Oliver SlowApr 6, 2023
Return of the Junta
Why Myanmar’s Military Must Go Back to the Barracks
The Myanmar coup on February 1, 2021 shocked the world, and ended an opening that had fostered hopes for democratization and economic development. The Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s military, reversed a decade’s worth of changes, and sparked a civil conflict that has continued for two years since the coup.
Why did the military launch a coup? What reasons do the Tatmadaw give for seizing such a central role in the country’s affairs? Oliver Slow, a reporter who was based in Myanmar over the past decades, shares his on-the-ground experiences in his recent book Return of the Junta: Why Myanmar’s Military Must Go Back to the Barracks (Bloomsbury, 2023)
In this interview, Oliver and I talk about his history in Myanmar, how the military grew to see itself as the protectors of Myanmar–despite what the people think–and the complicated conflict in Rakhine State.
Oliver Slow is an award-winning multimedia journalist. Previously based in Southeast Asia for more than a decade, he’s recently returned to the United Kingdom, where he works for the BBC.
Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon.