Burma Times Desk Report: January 4, 2015
Burma celebrates its 67th Independence Day today. On this historic day, the people of the country earned its independence from Britain.
The country’s independence has however been marred by decades of repressive military rule and war with ethnic minorities, a trend that continues to this day.
But this year, some of the rival warring factions celebrated Independence Day together. Representatives from 16 armed ethnic groups were invited to Naypyidaw. The government initiative to include so many of their former enemies in the official parade is a sign that peace talks with several armed groups are going well.
However three of the armed groups from Kachin, Chin and Karen did not accept the invitation.
Also missing from the celebrations was leader of the opposition Aung Saan Suu Kyi.
No Rohingya or Muslim representatives in the country were invited to attend. The government increasingly relies on a militant version of Buddhism to popularise their tenuous grip on the country.