who secretly has a negative opinion of them might not speak up purely because of the fear of being kicked out or hurt by the military in some way. Even if someone, even Ann Sang Suu Kyi did dare to speak up against the military, the military might just seize control or refuse to leave. However, I do believe that there is one way that possibly the military could be forced out of the government: other countries or powers getting involved. Foreign powers getting involved in conflicts has worked before and could work in Myanmar.
      The U.N.'s website say that 'Since the 1990s, many conflicts have been brought to an end either through UN mediation or the action of third parties acting with UN support. Recent examples include Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burundi, the north-south conflict in the Sudan and Nepal. Research credits UN peace making, peacekeeping and conflict prevention activities as a major factor behind a 40-per cent decline in conflict around the world since the 1990s.'. All of these examples show that a foreign power, like the UN really can help resolve conflicts. The Rohingya crisis in Myanmar is a real problem and so the UN hopefully will get involved if the situation gets any worse. If they did get involved then maybe the military could be forced out of the government, especially if the UN placed the blame on them. Even if they didn’t overthrow the military, a foreign power could really help the Rohingya’s situation. At this point, with the power that the military holds, I find it unlikely that someone within the government will speak up against the military, and that the only people that can and so the only people who can help the Rohingya people is people who aren’t under control of the Myanmar military: people who don’t live in Myanmar.
      So, the international community can help by just making their voices heard and condemning the military, and, especially if the Rohingya refugee situation gets any worse, intervening. It looks like no one in Myanmar is going to try and make a change anytime soon so, if we do have sympathy for the Rohingya people, we will have to intervene in some way or another, even if that is just talking to the Myanmar government and military, anything we do would be better than just sitting here watching all this persecution and doing nothing about it.

      Sorry it took so long to reply, I wanted to make sure my answer was good and thanks for the feedback again.

  • Elaine-logo-250x250.jpg delightful_eagle | Elaine Primary School
    01 Oct 2018

    i disagree with the military having power because they have terrorized the Muslims enough and sent them to a different location. i also disagree with Ann Sang Sue Kyi having the blame because she has done nothing wrong.

  • Crampton-logo-250x250.jpg eloquent_recipe | Crampton Primary School
    01 Oct 2018

    I learnt on
    that the Rohingya have been very badly treated over the last few months. People like us have experienced that they shouldn't have experienced like the fire that attacked their home and military killing lots of the Rohingya. They must find it really hard to live and it must be a nightmare. Hopefully the refugee camps are getting much easier to survive in, WAKE UP AUNG SAN SUU KYI.

    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ Topical Talk
      eloquent_recipe's comment 02 Oct 2018

      Well done for researching this further, eloquent_recipe! I gave you a skill for your curiosity. It's also great that you have interpreted your findings and written in your own words, which is exactly what we want to see on the Hub!

    2. The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg witty_petal | The Ruth Gorse Academy | United Kingdom
      eloquent_recipe's comment 06 Dec 2018

      Wikipedia may not always be correct as anyone could change and edit it.

  • Bruche-logo-250x250.jpg enigmatic_newspaper | Bruche Primary School | United Kingdom
    10 Oct 2018

    I don't think the army should have this much power they should have a lot less than they do.But it also proves that we shouldn't underestimate there army if it's to strong because we would definitely lose the fight if we did try to take over which we wouldn't do!

  • Notley-Green-logo-250x250.jpg humorous_cherry | Notley Green Primary School B
    29 Nov 2018

    It's unfair that she's not doing anything and people are burning down her countries houses

  • Notley-Green-logo-250x250.jpg humorous_cherry | Notley Green Primary School B
    29 Nov 2018

    It's her country

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