- Myanmar democracy did not last even 10 years with the overthrow of the elected government by the military yesterday
- US President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken are concerned about the situation and the detention of civilian government leaders
- A one year State of Emergency will give the military government enough time to reform a democracy back into a dictatorship, destroying also a vital travel and tourism industry.
Myanmar is under military rule following Monday’s coup, in which the military detained de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and declared a yearlong state of emergency. The military claims Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won last November’s election because of fraud.
Human rights may now be history again for this South East Asian country and member of ASEAN.
In Washington today US President Biden and Secretary Blinken said, the United States is deeply concerned by the Burmese military’s detention of civilian government leaders, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and civil society leaders.
The Myanmar military has manufactured a crisis so that it could step in again as the purported savior of the Constitution and the country, while vanquishing an ever-popular political foe.
After a review of all the facts, the US Government has assessed that the Burmese military’s actions on February 1st, having deposed the duly elected head of government, constituted a military coup d’etat.
The United States will continue to work closely with our partners throughout the region and the world to support respect for democracy and the rule of law in Burma, as well as to promote accountability for those responsible for overturning Burma’s democratic transition.
The US did not yet consult with China on the coup.
The 2011–2012 Burmese democratic reforms were an ongoing series of political, economic and administrative changes in Burma undertaken by the military-backed government. These reforms included the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and subsequent dialogues with her, establishment of the National Human Rights Commission, general amnesties of more than 200 political prisoners, institution of new labour laws that allow labour unions and strikes, relaxation of press censorship, and regulations of currency practices.
As a consequence of the reforms, ASEAN approved Burma’s bid for the chairmanship in 2014. United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Burma on 1 December 2011, to encourage further progress; it was the first visit by a US Secretary of State in more than fifty years. United States President Barack Obama visited one year later, becoming the first US president to visit the country.
Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, participated in by-elections held on 1 April 2012 after the government abolished laws that led to the NLD’s boycott of the 2010 general election. She led the NLD in winning the by-elections in a landslide, winning 41 out of 44 of the contested seats, with Suu Kyi herself winning a seat representing Kawhmu Constituency in the lower house of the Burmese Parliament.
2015 election results gave the National League for Democracy an absolute majority of seats in both chambers of the Burmese parliament, enough to ensure that its candidate would become president, while NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi is constitutionally barred from the presidency. However, clashes between Burmese troops and local insurgent groups continued.
The new parliament convened on 1 February 2016 and, on 15 March 2016, Htin Kyaw was elected as the first non-military president of the country since the Military coup of 1962. Aung San Suu Kyi assumed the newly created role of the State Counsellor, a position similar to Prime Minister, on 6 April 2016.
The resounding victory of Aung San Suu Kyi‘s National League for Democracy in the 2015 general elections has raised hope for a successful transition of Myanmar from a closely held military rule to a free democratic system. However, internal political turmoil, a crumbling economy and ethnic strife continue to make the transition to democracy a painful one. The 2017 murder of Ko Ni, a prominent Muslim lawyer and a key member of Myanmar‘s governing National League for Democracy party is seen as a serious blow to the country’s fragile democracy. Mr. Ko Ni’s murder deprived Aung San Suu Kyi of his perspective as an adviser, particularly on reforming Myanmar‘s military-drafted Constitution and ushering the country to democracy.