Mass protests continue in Myanmar against the coup and takeover of power by the military two weeks ago. Previously, the military and government had shared responsibilities for governing the country under a constitution that led to a first set of elections in 2010 and ended military junta rule in early 2011.
Following the Safran revolution uprising by Buddhist monks and the major destruction inflicted by cyclone Nargis in 2007 and 2008, the country started to take steps towards democratization but could not escape the gridlock created by the 25 percent of military members in parliament as dictated by its constitution.
However, the past ten years have led to improvements in the life of some 50 million Burmese, even though this explicitly excludes members of the Rohingya minority. The military’s persecution of the Muslim ethnic group is described as an ethnic cleansing by Human Rights Watch and first cast a light on the severe shortcoming of the power-sharing government of the National League of Democracy party and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, which has been the country’s majority party since 2015.
Between 2010 and 2018, life expectancy at birth in Myanmar rose by almost 3.5 years, while gross enrollment in secondary school increased by almost 50 percent in the same time frame, as did GDP. A look at selected international indices shows that despite the gains on measures like corruption and democratic structures, the country had remained in an extremely vulnerable situation.