By Segun Ige
FROM the 1962 to 2011 military regime, Myanmar’s leadership structure might have been susceptible to megalomaniac and power-drunken mechanism, of some sort, provided there had not been some sartorial makeover in 2016.
In such an epicurean instance, the “handover” was considerably premised on whether or not, I believe, the civilians could successfully simultaneously imbibe the military and civilian temperaments, in such a way that the one would not be overridden and downtrodden by the other. In short, it’s a technically difficult approach in balancing the “far-right” and “far-left” – two diametrically opposed distances and ideologies of powers – which seems to have a posteriori proven unsoothing and unnerving to the military, unleashing yet another untoward attack in Yangon.
After two election psychos, it seems to be clear that, with the one-term democratic testing, the short-lived, short-termed, “let’s-see-how-it-turns-out-to-be,” abikunised democracy is arguably likely to surface sooner or later – but, of course, much more troublesomely.
It would have been acceptable, to be sure, if the military had continued to hold its erstwhile sweeping powers, as it were, in 1962. Democratically, it appears to be pointless and perverse to admit the military meant some unadulterated transition of power demonstrated in 2016. Militarily, it could be argued that the mantra of “peaceful transition of power” at the time was a fancy funfair in the thin air meant to ease the political noise of perpetual rulership and dictatorship, especially on the part of Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing.
Not to be taken for granted, the 1988 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, which resulted in the killing of hundreds of Burmese people and which did make Aung San Suu Kyi a popular and prominent political figure, could have since catapulted to the harum-scarum ‘house arrest’ of Ms. Suu Kyi.
Suu Kyi, who believes in the equality and justice of the Burmese, has been held in captivity times without number. Her democratic penchant for peace, justice and harmony actually parallels that of Kremlin Putin critic Alexey Navalny – who, after being treated from Novichok poisoning on his arrival from Berlin, was welcomed with two-and-half years detention in Moscow.
Well, by the way, could President Putin have been afraid of Navalny outnumbering him in the upcoming parliamentary seats, and could that possibly empirically, intellectually and morally explain that the poisoning – ‘homeostasis (re)arrest’ – was politically motivated, a demonstration of Putinism, making the Navalny return restless, and at the same time, contumeliously baseless and lawless?
So what’s Suu Kyi’s hope of return for democracy? Has her hope been dashed out in trying, as State Counsellor since 2016, to unanimously and unequivocally unite the Burmese, seeing that the military has declared a one-year state of emergency, which has notably got to do with deep-seated undertones of militarising Myanmar, yet again?
With the landslide victory of Aung San Suu Kyi, procuring nearly 400 seats in the November 8, 2020 election, it does seem the five-year testing of democratic processes would not ultimately be in favour of the military which has utterly taken over power since the 1962 coup, and which has necessitated the “abuse” of the election and ousting of Suu Kyi, as well as President Win Myint, on February 1, 2021.
Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party’s hands-down defeat of the military-proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party, with the latter securing 33 seats of 476 parliamentary seats in the bicameral legislation – disconcertingly would have inspired and instigated the military seizure of power – resulting in the removal of 24 democratically elected officials and replacing them with 11. To them, it seems that’s the end of the endgame, and it’s time for them to take their foremost and rightful place in Burma.
On that fateful day, communication services were locked down and ATMs shut down (similar to Ugandan President Museveni’s social-media sanctions – especially Facebook – on the January 14, 2021 election, not so?), breaching calls and barring cries for ‘help,’ thus making Min Aung Hlaing allegation of voter fraud incredulous and inconceivable to the international community.
Nonetheless, nothing could have been more historically severe and dramatically momentous when certain government officials were in the early hours of the day held captive in their compounds, even with the distortion and disruption of network services.
And it could be said that the 2008 military Constitution was a framework for not only the 2015 election which made Suu Kyi first civilian de facto leader but also the 2020 dissent with the potential erasure of the Suu Kyi efforts in trying to bridge the gap between the military and civilian truncated by an invidious, vicious, insidious putsch.
What could possibly be Aung San Suu Kyi’s lifeline? Under heavy back-and-forth house arrests, with one at this time being militarily and arbitrarily siphoned and super-handled with charges of illegal export-import of products ranging from walkie-talkie radios, Suu Kyi could be held till February 15, with a potential two-year imprisonment.
With the sprawling condemnation from international community, it would have been domestically extreme, in Burma, if the military indefatigably persist in running down on the will of the people and apprehending the actual grundnorm of democracy. Their disapproval and disavowal – gearing towards sanctions of different kinds and de-normalisation of crucial relations – with Burma’s ramping up of core democratic values could wreak burgeoning repercussions economically, ethically, politically, culturally, and geologically.
Ige, a freelance journalist and computational linguist, wrote via email@example.com