Burma: refugees and regional relations
Gil Loescher, James Milner
For nearly sixty years, the regime in Rangoon has remained in power by preventing democratic change and waging war against the country's numerous ethnic nationality parties. This is the oldest ongoing conflict in the world. At the end of May, in response to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's appeal to free Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Prize winning prodemocracy activist, the military regime extended her house arrest for at least another year. This step is the latest demonstration of the unwillingness of the military regime to share power. As a direct consequence of the fighting and in response to sustained and widespread human rights violations throughout the country, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been displaced and huge numbers of refugees have fled to neighbouring countries.