Myanmar’s Long Road to Federalism: The Case of Shan State
In reviewing the ongoing peace negotiation and the positions different Shan organizations have taken, we see that Myanmar’s peace process has a long way to go. Its major obstacles include concerns over trust, confusion over process, continued fighting in Shan State, and lack of ethnic unity.
But three years of peace talks have yielded success in that the negotiation strategy of both sides has become more sophisticated. We also see a willingness to compromise, as in how the government has recognized that the future of Myanmar is tied to a federal union. As for the Shan, two questions remain. Can the Shan unite in order to achieve the self-determination they have been fighting for over half a century? And how will the voices and interests of other ethnic groups living in Shan State be represented in this ethnically-defined state?