Myanmar (also called Burma) is a state in southeast Asia, and is one of the numerous places which are, inter alia, facing military violence. It was 1 February 2021 when the military claimed control over the state, after not having been in charge for several decades. Since then, there have been reports of mass protests all over the country; protests that cost dozens of people’s lives. Now, after a decade of existing as a democratic state, the situation of Myanmar seems to have returned to its previous period of ruling under a military general, in the years of 1962 and 1974. The main goals of this article are the following: to elaborate on the military ruling period and briefly explains the current hostilities towards citizens of Myanmar. Concurrently, I will refer to how the current situation compares to previous (and rather similar) events from recent Burmese history.

In 1962, General Ne Win put the Burmese Parliament and constitution to an end and began the so-called “Burmese Way to Socialism”. Ne Win is known in history to have opposing views to his predecessor, U Nu, which led to the aforementioned events. Henceforth, Ne Win was in office serving as a Prime Minister between the years 1962 and 1974. Then, in 1974, a new constitution came into force. In accordance with article 11 of the 1974 constitution, the state of Burma adopted a single-party system – the Burma Socialist Programme Party.[1] Furthermore, General Ne Win also served as the President of Myanmar (Burma) between 1974 and 1981. Still, the general then showed that 1981 was not the end of his dictatorship[2]. He remained in office up until 1988, when numerous demonstrators within the state put pressure on Ne Win, in order to get him to officially resign for once and for all.

As for 2021, hostilities have arisen again, starting with the armed forces forcefully taking full control over the government and arresting the Burmese leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, along with other members of the NLD party. Nevertheless, Suu Kyi encouraged civilians to stay calm and ‘not to accept the coup by the military’ but to ‘resist it accordingly[3]’ This is a clear example of how the national history of the country repeats itself, as this is certainly not the first time the nation faces such brutality. Now, after having committed ‘these crimes against humanity’ (a statement suggested by a rapporteur working for the United Nations),[4] the Burmese military has taken their power back again. Their current commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing, is the current leader of the state.

To sum up, this article has clarified the significant similarities between the past and the present of Myanmar. First, there was the coup d’état of 1962, where General Ne Win forcefully took leadership over the state and established one single political party – the Burma Socialist Programme Party. Before the present events, there was the coup of 1988, where the people of the state pressured General Ne Win to finally resign. As for the latest coup of 2021, there is only one certainty left for Myanmar – the uncertainty. Given the circumstances, the political future and development of Myanmar are now unclear. In order to provide support to Burmese nationals, an online platform is now made available. This platform ( is mainly consisting of fundraisers, which are created in order to support the Burmese nationals in these times need. Despite the cases of detention, shutting down the internet, murder of peaceful protestors, Myanmar shall not be silenced.

[1] Burmese Constitution (1974)

[2] BBC Myanmar profile – Timeline < > accessed 21 March 2021

[3] Alex Ward, ‘Myanmar’s coup, explained’ (Vox, 1st February) <> accessed 21 March 2021

[4] Al Jazeera and news agencies, ‘Myanmar military ‘murdered’ at least 70 since coup: UN’ (Al Jazeera and News Agencies, 11 March) < > accessed 21 March 2021