I learned that Wa State is currently an autonomous administrative division of Myanmar but in current government reform, Rakhine State wants to be a confederated state and other remaining states including Wa State will be federated states.

My questions is: What are the differences between "autonomous administrative divisions" and "confederated states" in Myanmar?

1 Answer 1


Myanmar is divided into seven states and seven regions.

The difference between states and regions is that states have large ethnic minorities whereas regions are populated by the national majority Burmans. The state minorities are the Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine & Shan.

Each state and region has Hluttaw made up of elected civilians and unelected military officials. Myanmar's Constitution grants the military commander-in-chief the right to appoint military officials to one third of the seats.

Handing the military such a large degree of power in such an unaccountable way is undemocratic. It's this lack of accountability in Myanmar's Constitution that has lead to the military coup and the current crisis in democracy in Myanmar.

The executive authority in each state and region lies in a state or regional government. The President appoints the Chief minister from a list of qualified candidates in the state or regional legislature and the legislature must approve the President's choice.

Self-administered zones and divisions, on the other hand, are an administrative subunit in a state or region. There are five such zones and one division. The Danu, Kokang, Pa'O, Pa Laung zones and the Wa division belong to the Shan state whilst the Naga zone belongs to the Sagaing region.

They are administered by a Leading Body consisting of at least ten members appointed from the state Hluttaw. It has both legislative and executive powers. A chairperson is the head of the Body.

These zones and divisions are also characterised by their large minorities. For example, the Wa division has sixteen ethnic minorities, and the Wa minority account for 70%.

  • In general, do you think that sovereignty and competencies of autonomous administrative and that of confederated state are the same or different? Can you add your explanation to your answer?
    – Eoop Xoeno
    Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 6:21
  • @Eoop Xoeno: I expect that they are different, but I think that you should ask a new question. Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 6:50

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