Myanmar's parliament has approved a proposal for the establishment of a committee to draw up amendments to the country's constitution, which currently gives strong political power to the military.
The ruling National League for Democracy, led by Myanmar's de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, submitted the proposal on Tuesday. Party members say the current constitutional framework makes it difficult for the party to pursue its policy agenda.
The proposal was cleared with majority support, but met with strong opposition from military lawmakers.
Myanmar's peace process with ethnic minority groups appears to be floundering because of a deteriorating relationship between the government and its military - or, perhaps, as some would say, the military and its government.
No date has been set for a third round of peace talks between the administration of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and rebel groups. Originally scheduled for January, there have been several postponements and some representatives of ethnic groups are skeptical it can happen any time soon.
Politically, Myanmar is experiencing a new phase under its new government. Undoubtedly, the approach toward national reconciliation in Myanmar has changed after the installation of National League for Democracy (NLD) in 2016. The 21st Century Panglong Conference, which is going to be held this year in March, is part of the NLD’s new way of pursuing peace. However, the persistent armed conflict simmering between the Myanmar Army and ethnic armed groups poses a big challenge to the government’s credibility.
Therefore, it is pertinent to critically evaluate whether armed conflict in Myanmar has stabilized after the institutionalization of a new government. I argue that the ongoing conflict remains the same and obfuscates the process of national reconciliation.