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Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney. Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney, March 18, 2018 (pool photo by Mark Metcalfe of Getty via AP Images).

Aung San Suu Kyi Will Go to the Mat for Myanmar’s Military in The Hague

Friday, Nov. 22, 2019

One of the enduring mysteries in recent years is what happened to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi. Somehow, some way, the woman known as “the Lady of Burma”—who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 after she spent 15 years under house arrest in Myanmar for her democratic activism—seems to have lost her soul. Her drive to the top of Myanmar’s political hierarchy and quest to burnish her political legacy have been relentless, but also devastating for all those who once hailed her commitment to democracy and nonviolence.

Since she became the de facto civilian head of Myanmar’s government following landmark elections in 2015, assuming the newly created position of state counselor, equivalent to prime minister, Aung San Suu Kyi has emerged as one of the most virulent defenders of the military junta that separated her from her family for years and ruled Myanmar for decades—and whose generals still wield most of the power in the country. This week, however, the Nobel laureate showed just how much she will compromise for the sake of power when she announced that she will personally lead the legal team defending Myanmar against charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice. Next month, she will travel to The Hague to fight tooth and nail in a case brought to the ICJ recently by Gambia, with the support of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, alleging that Myanmar’s military committed crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing in its campaign to drive minority Rohingya Muslims out of western Myanmar. ...

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