The new government in Myanmar in 2016 faced many of its predecessor’s challenges; however, some progress was made in policy reversals and legislative reform. Although the government hosted a major ethnic peace conference, violence erupted again in Rakhine State as community tensions transformed into armed conflict. The country experienced more flooding, an earthquake, and a slowing economy locked into falling commodity prices.
The general election dominated events in Myanmar, while the government pushed for a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement before the polls. Attention was drawn to student protests and the plight of the Rohingya boat people. Major flooding caused havoc throughout the country and moderated expectations for economic growth. Throughout the year, the government and opposition parties dealt with internal management issues, voter and candidate lists, and partisan electoral politics.
Burma's relations with ASEAN have changed signifi cantly since 1997. This article examines how Burma-ASEAN relations have been influenced by intense international pressure and ASEAN's desire to maintain regional credibility. As ASEAN continues to redefine its position with Burma, the generals' relations elsewhere may continue to define it for them.
The prospects for improving justice and stability in Burma remain bleak. Conventions and talks have proven to be neither fully representative nor substantive while economic prospects remain woeful, consolidating purges continue, and institutional reforms are being undermined by mistrust and the ruling generals' unwillingness to relinquish power.