Social Justice: Seeking Fairness in Myanmar’s Diverse Society (MMRQ No 4)

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Editor’s note

The current issue of Myanmar Quarterly covers the concept of “social justice” from several perspectives. Social justice is a critical element for addressing important issues in Myanmar that range from constitutional reform and ethnic equality to labor and land rights and policies for resources and environmental management. In contemporary Myanmar society, we find that detailed discussions about ‘social justice’ are infrequent with the exception of the translations of a few articles from other countries, rather than a broader discussion on the general notion of ‘justice’. It could be that Myanmar society has not yet come to terms with the concept of social justice, and popular outlooks on the theme of ‘social justice’ are not yet fully reconciled in both local literature and society. For the betterment of society, it is important that the concept of social justice be meaningfully applied, particularly in the public policy arena. The articles in this issue approach the notion of social justice from three viewpoints: An institutional perspective, a societal structure point of view (reflecting the daily lives of people), and a cultural perspective. This effort represents our team’s small contribution to promoting social justice in Myanmar society and broader public discussion.

This issue also includes analysis of two important reports about land issues: First, “A Promised Unfulfilled: A Critique of Land Reinvestigation Committee” produced by an alliance of organizations and individuals working on land rights in Myanmar and, second, “The Situation of Land Confiscation in Mon State” prepared by members of Mon political parties. We would like to thank the researchers for allowing us to reprint their findings. In our Speaking Numbers section, readers will find the results of a nationwide survey assessing “citizen’s opinions on the current government’s performance” conducted in 2018 by the People’s Alliance on Credible Elections (PACE). We would like to pay thanks to PACE for allowing the publication of their research We hope that this issue will enhance meaningful debates on social justice in Myanmar society.


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