Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 06/2009

The State of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Authoritarian Burma

Kyaw Yin Hlaing

December 2007

East-West Center


When Burma gained independence in 1948, its regime was a part of the phenomenon, which Samuel Huntington called the second wave of democracies. Although Burma's parliamentary democracy was by no means perfect, opposition parties were allowed to exist and elections were held regularly. The coup staged by the Revolutionary Council, which was led by the military on March 2, 1962, brought an end to this brief period of electoral democracy in Burma.