Debates on the failed military coup and political prisoners

Roundtable discussion: Myanmar´s Failed Coup

When the military coup took place in Myanmar on February 1 it seemed almost too easy. The presence of military representatives in key political institutions enabled a quick transition without (at first) shedding a drop of blood. But though the initial steps of the coup went smoothly a strong resistance movement soon arose. The people had gone to the polls in November and they now demanded the return of power to their democratically elected government. As time has passed without the Tatmadaw showing any signs of being willing to give up power, the resistance has grown stronger and their demands more radical. The initial claims of going back to the political situation before the coup have been replaced by calls for significant changes in the political landscape through for example federal democracy, the formation of a new armed force that protects the people, ethnic equality and increased respect for human rights.

Thus, though the coup at first seemed successful, it is now possible to question whether this is a failed coup. This question and the general situation after the coup was debated at an roundtable at the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies at Copenhagen University with Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung (Professor and Chair of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Lowell.), Myat The Thitsar (PhD candidate, University of Massachusetts, Lowell), Liv Stoltze Gaborit (Postdoctoral researcher, Lund University and Spokesperson for MAGD), Helene Maria Kyed (Senior researcher and head of research unit, Danish Institute for International Studies).

You can hear the podcast of the debate here:Myanmar’s Failed Coup.