‘The Lady’ Lies in Wait
covering burma and southeast asia
Sunday, June 16, 2024


‘The Lady’ Lies in Wait

By AUNG ZAW NOVEMBER, 2010 - VOL.18, NO.11

Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and leader of Burma’s prodemocracy movement.
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But genuine progress will require the release not only of Suu Kyi, but also of the more than 2,000 other political prisoners, including more than 200 monks and nuns, still behind bars.

 The international community, including the US, are prepared to engage the new government in Burma. But it is unclear where Suu Kyi fits in with these discussions and whether she will find herself marginalized by the process.

Her first move after being released will be critical. If Suu Kyi decides to remain a mainstream political leader she will have to take a serious look at reform in her own circle, which would include: nurturing a new generation of pro-democracy leaders; shaking up the NLD executives who have steadfastly held the opposition flag in her absence; and reaching out to her skeptics, critics and political opponents in order to embark on political reconciliation.

Critics of Suu Kyi say that her repeated calls for dialogue with the regime have fallen on deaf ears because she has no stick with which to force her adversaries to come to the negotiating table. In addition, some dissidents say that Suu Kyi does not possess the qualities that made her father, independence hero Gen Aung San, so effective in his struggle against the British. Many feel that she is not decisive enough and that she lacks the political astuteness that is needed to defeat the generals. After 22 years of nonviolent struggle under Suu Kyi’s leadership, some Burmese are increasingly inclined to believe that any transition to genuine democracy will be a bloody one.

 It is safe to say, however, that Suu Kyi will always be seen as a democracy icon who will continue to challenge the regime and speak out for truth and against injustice in Burma. She remains the face of the democratic movement and the symbol of struggle against the brutal regime. But while her status could give her some leverage, past experience suggests it will be limited. She and her pro-democracy colleagues must begin to think outside their historical box and create a new strategy for bringing change to Burma in the post-election environment.

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Zaw Min Wrote:
If ASSK and NLD think their way is the only way to fight against the military, they are doomed to fail. They need to let other people fight against the military in their respective ways. It was ASSK and NLD who felt intimidated whenever others fight in their own way. Look at how they attacked the NDF when it was formed. It is ASSK and NLD who will feel intimidated by people like Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi because these young fellows know how to fight effectively against the military while ASSK and NLD keep on firing ineffective blank rounds against the military like the west and the UN.

These young fellows are fighting the common enemy while most in the NLD (few including ASSK not included) are simply jockeying for position like the generals. Anyway, as I used to say, keep up the fight from all directions and do not bicker among ourselves. This goes especially to ASSK and NLD who use to bicker more towards others than take the fight to the enemy.

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