Category Archives: Myanmar

Where Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar Went Wrong

I am no expert here and have never even been to the country but it really has taken a turn for the worse.

I guess I just expected more from Suu Kyi but maybe she can’t really do anything about it.

However this article points out some pretty glaring issues with her leadership.

Where Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar Went Wrong:

IRON LADY

Suu Kyi has been unable to alter this basic dynamic. Following the 2015 elections, she failed to persuade the military brass to amend the constitution by removing its prohibition against anyone who has family members who hold foreign passports from serving as president. This clause directly targets Suu Kyi, whose late husband, Michael Aris, was British and whose two children are British citizens. In March 2016, the NLD-controlled legislature elected a confidant of Suu Kyi’s, Htin Kyaw, as president; he has served a mostly ceremonial role. Suu Kyi created and took the position of “state counselor,” giving herself a role akin to that of a prime minister—a fully defensible workaround to the military’s move to block her from becoming president.

Less justifiable are the autocratic inclinations Suu Kyi has demonstrated since taking office and the extraordinary degree to which she has centralized power in her own hands. In addition to serving as state counselor, she also heads the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and retains the presidency of the NLD. As party chief, she has personally chosen every member of the party’s Central Executive Committee—a violation of party rules. She is a micromanager who finds it difficult to delegate; most consequential decisions require her approval, which has led to bottlenecks. She sits on at least 16 governmental committees, all of which seldom produce concrete decisions. In November 2017, the government established a new ministry, dubbed the Office of the Union Government, just to help Suu Kyi cope with her workload.

Suu Kyi has also decided to act as her own spokesperson, but she has done a poor job of communicating her administration’s policies. She prefers limited transparency: according to several NLD members of parliament with whom I have spoken, she has instructed them to not ask tough questions during parliamentary sessions and to avoid speaking to journalists. Her preference for personal loyalty over competence was illustrated by her appointment of several cabinet members with scant qualifications.

Suu Kyi is in her early 70s yet has no apparent successor, and her party is dominated by other septuagenarians who enjoy her trust but lack the energy, imagination, and skills necessary to carry out the comprehensive renewal the country needs. Although Suu Kyi has been exceedingly critical of the constitution, she has used its antidemocratic provisions when they have suited her purposes. For instance, she appointed two NLD members as chief ministers in Rakhine and Shan States, both of which are home to large minority ethnic communities—even though in both places, a candidate from a local party that represents those groups had won the popular vote.

The complex political situation in which Suu Kyi operates requires a leader with a firm hand and a clear sense of purpose. She remains very popular among ordinary Burmese, who admire her tenacity, respect her authority, and consider her the one indispensable leader. Her autocratic style and silence on the Rohingya crisis might be less troubling if her government had made significant progress on economic reform or on reconciliation with other ethnic minority groups. But it has not.

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Aung San Suu Kyi: The inside story | SBS Dateline

Aung San Suu Kyi: The inside story | SBS Dateline:

Fast-forward to September 2017 and Daw Suu – once the darling of the international community, is almost universally condemned for what many see as her silence over a military campaign that drove 700,000 Muslim Rohingyas across the border to refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Some say it’s not her fault, she has no control over the army, it’s not her doing, she probably doesn’t know what’s happening there.

But our six-month investigation reveals how the Nobel Laureate actively blocked United Nations investigations into violence against the Rohingyas and angrily condemned efforts to free two Myanmar journalists investigating mass graves.

I will say it may not entirely be her fault but she is one of the people blame. 

What makes it worse is that we all thought she would stand for something better.

Read the whole article.