chapter  17
A Final Word—But No Conclusion
Pages 7

The aim of nationalism, then, was to eradicate the colonial policy of difference and fragmentation and to replace this policy with egality and unity. However, new differences were generated during this process. The

key to understanding the diversity and the changes in Burma, however, does not lie in general definitions of nationalism but in the historical and political process of which nationalism is an overarching designation as well as an ingrained substance. Since 1993 it has become evident that the SLORC’s nationalism is an attempt to cleanse the historical memory and place all historical merit in the Tatmadaw-remembering and celebrating the army while forgetting Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD.3 The SLORC is actually trying to orchestrate a Burman nationalism of both continuity and discontinuity with the past. The military regime aims to represent the past in the present as a singular social and cultural identity, and thus prevent the Burmese from entering the modern world where claims of the right to self-identification are top of the agenda. It is a self-assured SLORC identity of being modern in a Burmese-and a non-Western-way.