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What about Suu Kyi ...now? What about Suu Kyi ...now?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2021-02-03 11:09:07
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While Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi was imprisoned and house arrest for nearly two decades and during that period from her home-cell she became the symbol of democracy not only for Myanmar but for a lot of other repressed nations in Asia and all around the world. In 1991 she actually awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as recognition for her strangle for democracy enforcing a global outcry for her freedom.

suuuu0001_400And then she was free and after free elections eventually to become State Counsellor of Myanmar (equivalent to a prime minister) in a huge compromise with the continuously mighty military. Despite free elections and huge wins Aung San Suu Kyi served literally under the military’s pleasure and while keeping it behind closed doors they never hid the fact that can return anytime they feel …displeasured. And they did. With a military coup and returning Aung San Suu Kyi to her house-cell.

Myanmar is again under the army boots, with tanks patrolling the streets and most ‘opposition’ in prison-cells and this is a devastating déjà vu for every democrat all around the world. The Myanmar army must return immediately to their barracks and let the people rule their destiny and life. Every single arrest, imprison, torture or even death this moment in Myanmar is a violation to the country’s constitution and international laws, is illegal and a betrayal to Myanmar people the army has sworn to serve and protect.

But what about Suu Kyi? Is Aung San Suu Kyi the democratic icon we used to believe and award? Is she still the symbol of suppressed democracy and freedom? Is she the fighter of human right?

While State Counsellor of Myanmar, she herself had put a very dark cloud over her democratic legacy making even the Nobel committee in Oslo feel uncomfortable. Controversy started with her silence over the persecution of Rohingya people in Myanmar but soon her silence started looking more and more like accomplice. The persecution was turning into genocide and Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar, the real power behind the throne was admiring flowers in her garden. Or at least this is the picture she was projecting ignoring atrocities happening just outside her office.

Eventually a different Aung San Suu Kyi started surfacing. In a 2013 interview with the BBC's Mishal Husain, she did condemn "hate of any kind" in the interview but soon after and according to Peter Popham (another known British journalist); in the aftermath of the interview she expressed anger at being interviewed by a …Muslim. A sign not of a different Aung San Suu Kyi but probably the …real Aung San Suu Kyi. An Islamophobe racist.

By May 2018 and according to a report by Britain's International Development Committee Aung San Suu Kyi was considered complicit in the crimes against Rohingyas and in early October, the same year, both the Canadian Senate and its House of Commons voted unanimously to strip Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary citizenship. This decision was caused by the Government of Canada's determination that the treatment of the Rohingya by Myanmar's government amounts to Genocide. And the worst came in December 2019 when Suu Kyi appeared in the International Court of Justice at The Hague to defend the Burmese military against allegations of genocide against the Rohingya, literally proving that she was serving not the Myanmar people but under the military’s pleasure and for the military’s pleasure.

Sadly Aung San Suu Kyi didn’t help democracy in Myanmar either and actually she might have played, intentionally or unintentionally, a major role into military’s never ending dominance in domestic politics that paved a military coup, again and a military dictatorship, again. In the end she proved no better than the army; she just had a better ‘democratic’ window and unfortunately a lot of support from the coned international community.

Myanmar people deserve democracy but a democracy with the army in the barracks, without fake heroes and the Rohingyas free, equal, fully respected citizens and most importantly alive.

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