Just one of those dour days here in Atlah, with the brain creaking along so slowly that the firing of each synapse sounds like the bursting of a soap bubble. Classic ZZ Top will have to see you through for the moment. And if you have a few spare moments over lunch, it’s worth checking out this primer on what to expect from Burma’s upcoming elections. One major fly in the junta’s repressive ointment? The long-running ethnic insurgencies that run shadow governments along Burma’s borders:
The major setback for the military regime in this process has been its inability to disarm the ethnic groups, transform them into border guards and make them contest as political parties. Despite repeatedly postponing the deadlines for this process, the regime has neither disbanded them legally nor resorted to military confrontation with these groups. It is widely believed that China had a role to play in mediating between the regime and the ethnic groups especially in the borders with China. The regime has put this issue in the cold storage with a view to revive it after the dust settles down after the elections. However the military regime has withheld the election in some townships of these troubled areas in the states of Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon and Shan (including four townships in the Wa self administered division) for the reason that “the election will not be held in several constituencies where free and fair elections could not be held”.