The Fate of Suu Kyi To Be Another Hot Issue In Burma
In 1990, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy Party had won the elections in Burma. Since 1990, Suu Kyi should have been in power. However, Burma’s junta has refused to accept and acknowledge the results.
To add onto that, Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest. Last year, there were strings of pro-Democracy protests throughout Burma. However, Burma’s junta has violently cracked down on the protests. This mirrors the actions that China has taken a few months ago on the pro-Tibet independence protests.
Days before voting on the referendum to the country’s constitution, Burma was ravaged by Cyclone Nargis. Death toll is estimated in the six figures. The referendum won by a “majority” vote. However, critics call it a sham because the constitution would allow the military to stay in control of the government. There was only a “Yes” choice on the ballot. Voting was not optional.
Under the constitution, Burmese that marry foreigners are ineligible to run for public office. Many see this as a ploy to keep Suu Kyi from taking officer. Suu Kyi married a lecturer from Cambridge.
Burma’s junta was also criticized for its slow response and unwillingness to let international aid workers in to assess the damages. Millions more are at risk of getting illnesses by waterborne diseases. After the cyclone hit, Burma was pelted with heavy rains.
While there were millions needing food, Burma’s junta gave them bad rice. Also, Burma continued to export its rice.
Now, there is the issue of Aung San Suu Kyi and the deadline for her house arrest. The deadline approaches as the junta has to either extend Suu Kyi’s detention or release her. Twenty of Suu Kyi’s supporters have already been detained. Riot police put them all in a truck when they were headed to Suu Kyi’s home from the party HQ.
While Burma’s junta has faced much backlash for the referendum, the crackdowns of 2007, and the response to Cyclone Nargis, it could face even more backlash if it extends Suu Kyi’s house arrest.
Now, the issue of Suu Kyi could be another hot issue.
At the same time, this could also affect China as it is an ally of Burma. The events happening in Burma could very well be added to the list of issues that could spell out a PR maelstrom for China as it hosts the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Tags: Suu Kyi , Burma , China , Myanmar , Cyclone Nargis , Olympics , Kyi
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.