Photo: Aung San Suu Kyi defends the Burmese military at the International Court of justice in the Hague on December 11, 1919. /Associated Press
[Ta Kung Pao] according to Agence France Presse, BBC and Reuters, Myanmar’s military launched a coup on the 1st, detaining senior government officials such as state minister Aung San Suu Kyi. The United States, which has just experienced a parliamentary uprising and a shaken foundation of democracy, has led other western countries to attack it, denouncing it as “undermining democracy” and demanding its immediate release. It is like going back to the time when the Burmese military government imprisoned Aung San Suu Kyi, who first entered the political Arena 30 years ago. Thirty years ago, the West sought after Aung San Suu Kyi as the “goddess of democracy”. When she came to power, she found that she was not as obedient as she had imagined. After the outbreak of the Rohingya refugee crisis in 2017, she turned around and pushed her out of the altar. Now the West has changed its face again, and the reasons behind it are thought-provoking.
White House spokesman pusaki said in a statement on the 1st that Washington was “shocked” by the Myanmar coup and urged the military to release Aung San Suu Kyi and others. “The United States opposes any attempt to change the recent election results or hinder Myanmar’s democratic transition,” she said. &”If the situation is not reversed, the United States will take action against the responsible party.”;. British Prime Minister Johnson sent a tweet condemning the Burmese military, stressing that the results of the popular election must be respected;. The European Union, Australia and Japan also made similar statements, urging the military to release people.
Thirty years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi, who led the newly established National League for democracy to win the general election but was imprisoned by the military government, also enjoyed this kind of support from western countries. At that time, the West portrayed Aung San Suu Kyi, who graduated from Oxford University and married a well-known British scholar, as the “goddess of democracy” who accepted the baptism of Western values and returned to the motherland to fight against the dictatorship bravely. The major media vied to spread her story. In 1991, she won the Nobel Peace Prize. Former U.S. President Barack Obama wrote her a letter praising her for “inspiring people around the world.”;.
Rohingya crisis as turning point
However, after the outbreak of the Rohingya refugee crisis in 2017, the western countries were surprised to find that the “goddess” did not take their side. Rohingya, a Muslim majority, has long been at loggerheads with Burmese, who mainly believe in Buddhism. The mainstream public opinion in Myanmar thinks that Rohingya are illegal immigrants. In recent years, the two sides have repeatedly erupted violent conflicts in Rakhine state. In August 2017, Rohingya Salvation Army fighters attacked 24 police posts and a military camp in Rakhine state, killing at least one soldier, 10 policemen and dozens of rebels. Subsequently, the Burmese military launched a clean-up operation, resulting in a large number of Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar.
Human Rights Watch and other Western controlled international organizations and institutions have successively issued reports accusing the Burmese military of slaughtering Rohingya people and setting fire to destroy local communities, causing at least 730000 people to become refugees and flee to Bangladesh and other countries, and criticizing Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to perform her duties as head of government or using her moral authority to prevent the tragedy. In November 2019, Gambia, the West African country, on behalf of the organization of Islamic cooperation, submitted to the International Court of justice, accusing Myanmar’s military of committing serious crimes such as genocide and war crimes.
In December 2019, Aung San Suu Kyi went to the Hague to defend the military at a three-day hearing. She pointed out that the Rohingya Salvation Army had received training from armed elements in Afghanistan and other places, and began to carry out terrorist attacks in 2016. The Burmese military was forced to take “rebel action.”;. Aung San Suu Kyi stressed that Myanmar is dealing with an internal armed conflict. Even if the military is wrong, it will be prosecuted in accordance with the constitution within our military judicial system. She also said frankly that the Rohingya issue is a challenge to Myanmar’s sovereignty and security, and that external forces should not give any directions.
Washington plans to form an anti China Alliance
Aung San Suu Kyi’s attitude has greatly disappointed and angered the West. Malala, a Muslim woman activist who is also a Nobel Peace Prize winner, denounced Aung San Suu Kyi for standing idly by the military atrocities. More than 300000 people signed the petition to deprive him of his peace medal. The Oxford freedom prize she won has also been withdrawn by western countries.
As for why the United States and other western countries have changed their attitude this time, the analysis of the Peng Bo news agency points out that for the new US President Biden, it is a key part of his foreign policy to win over Asian allies and jointly suppress China. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that Aung San Suu Kyi will continue to be in power. According to the report, Myanmar’s military is open to cooperation with China, making Biden’s Government dissatisfied. On the other hand, although Aung San Suu Kyi’s “goddess of democracy” aura has faded, she is still more in line with the needs of Washington than the military government.