Opinion: Myanmar wakes up from dream of democracy

By: Deutsche Welle |

November 10, 2020 10:05:10 pm

The nice euphoria was adopted by the good condemnation. Aung San Suu Kyi was stripped of dozens of prizes. Heads of state and authorities, who used to vie for a photograph with Aung San Suu Kyi, now maintain her at arm’s size. (Reuters)

Written by Rodion Ebbighausen

The distinction couldn’t be larger. When Aung San Suu Kyi and her Nationwide League for Democracy (NLD) celebration received Myanmar’s basic election in 2015, the nation and the world have been euphoric over her victory. It regarded just like the navy’s stronghold on the nation had been overcome. The individuals of Myanmar had rejected authoritarianism and the nation was embarking in the direction of a rosy democratic future.

5 years later, there may be little of that euphoria left over. After Myanmar’s election over the weekend, few persons are enthusiastic, expectations are low and there may be little curiosity from the worldwide media. The NLD is predicted to win handily.

A stunted democracy

The previous 5 years have demonstrated that casting a poll is just not a magic trick that may remedy the nation’s issues in a single fell swoop. Ethnic minorities, who’re the third middle of energy within the nation subsequent to the navy and the civilian authorities, have needed to notice that the NLD is just not able to method them.

The result’s that the very important peace course of to finish a 70-year-old civil battle has made zero progress. The battle can neither be ended merely by means of an election, nor with the charismatic persona of a political determine like Aung San Suu Kyi.

As a substitute, severe and tough negotiations are crucial to find out how a federalized system in Myanmar ought to seem like, wherein even ethnic minorities would have a say and stake.

5 disappointing years

In financial coverage, the place expectations for the NLD have been excessive, it rapidly turned clear that though an election legitimizes politicians, it doesn’t robotically make them specialists.

Giant Asian corporations like Samsung have withdrawn from Myanmar, pushed away by paperwork, over-regulation and blocked reforms. The NLD’s fixation on trusting outdated confidants and refusing to simply accept outdoors experience has massively slowed down Myanmar’s potential for financial transformation.

For democratic states and numerous non-governmental organizations and activists who had been supporting Aung San Suu Kyi for many years and dealing for the opening of the nation, the displacement of about 700,000 Rohingya since August 2017 was notably stunning.

The truth that Aung San Suu Kyi then personally appeared on the Worldwide Court docket of Justice in The Hague to defend Myanmar and its navy in opposition to the accusation of genocide, left lots of her admirers shocked.

They’d mistakenly believed that that they had present in Aung San Suu Kyi somebody who shared their concepts of democracy and human rights. They’d additionally underestimated the widespread racism, Islamophobia and chauvinism in Myanmar.

Be extra life like

The nice euphoria was adopted by the good condemnation. Aung San Suu Kyi was stripped of dozens of prizes. Heads of state and authorities, who used to vie for a photograph with Aung San Suu Kyi, now maintain her at arm’s size.

Nations like Germany have sharply in the reduction of on their growth cooperation. Myanmar is a hopeless case, say many former supporters of Suu Kyi.

However the disappointment of right now can also be the results of the exorbitant expectations of the previous. The euphoria then obscured the size of the issues dealing with Myanmar, simply because the vociferous condemnation right now clouds one’s view from clearly seeing the alternatives current.

Nearly all of individuals within the nation need the transformation course of to proceed. They’re in favor of electoral democracy, as evidenced by the excessive voter turnout regardless of the COVID-19 well being emergency. The navy in addition to ethnic minority communities have neither blocked nor boycotted the election course of, so they’re taking part in alongside.

As a substitute of huge leaps, nonetheless, solely small steps are to be anticipated, and on high of that, there may be all the time the specter of reversal and mistaken turns. Fifty years of navy rule, 70 years of civil battle and deep-seated prejudices can’t be shaken off in a single day. Myanmar is a tough however not a hopeless case.


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