November 1997 – The government changes names, but the impasse continues

A young refugee studies in the forest

The ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council changes its name to State Peace and Development Council. Myanmar also joins ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ending the country’s international isolation. But political impasse continues. Many pro-democracy leaders remain in detention, while the government’s ethnic ceasefire process fails to bring nationwide peace. Refugee flight continues from the country, with over 150,000 refugees (mostly Karens) in official camps in Thailand. The estimated number of refugees and migrants in Thailand passes the two million mark, while the Myanmar diaspora also increases in India, Malaysia and many countries in the West.

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