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Myanmar coup discussion: Ian Holliday & John Mak, & oath-taking/declaration for civil servants


Myanmar coup discussion: Ian Holliday & John Mak, & oath-taking/declaration for civil servants

Myanmar, previously known as Burma, was under military rule for more than half a century. In 1962, General Ne Win staged a coup leading the country into a 26-year era of one-party rule. It wasn’t until 2011 that the military junta was officially dissolved. But the military has retained considerable power from both behind the scenes and out in the open. Last November Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy, which had led the opposition to the Junta, won by a landslide victory in a general election. The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party challenged the result, alleging 8.6 million election irregularities and evidence of fraud. The election commission rejected these allegations. Then, on Monday this week, citizens of Myanmar woke up to find themselves once again under military rule and Ms Suu Kyi arrested again. With me to talk about the coup in Myanmar are Ian Holliday, Vice-president of the University of Hong Kong whose research focuses on Myanmar politics and governance and John Mak, a social entrepreneur based in Myanmar and Hong Kong.

Last week, the government announced that civil servants should prepare to resume providing basic public services after – in many cases - working from home due to the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many are returning to the office with an important decision to make. They’re expected to sign a loyalty pledge before the Lunar New Year, and it’s left some feeling conflicted, and even confused.

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