Aung San Suu Kyi

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Sir Arthur Stre...
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Jun 20 2012 22:51
Aung San Suu Kyi

Western media has fallen over itself to praise Aung San Suu Kyi in recent weeks coinciding with her belatedly receiving the Nobel peace prize and a speaking tour. The story we are told of is of a remarkable lady's stoic struggle against a military junta, suffering decades of house arrest in pursuit of democracy, placing her on a level with other angelic figures such as Ghandi, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela. But whilst it is easy to find criticism of the latter figures I have never heard any of Aun San Suu Kyi. Can anybody provide a more balanced analysis? Not looking for a smear or the like, merely hoping for something more nuanced.

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antifaoz
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Jun 21 2012 01:25

From what I've gathered from Burmese friends over the years [decades]Aung San Suu Kyi's roots go back to the pre-junta government, of which her father I think was a member. Her cred with pro-democracy forces within Burma are pretty much indisputable and she does represent a positive within Burma. That said, the power of the junta, and their ability to continue to manipulate election results mean that the release of Suu Kyi is window dressing. Don't be fooled.

The question here is not western media hype versus the reality of Suu Kyi but why western governments are suddenly so keen to recognise the junta and do business with them. Could it be the US diplomatic offensive against the PRC?
By lauding an essentially powerless democracy campaigner such as Aung San Suu Kyi, the western media is providing the 'appearance' that things have changed for the better for the people of Burma. They haven't. So don't believe the hype. The battle against the junta is not over and has become more difficult with these media lies.

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Jun 21 2012 02:01

Agree completely. Here in Ireland we had a sudden U2 style poster campaign for a gig (that actually went up less than a week before the event - I'd love to know who went to the gig and how they were actually mobilised) and now a pseudo-Mandela like tour in the UK for 4 days, including the inevitable kowtowing to the queen, etc.

The contrast is chastening. Much as I would never like to add to the personality cult of Mandela, to be fair, when he came to Ireland and the UK, first of all he made the connection between the illegitimacy of the armed struggle of the ANC and the IRA, and pursued an idiosyncratic and politically motivated tour which, for e.g., meant he came to Leeds to visit the Mandela Centre (a marginalised community centre in the the heart of the then deeply unfashionable Afro-Caribbean ghetto in the city) and laying a wreath on the grave of Albert Johansson (look it up).

Suu Kyi is more in the line of Benazir Bhutto. Born into privilege, she's just glad to do her tour of "society" (in the archaic sense) and play her role as figleaf for the West's ending of sanctions (which they never wanted anyroad). But don't expect to hear any public speeches from her about how an oppressed people, deprived of not just their democratic rights, but their very UNHCR #1 rights to life, can exercise self-defence, up to and including armed struggle. That's the bit about Mandela's tour that gets airbrushed out of the history. Doesn't lessen his responsibility for legitimising the ANC government, though. But see ZACF for the rest of that line.

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Jun 21 2012 05:32

Here's John Pilger's interview with Suu Kyi from 2007: http://johnpilger.com/articles/my-last-conversation-with-aung-san-suu-kyi

Pilger is not a naive journalist.

Suu Kyi's father Aung San was the founder of the Communist Party of Burma and liberator of Burma from the British through armed struggle. In 1947 he was assassinated by a rival faction possibly at British instigation.

As for being in the line of Benazir Bhutto, I don't see it that way at all, and being born into privilege is neither here nor there (Bakunin and Kropotkin were born into privilege too for that matter.)

No, don't expect Suu Kyi to advocate armed struggle. She's committed to non-violent resistance as an aggressive attack against oppressive institutions as the campaigns she led show before she was placed under house arrest. From her writings it's clear that she holds that the injustices in society are mainly in the institutional system even though the personal agents might be innocent or even quite sympathetic, making it necessary to prevent the unjust institutions from grinding on as usual, so it's necessary not to shun conflict but to seek it out. So Gandhi, A. J. Muste and Martin Luther King Jr. were continually inventing campaigns to foment apparent disorder when things apparently had been orderly. Suu Kyi follows in that tradition.

It remains to be seen what her position will be on Mynamar/Burma now that she's at large, but whatever it is it won't be accurately reported in the bourgeois media. Instead, I'd check John Pilger's website for accurate reporting; if she capitulates, you can be sure that he'll call her out on it.

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Mar 12 2013 11:54

I wouldn't put A.J. Muste in the same category with Gandhi and King: Muste's (socialist) pacifism differed from mainstream pacifism in the non-acceptance of the state's institutions ... Aung San grew out of the anti-colonial Thakin movement which gave both birth to the CPB (Aung San was only a member for a short time) and of to the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League whose mixture of nationalism, modernist buddhism, populism and socialism was both influential for the U Nu government (Nirvana on Earth) and the military regime and its "Burmese Way to Socialism"

baboon
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Jun 21 2012 11:25

I think that anti's going in the right direction but it's more than a US diplomatic offensive against China - it's an imperialist one.
As part of the imperialist expansion which accompanies its economic status, China had virtually taken over Burma. Plying the Burmese regime with cheap arms and loans, Burma was one of its "string of pearls" ss China sought to make the Indian Ocean and the Asian seas its mare nostrum.
This US and British offensive around "recapturing" Burma, also includes the aggressive backing of the Phillipines military, recent military protocols (from Panetta's recent visit) with the Indian and Vietnamese regimes, B-52s and US marines to Australia and promotion of Taiwan's and Japanese interests in the question. It's part of a US attempt to encircle China.
There's obvioulsy been a lot going on behind the scenes - here diplomacy is part of this imperialist thrust - and Aung San Suu Kyi is fully part of the imperialist dynamic that also includes Burma's own national interests. Kyi's National League for Democracy is a perfect vehicle for US and British interests. There's been a long history of British intelligence being involved with her and her father and his gangster regime.
China won't take this set back lightly and there's plenty of centrifugal tendencies in Burma itself for it to manipulate them and manoeuvre against its imperialist rivals.

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Jun 21 2012 11:31

interesting article: Northern Burma: On China’s opium substitution program in Kachin and Shan states

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Jun 21 2012 16:49
Entdinglichung wrote:
I wouldn't put A.J. Muste in the same category with Gandhi and King: Muste's (socialist) pacifism differed from mainstream pacifism in the non-acceptance of the state's institutions ...

Muste differed from Gandhi and King vis-a-vis the legitimacy of the state, but philosophically all three shared a religious basis for their pacifism and employed similar tactics, with Muste's contribution being war tax resistance.

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Jun 22 2012 00:14

Australia has given the go ahead for a US base in Darwin that will eventually have an establishment of @2500 USMC plus assets. The PRC has already asked Australia what the..., yes its definitely part of the imperial project, in which Australia is still revelling in its' role as regional sheriff for Uncle Sam and Obomber. As a side note, the ADF is using leased drones from Israel in its combat operations in Afghanistan. The imperial linkages are becoming more blatant.

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Mar 12 2013 11:48

This seems like an interesting development...
Aung San Suu Kyi support for copper mine outrages Burmese activists

Quote:
Opponents of a nearly $1bn copper mine in north-western Burma have expressed outrage over a government-ordered report that said the project should continue and that refrained from demanding punishment for police involved in a violent crackdown on protesters.

The opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, chaired the investigation commission that produced the report, which was released late on Monday night. It could pose a problem for Aung San Suu Kyi by identifying her with the pro-growth policies of the government against the interests of grass-roots people's movements.

NannerNannerNan...
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Mar 12 2013 13:30

I've heard some awful things about her from anti-imperialist nutters - that her base within Burma are like quasi-genocidal right-wing extremists who want the muslim Rohingya to get out, that her movement has been funded from Washington... that was all last year though (and from the sorts of people who decry flouride in drinking water and like to play with 9/11 trutherism)

Whatever the case, it's pretty damn clear which side she's on now! If the media, the same media which lines up with elitism and elitists almost religiously, puts a figure on a pedestal chances are the pedestal's cheap and the figure cheaper.

I'm keeping an eye on what happens next. Maybe we're all wrong and this was an illogical misstep and we can get filthy rich off of a snow shoveling business in hell

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Mar 12 2013 16:32

She often is a hard one to criticize because she has spent so much time talking about your usual Buddhist ethics and a "revolution of consciousness" rather than actual personal views and politics and neither has her party. What would kind of things would the National League of Democracy do for the Burmese people? We simply don't know.

More worrying, though, is her position on the brutal wars that are going on against insurgents in the nation. She has said in the past that she would happily go and fight in the hills and whilst she would open up dialogue with the insurgents, something the Burmese junta have never done, she definitely hasn't decried the fighting which is being pursued against the rebels. This point cannot be stressed more, as it as a war which has been continued for 60 years and doesn't look like ending, whether the power is the same people as now, or the NLD

wojtek
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Apr 22 2013 18:27

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-1-172735-Myanmar-unrest-tests-icon...

baboon
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Apr 22 2013 20:14

I read a week or two ago that she fulsomely praised the Burmese military. Another imperialist gangster.

baboon
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Apr 23 2013 11:10

Human Rights Watch estimates that there have been hundreds of Muslims killed and over a hundred thousand displaced in coordinated state-backed attacks, ie, the government and the security forces. The complicity of the police in these attacks is obvious from footage on the BBC last night. This is at the same time as the EU is dropping sanctions against the regime a move welcomed yesterday by Suu Kyi, who also said that the question of "violence" (ie, the ethnic cleansing of muslims) "was a question of the force of law".

Myanmar is a very importance element in the "pivot" of US imperialism towards the Pacific which is clearly aimed at China. The fact that this country was the first to be visited by Obama after his re-election shows its significance for the US bourgeoisie.