As COVID-19 Hits Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi and the Military Seek an Electoral Edge

Military representatives wear masks during a session of parliament, Naypyidaw, Myanmar, March 11, 2020 (AP photo by Aung Shine Oo).
Military representatives wear masks during a session of parliament, Naypyidaw, Myanmar, March 11, 2020 (AP photo by Aung Shine Oo).

Myanmar’s official public messaging about the coronavirus pandemic began with a video. To airy elevator music and a placid voiceover, Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s de facto leader, stood in a nondescript bathroom and demonstrated the proper way to wash hands. It all seemed very calming and benevolent, with Suu Kyi acting out the maternal role she is accorded by her supporters. Before the video was posted online on March 21, the government also established a coronavirus task force. But all the while, it sought to downplay the likelihood that COVID-19 would wreak havoc in Myanmar to the same […]

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