Skip to content
The Burmese junta’s relentlessness against Aung San Suu Kyi

Editorial of the « World ». As the first anniversary of the coup that seized full power on 1er February 2021, the Burmese junta marked its relentlessness against the opposition by increasing the sentence of its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. The 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner was sentenced to an additional four years in prison on January 10 for illegally importing walkie-talkies.

This new sentence brings to six the number of years of detention she must serve; she had already been sentenced to four years in December 2021 for violating the rules related to Covid, a sentence later reduced to two years by the generals. Several other charges weigh against the woman who de facto led the Burmese civilian government, in cohabitation with the military, until the coup d’etat of 1er February.

Read also Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to four more years in prison in Burma

This relentlessness is not new to her: between 1989 and 2010, she was deprived of her freedom by previous military juntas for a total of fifteen years, most of the time under house arrest in her home in Rangoon. Aung San Suu Kyi is the regime’s pet peeve and, in the eyes of a paranoid soldiery, an eternal « traitor »: in addition to her education in Britain and her marriage to a Briton, who died while she was in detention, the democracy it wants to promote would only be a shortcut to the disintegration of the nation.

The symbol of an oppressed nation

Her stubbornness and her strength, however, have made her more popular than ever in Burma: it is to resuscitate the democratic transition that she and her party embodied from 2016 to 2021 that young Burmese continue to take to the streets, braving the firing by the military, and that others have embarked on the adventure of armed resistance. Led by a National Unity Government (NUG) in exile, these « popular defense forces » inflict significant losses on the army, which reacts even more brutally, as shown by the heinous massacre of December 24 , after which the bodies of thirty-five civilians were found in burnt-out cars in a village in Kayah State.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Massacre in Burma: « I saw burned corpses, clothes of women and children »

Western governments no longer express support for Aung San Suu Kyi. We know the reason: they accuse him of not having publicly condemned the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya civilians carried out by the Burmese army in October 2016 and then 2017. A moral stain, no doubt, but it is not Aung San Suu Kyi who bears the responsibility for these abuses: it is indeed the chief of the armies and putschist general Min Aung Hlaing, who at that time had not ceased to stir up Bamar and Buddhist supremacy.

The army massacres came after Aung San Suu Kyi’s initiative to appoint former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to lead an advisory commission on Rakhine State to find solutions to inter-ethnic tensions between Buddhists and Muslims.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers In Burma, in the areas « liberated » by the Chin guerrillas

The fate of the Burmese opposition leader should not leave democracies indifferent: she remains the symbol of an oppressed nation for most of the time since Burma’s independence in 1948.

By visiting General Min Aung Hlaing, Cambodia’s number one, Hun Sen, has just broken, unilaterally, with the isolation that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, has tried to impose on the Burmese junta. Coming from the Phnom Penh regime, this will come as no surprise. But it is up to democratic countries not to condemn the Burmese people to oblivion.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Cambodian PM’s controversial meeting with Burmese junta leader

Toutes les actualités du site n'expriment pas le point de vue du site, mais nous transmettons cette actualité automatiquement et la traduisons grâce à une technologie programmatique sur le site et non à partir d'un éditeur humain.