Changing the military created constitution in Burma before 2015 elections

Forward from Burma’s military created constitution

  • Suu Kyi is trying to change key sections of Myanmar’s charter ahead of 2015 polls that are widely expected to be won by her National League for Democracy (NLD), if they are free and fair, after decades of disastrous military rule.
  • Myanmar’s previous general election in 2010 was marred by widespread accusations of cheating and held without Suu Kyi, who was kept under lock and key until days after the vote, or her NLD party.
  • The polls came as the military relinquished its outright control of the government, after decades of misrule in which they turned Myanmar into a diplomatic pariah and drove the economy into the ground.
  • To alter the constitution there needs to be support from a 75 percent majority in parliament, and as unelected soldiers make up a quarter of the legislature they have the last say on any changes.
  • The extraordinary talks Friday — the first of their kind as the nation emerges from decades of outright military rule — saw Thein Sein and Suu Kyi walk into the meeting together.
  • The discussions came a day after the White House said US President Barack Obama spoke to Thein Sein and Suu Kyi about the elections, which are seen as a key test of democratic reforms under the quasi-civilian government.
  • Suu Kyi, however, downplayed the outcome of the meeting in comments to reporters.
    “I do not know how they stated the meeting was a success,” she said, adding the NLD would like to see a more focussed discussion with a smaller group of people. » The Yahoo AFP article – By Hla-Hla Htay – October 31.2014.

  • The New York Times – Learning Network – Democracy in Action
    Overview | Students consider words that reflect their knowledge and opinions about democracy. They then work in groups to research countries that have recently transitioned to democratic forms of government. Their learning is further enhanced by reflecting on what has transpired in these countries to date. Go to this Building Society and Law Lesson.
  • The New York Times – Learning Network – The Political is Personal
    Overview | Students explore their own personal political philosophies by identifying events, people and experiences that have helped shape their beliefs and writing an essay. Go to this Building Society and ESL Lesson.
  • The New York Times – Learning Network – Justices for All
    Overview | In this lesson, students examine the role of Supreme Court justices in the American political process. Students will research the qualities of the current Supreme Court justices and write opinion papers evaluating the current justices and recommending future nominations. Go to this Law and Society Lesson.

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LFS Lessons are sponsored by The Learning Foundation an American non-profit organization which has developed programs to encourage independent thinking for over 30 years. The Foundation also has a training center and a reforestation project on an 8 acre site in the Northeast of Thailand. My name is Keerock Rook and I have been involved with the Foundation since its inception. I edit most of the lessons.