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The Internal Struggle: The Fight for an Inclusive National Identity in Myanmar

August 8th, 2022  •  Author:   Independent Research Network  •  2 minute read
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The paper “The Internal Struggle: The Fight for an Inclusive National Identity in Myanmar” discusses the major ideological fault lines among different groups within the democratic movement. It focuses on five critical discussions: tactical disputes over how the uprising is being carried out; debates over tradeoffs between morality and pragmatism; conversations over who is leading the revolution – urban middle-class “Gen Z” youth or lower-class “Anyatha” peasants; discussions of whether it is necessary to address patriarchy in Myanmar and the importance of addressing “Burmanization” (Bamar lu-myo-gyi wada and related terms). Among these debates, Burmanization dominates the discussions. First, the terms used to describe discrimination are ambiguous: they contain different meanings to different people. Second, non-Bamar people are skeptical of participating in the revolution if they do not see issues of discrimination being addressed. Third, lu-myo-gyi wada (supremacy) is not just expressed by Bamar: regionally-dominant minorities have been accused by less populous minorities of discrimination. Fourth, colorism and religious bigotry are identified by those suffering it as different – and perhaps worse – than standard lu-mo-gyi wada. By shedding light on this highly nuanced debate, this study seeks to identify a set of starting point to work towards understanding and greater unity.

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