For more than half a century, Myanmar was ruled by the military. Even now, with a civilian government in power, the military exerts considerable political influence and sees its involvement in national politics as a fundamental task alongside defending the sovereignty and integrity of the country. This factual situation logically derives from the origins and development of the armed forces.
Despite a promising start after independence, bilateral relations between India and Myanmar have had a long history of mutual neglect and obliviousness. This paper revisits the developments since the end of colonial rule and points out crucial historical landmarks. Further, the most important policy issues between the two nations are discussed. The focal point of the analysis is the question of whether one can expect new directions in the bilateral relationship since the election of new governments in India in 2014 and in Myanmar in 2015.
Although Kachin resistance against the Burmese/Myanmar state has continued since the 1960s, in 1948 the Kachin were enthusiastic supporters of the Panglung Agreement and the Union of Burma. The article traces the development and treatment of the Kachin areas since British colonisation and shows how the foundations of the current situation were laid in the early decades of the twentieth century.