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Jakarta Post

Myanmar: Vision and vicissitudes

  • Pierre Marthinus

St Andrews, UK   /   Tue, December 21 2010   /  09:30 am

The focus on “reconciliation” for Myanmar, taken up by many notable scholars in Indonesia, is a goal worthy of scrutiny. Such a position represents a compromise between Indonesia’s domestic aspirations for democracy in the Southeast Asian region and the necessity for a feasible foreign policy. In a nutshell, there is an unavoidable gap between Indonesia’s vision and its vicissitudes.This vision of a democratic “push” for the region is evident in the buzz and political rhetoric surrounding the third Bali Democracy Forum (BDF). Democracy is voiced by many as a gift to be shared outside of a nation’s border, a “sun of democracy”, with an internally embedded moral call to “salvage” the rest of the world (The Jakarta Post, Dec. 9). As much as Indonesia would like to perform a democratic push within the region, there are limitations to what can be achieved due to the poli...