Myanmar’s Partial Pardon of Suu Kyi Is an Empty PR Move

Myanmar’s Partial Pardon of Suu Kyi Is an Empty PR Move
Anti-coup demonstrators raise the three-finger symbol of resistance and a portrait of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a protest in Tarmwe township, Yangon, Myanmar, April 1, 2021 (AP photo).

When the military junta that rules Myanmar announced last week that it was issuing a partial pardon for the iconic opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, it seemed a sign that the regime might be preparing to loosen its grip and perhaps even to compromise with the opposition.

After all, the imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner has long towered over Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement, becoming a global symbol of resistance against a brutal military junta. So the regime’s decision to cut several years from Suu Kyi’s 33-year prison sentence sounded like it might herald a measure of flexibility after more than two years of conflict and mass atrocities that have left thousands dead and 1.5 million displaced.

That optimistic interpretation, however, is being rejected by many Myanmar observers.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to WPR’s fully searchable library of 16,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news and analysis from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • The Weekly Wrap-Up email, with highlights of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review