Wednesday, August 30, 2017

After the Nobel Peace Prize

Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 "for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights" in Burma (now Myanmar). She was placed under house arrest for 15 years for challenging the government. She was a world hero. 

Eventually, in 2015 she was elected State Counsellor as she was prevented from any other office because her children were not born in Burma. She has made this position very powerful. She considers her position as being "above the President". 

Myanmar has had problems with Rohingya Muslims for many years. The government has been accused of raping, killing and otherwise attacking Muslim civilians. Ms Suu Kyi has been quiet about the issue and now never gives interviews to the Burmese press and carefully hand picks her encounters with international media. There is no regular questioning from MPs in parliament and there has not been a proper press conference since just before the election. 

But there has been propaganda, lots of it. On a daily basis, state-run newspapers print articles that denounce the international media for stories that highlight the plight of the Rohingya. Ministries Suu Kyi controls and officials she directly employs are rubbishing the accounts of desperate people and repeating as fact the denials of the Burmese army. That is the same army that has an appalling track record of burning villages and raping women from Myanmar's many ethnic minorities.

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