Sizing Up an Icon
covering burma and southeast asia
Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sizing Up an Icon

By NEIL LAWRENCE Wednesday, March 21, 2012

(Page 2 of 2)

But one of the perils of public life is that perceptions change, and even the most revered figures can wilt after too long in the spotlight.

If Suu Kyi has demonstrated one thing, however, it is that she has staying power. It's worth remembering that until her release from house arrest in November 2010, many “experts” on Burmese politics had written her off as yesterday's woman. It only took her appearance at the gate of her home after seven years in seclusion to revive hopes that had been all but killed the week before, when the USDP stole an election widely denounced as anything but free and fair.

In retrospect, we can say that that moment marked the beginning of the end of the first phase of Suu Kyi's political life and leadership. After the April 1 election, assuming she is permitted to win, she will enter the second phase, when she will no longer be the sainted keeper of the flame of Burma's democratic aspirations, but an active participant in the rough and tumble world of real-life politics.

Will she disappoint? To some extent, it seems inevitable that she will. But most Burmese realize what is at stake, and know that she and her party are their country's best hope of moving forward. That, and the permanent place she has already earned in the hearts of her compatriots and admirers around the world, should make it easier for her to lead, even within a system stacked against her.

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tocharian Wrote:
I'm sure I'm not the only person who is worried about the dominating influence and bullying behaviour of the Chinese in Burma (and elsewhere in the world). It goes way beyond any simple "friendly political ally" relationship. You should know. Even Than Shwe realizes that now!
Actually my point was more about the inconsistency of Suu Kyi's sanctions policy. As you can see from another article, Tayza easily bypassed these "sanctions" even in dealing with a country like Canada (where Suu Kyi is an honorary citizen!). By the way, resource-rich Canada is also full of Chinese "agents spies and rich businessmen"

Tom Tun Wrote:
Almost 4 years ago I saw one of the greatest political landscape changes in USA. I believe many people know what I am talking about. Obama gave hope to the people by giving some great speechs. How about today? Former President Bill Clinton wrote once, before he become president, he speak for imself but when he became president he speak what someone elese want him to speak. Will Aung San Suu Kyi be any different? Power, compromising, popularity, trust, faith are all double edge sword. I believe it will depend on how she use it. So far, I do not impress with ASSK preformance anymore. She should not spent her popularity like a drunken sailor.

Moe Aung Wrote:

Good to see your passionate Sinophobia is unabated. I'd say trust neither the West nor China, ASEAN, Japan, India, Russia, the two Koreas, the lot.

As Palmerston once famously said, "We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow."

It is smart to remain on good terms with everyone and make the most of it, and I doubt it if ASSK will ever go out of her way and ruffle Chinese feathers. She is already seen as far too cosy with the West tantamount to neglecting our own neighbors..

tocharian Wrote:
@KL I am not against sanctions as a means to pressure the government (so that Nay Shwe Thway Aung cannot study at Harvard or Oxford?), but it is totally a hypocritical double-standard from Suu Kyi not to demand exactly the same thing from China, Singapore, HongKong etc. that she demanded from the West (Nelson Mandela's problem was very different!). Sanctions only work if there are no leaks, but there were gaping smuggling leaks to China: gas, oil, jade timber, gold (even burmese girls?) etc., not to mention massive illegal immigration. Now that Suu Kyi is free she should take a clear stand against the overwhelming Chinese influence in Burma. Otherwise there will be no real change! One Burmese icon won't change China!

kerry Wrote:
She has never and cannot disappoint.

She is 65 and gave her life. Everything else is a bonus.

Thank you to an utterly brilliant woman, for the years of well-earned peace to come - once all this awful greed and dirty tricks and respurce/business salivating is over, and the prople of Burma can get on with rebuilding the great nation WHICH BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE!

SuuMaung Wrote:
Please analyze carefully but if you didn’t know their tricks, you wouldn’t notice. Now the whole country is very excited for upcoming BY-ELECTION and also thinks that Democracy is on the way. Actually not only the whole country, the whole world has been tricked too. This is a very sharp, smart, excellent plan. Now everyone has forgot about Than Shwe and the whole gang. Now they let the observers to see this election, it will be endorsed by those observers that it’s free & fair. Then after this By-Election, the sanctions will be lifted, and they are free to go. All their possessions/assets are being LEGALIZED. All those military junta and their cronies will be freed too. So what a smart plan!!! Can history be washed easily???
They are using Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s name & herself for this ONE purpose only.

SuuMaung Wrote:
Up coming by-election is not the ‘Election’, it’s only a ‘BY-ELECTION’. Seems like the United Nations, the United States & EU Countries are fallen under their game plan.
If you look carefully on how this junta drove into this situation. When they had election years ago, there was only one main party, USDP the military junta’s backed party. So they won landslide and have had more than 80% seats. This is very well smart plan and working very well so far. Now everything is stable, and they diverted Burmese people & the whole world on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD for only 42 seats of By-Election (they purposely used as ELECTION).

KL Wrote:
Diagree with tocharian. She stands on her non-violence principle and simply telling don't deal with wrong doing guys. Pointing finger to a woman under house arrest for greedy neighbors and stupidity of so-called country saver generals is unhealthy.

Moe Aung Wrote:
Couldn't agree more with the concluding paragraph.

Her father after some hesitation accepted the colonial govt's invitation to head the Executive Council, a de facto govt, months before his assassination in 1947. The difference is all she may get is an unimportant ministerial position, and assassination, both literal and character wise, has failed so far.

We shall see if she has feet made of clay up on the pedestal soon enough. If she is smart enough to muster the opposition MPs and not least the uniformed ones in and outside parliament there is a good deal of mileage in the nation's favor, even grab the bull by horns in the end.

The business class and the celebs see an opportunity to further their own agenda and obviously optimistic about her chances if not exactly backing the winning horse. However, if she takes the elitist approach and shows little faith in the masses (People Power) who have not lost it in her yet, this marks the first step down a slippery slope to the dustbin of history.

tocharian Wrote:
Suu Kyi's principles might be noble and honourable, but at the end of the day, history will judge her by the consequences of her decisions. Unknowingly, she helped China to "virtually" invade Burma through her insistence on sanctions by Western countries (she never publicly asked China or other Asian countries, like Singapore, to follow the same strict rules), China, Singapore, HongKong and countries like Korea, Thailand were able to get a monopoly on the natural resources of Burma. Moreover, China (together with North Korea and Russia) are the main suppliers of weapons for the military junta (and for the ethnic rebel armies!).

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