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Incorrigible Myanmar Junta

Incorrigible Myanmar Junta
January 20
09:52 2022

For the first time United States has sent a strong message asking Myanmar’s military junta to immediately release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from prison. A Military kangaroo court had convicted Aung San Suu Kyi of three criminal charges, sentencing her to additional four years in prison. Today, she is confined in an undisclosed location near the capital Naypyidaw, with her link to the outside world limited, except her lawyers.

Myanmar was slowly returning to control democracy after more than 50 yrs. Investments from ASEAN countries had started to pour in to several sectors but the recent coup ended Myanmar’s short-lived experiment with democracy.

Soon after the February election results, the Generals felt their grip on power weakening, soon a State Emergency was declared, followed by the coup. More than 1,500 civilians have been killed and thousands detained according to reliable sources in the peaceful protests that followed. 

More than five generations of Burmese people have been denied access to quality education and basic freedom since the first coup in 1962. Myanmar known earlier as Burma got its independence from the British almost the same time as India. However, the selfish Generals overturned Burma from being the rice bowl of South Asia to one of the least developed countries in the world. While they accumulated millions, their children and relatives turned into millionaires, while the rest of the country suffers from extreme poverty and unemployment.

The question is why? Of course mainly the greedy Generals and secondly Dragon China, who befriended the Generals and almost totally depleted Myanmar’s natural resources. Meanwhile, Indian government under Congress was busy supporting democracy and lagged behind tapping critical resources from Myanmar. Only after the Vajpayee government took over, the Look East Policy was implemented and India started to deal with Myanmar.

What should the world do? Yes, it is very plausible that US came out strongly against the junta in asking them to release Suu Kyi. But this will not make any difference to the junta that enjoys full support from China. Economic sanctions never worked, it only hurt the general population. U S and likeminded nations must address matters firmly and militarily if required against.

India being its neighbor,with a 1600 km long border, is in a precarious situation with several insurgent groups like PLA (Manipur group People Liberation Army), supporting the junta and PDF (People Defense Force) supporting all anti-junta supporters, creating complex geopolitics in the region.

The only difference this time is,the opposition party in Myanmar is not only using non-violence but has begun to take up arms against the junta. They are against the goliath junta backed by China with supply of arms and intelligence. Under these circumstances, the Burmese people will never be able to taste freedom and democracy unless major powers like US intervene.

The recent visit to Myanmar by present ASEAN Chair, the Cambodian President, has faced criticism and created a storm amongst other ASEAN members.Probably, this could be the great opportunity for US to intervene, afterits debacles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other places. As America has lost its status as world leader, this could be the double-edged sword for US to regain its status. One, to restore democracy, and two, contain Chinese expansion in Myanmar and the Indian Ocean. Just a thought to ponder!

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