A-Maze : Myanmar’s Struggle for Democracy, 2011-2023

GBP 15.99

by Ma Thida

Translated from the Burmese by Maung Zaw 

What’s happening after the 2021 military coup attempt in Myanmar? Since the coup, people have been deeply shocked by how the Tatmadaw (army) has savagely undermined the pillars of democracy.

Regarding the 2021 coup, there are two perspectives; while, on the one hand, Myanmar people have known all along that their struggles for the road to democracy (1988-2020) have not yet made nowhere near to the finishing line, on the other hand, in the international community’s perspective, the 2021 coup attempt has been considered as a shocking threat to democracy that has founded successfully in Myanmar since 2011, and as a complete U-turn to the military regime era.

This book highlights that the decade-long quasi-civilian administration period (2011-2020) didn’t bring Myanmar to reach its way toward democracy, getting the country lost in a tortuous maze crafted by the military leaders. This book consists of three different categorized titles: The Walls, The Corners, and The Passages of the amazing Maze (A-maze).

This book explains how the 2008 Constitution, some significant past political incidents and maneuvers and deeply rooted social and structural obstacles were like walls of the complex maze which made Myanmar people get lost. It also explains why they couldn’t reach anywhere near the destination of democracy though they have been walking miles after miles, hills after hills, and pits after pits. This book also explains how the 2021 Myanmar Spring Revolution is moving fast forward with its strenuous efforts, how it is trying to tear down those walls of maze, and why some old and new complicated corners still exist and have appeared.

In short, this book attempts to answer these questions: How has the Spring Revolution gained its aimful momentum and maintained positivity so far? What are those hard-to-get-rid- of walls? Who created those corners? How are the majority of people of/from Myanmar trying to keep their march on current passages to reach back on the road to democracy?

— Ma Thida

Review quotes:

“Physician, novelist, publisher, activist, Ma Thida has a unique eye, insight, and lyrical voice. Read this for a deep, pleasurable, understanding of the amazing democratic revolution in  Burma and the vicious repressive Junta trying to destroy them. Ma Thida captures both the exhilaration and tragedy of this dramatic moment.”James C. Scott (Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology, Yale University, Co- founder of the Independent Journal of Burmese Scholarship)

“As one of Myanmar’s leading activists and intellectuals, Ma Thida’s observations on the ‘maze’ of her country’s political trajectory leading up to and beyond the 2021 coup count as crucial reportage and required reading at a time when our war-torn world often overlooks Myanmar, a nation more continuously war-torn than most.” — Wendy Law-Yone (author of Golden Parasol; A Daughter’s Memoir of Burma)

“The book gives a gripping account of the days after the 2021 coup, and chronicles what went on in the minds of the citizens fighting for democracy. Ma Thida walks us through the Maze that Myanmar has trapped itself in, in fact since way before the 2021 coup. Readers will find this book is not a record of events. Ma Thida is urging us to find the way out of the Maze.” Aiko Doden (Journalist, NHK, Japan Broadcasting Corporation)

“Mazes are designed to disorientate and confuse, two objectives that have been central to the military regimes that have mis-ruled Myanmar for most of the last seven decades. Tragically, locally and internationally, Myanmar’s men in green have largely succeeded in their misdirections, to the country’s terrible cost.
Yet, and throughout Myanmar’s chronic suffering, some have been able to discern the truth of the dystopia so created, and even to struggle against it. At the forefront of these is Ma Thida – writer, activist, voice of Myanmar’s voiceless. In this new book Ma Thida takes on this latest and most savage manifestation of military rule in Myanmar. She tells the truth unflinchingly but, as always, not without discerning the courage and inspiration through which the people of Myanmar fight on.” — Sean Turnell (author of An Unlikely Prisoner, and Senior Fellow at the Lowy Institute)

About the author:

Ma Thida is a Burmese medical doctor, writer, human rights activist and former prisoner of conscience. In Myanmar, Thida is best known as a leading intellectual, whose books deal with the country’s political situation. Previously the president of PEN Myanmar and a board member of PEN International, she is currently the chair of the Writer in prison committee of PEN International.


ISBN: 978-1-913891-48-0
Publication date:  4 May 2024
Format: Paperback 229 mm x 152 mm


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