Saturday, November 13, 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi free, at least for now.

I've been asked about the significance of the release from house arrest of Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi today.

The short answer is: that the term of her detention expired and the Junta had not chosen to extend it again, so when the time came, they just picked up the barbed wire barricades and left.

Of course, there is more: that the Myanmar Junta has already dismantled the political party behind Aung San Suu Kyi and just held an exercise in manipulated voting that they called an 'election', resulting in a massive win for the Junta-backed candidates. They didn't extend her detention because... for whatever reasons in their minds, they don't see her as a threat any more. To explain why the Junta thinks that, and maybe why they are wrong, would take a lot more time than I have right now. But I think a close look at the media reports will point you in that same line of understanding. Look for reports on the 'election', on the reformation of 'political parties' under the new rules, and on recent military activities by the Myanmar Junta against ethnic rivals in the countryside. The Junta is more confident domestically than ever, these days.

But like I said above, they might be wrong.

1 comment:

Mr. Bill said...

"...they don't see her as a threat any more."

I think that a small part of it is that after seven years, the junta's institutional memory has forgotten what one impassioned voice can do.