Myanmar carries the tragic distinction of hosting the world's longest-running civil wars. These conflicts — some of which commenced almost immediately after the Second World War — have frustrated attempts to bring about lasting and peaceful resolutions. The civil wars colour relations between the country's ethnic minorities, who make up around one-third of the population, and the ethnic Burmans who are the majority. Inter-ethnic battles have seen countless casualties as all sides struggle to defend competing visions of pride, power, and position. But periods of relative stability, without regular violence, have also shaped the political landscape. For the past two decades, Burma's unresolved wars have been characterized, in large part, by ceasefire agreements that discouraged direct hostility and confrontation. The 1988 disintegration of the Communist Party of Burma generated a suite of militia groups, often labelled with the ethnicity of their respective leaderships, that the world came to know through the prism of their ceasefires with the Myanmar government.
|Title of host publication||Myanmar's Transition Openings, Obstacles and Opportunities|
|Editors||Nick Cheesman, Monique Skidmore and Trevor Wilson|
|Place of Publication||Singapore|
|Publisher||Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|