Is Myanmar on the edge of another revolution?

George Bush, Colin Powell, Tony Blair, Kofi Annan, and other leaders of the world community and all Western mass media rejoiced: the Government of Burma released the opposition leader and 1990 Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San, Suu Kyi from house arrest, which lasted for 18 months.

This woman's biography is similar to the lives of some of our democrats. Her father, Aung San, used to be the revolutionary leader of Myanmar (formerly Burma). He was the founder of the Anti-fascist League of National Freedom, which struggled against British colonial oppression. Aung San was killed in July of 1947 by terrorists. His death was ordered by British special services. The people who continued following Aung San’s ideas tried to take care of his family: Aung San’s widow (a nurse in the past) became an ambassador to India, and his daughter Suu Kyi left abroad together with her mother. She studied in India and then in Great Britain; she graduated from Oxford University, married a British scientist, and gave birth to two sons. Suu Kyi lived very well in England, and this stuation is not unique. Revolutionaries’ children obtain comfort and privileges with the help of their fathers’ fame, and it often happens that they alienate themselves from their fathers’ ideals. Suu Kyi forgot Burma and her father until the English people reminded her of these things.

The Western world did not deprive Asian countries of its attention during the era of the Soviet perestroika, when West Europe was gripped with so-called “velvet revolutions.” Suu Kyi appeared in public at that time, in Rangoon in 1998. She was acting on behalf of the Burma National League for Democracy, and she started calling herself Aung San Suu Kyi. It seems that the name of the murdered fighter for freedom totally contradicts to the ideas of the retrieval of the colonial power. However, British image-makers guessed right. The combination of the motto “for democracy” and the name of the revolutionary figure resulted in a stunning effect. Aung San Suu Kyi’s league won the parliamentary elections of 1990 (at least, this is what western media outlets said). However, aged generals, Aung San’s brothers-in-arms, did not acknowledge the results of those elections. A conflict resulted, and it ended with Suu Kyi becoming a Nobel Prize winner, as a “victim of political persecution.”

Myanmar military leaders showed much resistance against the massive political and economic pressure from the West. However, the struggle was unequal. Myanmar is experiencing a very hard economic situation nowadays due to the long-standing economic blockade. Therefore, the military generals of this country decided to release Suu Kyi from house arrest on May 6. We already know from the experience of West Europe that such concessions will not be good for moving the militant opposition to pity. The USA and the EU welcomed that liberation, but they made it understood at once that they would not hurry to withdraw sanctions against Myanmar: this will depend on how events turn out. For the time being, Suu Kyi will have to conduct negotiations with the military leaders of the country. However, West Europe’s experience comes in useful again: the result of such negotiations is rather predictable.

The USA must be dreaming about setting up its army bases in Myanmar, somewhere near the Chinese border, after it has successfully incorporated the Czech republic, as well as Poland and Hungary, into NATO, the countries that are close to the Russian border.

Andrey Krishinsky PRAVDA.Ru Beijing

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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