ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print

Why Myanmar's military is not planning a coup

Speculation about military intentions makes for a good conspiracy theory but facts tell a different story

| Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos
Myanmar's armed forces at their annual military parade and ceremony to mark Armed Forces Day in the capital, Naypyitaw, on March 27. (Photo by Steve Tickner).

Myanmar has always encouraged conspiracy theories. Most have proven fanciful, but there is one currently circulating that, given its potential implications, is worth examining. It argues that the leaders of the country's armed forces, or Tatmadaw, have a secret plan to bring down Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy government and install a new military regime.

Military officers sign into the upper parliament for the swearing in of the new NLD-led government in Naypyitaw on March 30, 2016 (Photo by Steve Tickner)

This theory was given fresh life recently by media coverage of the first anniversary of the NLD taking office in March 2016 and the appointment shortly afterwards of Suu Kyi as Myanmar's State Counselor and de facto leader. Both milestones prompted a spate of reviews which, almost without exception, expressed disappointment with the NLD's first year in power. Suu Kyi herself came in for strong criticism, particularly from foreign observers upset by her refusal to intervene on behalf of the mostly stateless Muslim Rohingya population based mainly in the country's western Rakhine State.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more