• Burma: What beckons now for Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy?


    It reads like one of those novels that one’s teenage daughter has bought at a book-stand:
    A beautiful Eastern girl whose father was a national hero and was assassinated on the cusp of a glorious future flees to safety and later meets a handsome Western beau who just happened to be tutor to the young children of a monarch of a beautiful mountain kingdom set amidst the majestic Himalayas. He [the handsome beau] proposes to her [the beautiful woman] in a scene of spectacular beauty with snow-capped mountains as a backdrop. They marry and settle amidst the dreaming spires of Oxford and appear to live happily ever after….. Later, when the beautiful housewife travels back to he homeland for the funeral of her mother, she gets involved with the nation’s struggle against a cruel dictator, leads a peaceful struggle to victory at the polls, becomes the nation’s leader and then is overthrown. She is cast into prison. Meanwhile her handsome beau (now husband and brilliant academic) falls ill and dies tragically separated from his wife. Finally after years of persecution the dictator yields and new elections are held, sweeping the now elderly but still beautiful heroine to victory.
    At this point, no doubt David (I’m in touch with my feminine side) Cameron will be reaching for his wife’s hankie….. [Does he read Mills & Boon? Ed.]
    To quote Commodus (Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus Augustus) in the film Gladiator:
    “The Oxford housewife who became a nation’s hero….
    The nation’s hero who defied a dictator….
    A striking story….
    Now the people want to know how the story ends.
    Only a famous end will do.
    And what could be more famous….
    Than to be subject to a second coup d’état?”

    So this coup de foudre biograpghy is the stuff of romantic novels? Indeed a movie “The Lady” is released at the end of December. No doubt Cameron will be telling his male MP’s to shed the appropriate tears… To show that they are “on message” with the “equality agenda” you understand. Leaving the cinema dry eyed will be “streng verboten” – except of course for Tory women for whom dry eyes will be a sign of stength of character and how so suitable they are for the job of running anything they want.

    Seriously however, there is a real possibility for Aung San Suu Kyi’s triumph to be hijacked. This organ fears that Aung San’s statements such as: “I make all the decisions because I’m the leader of the winning party. And the president will be one whom we will choose just in order to meet the requirements of the constitution,” AND: “He (the president) will have to understand this perfectly well that he will have no authority. That he will act in accordance with the positions of the party.” are a hostage to [mis]fortune.

    We must remember that Aung San Suu Kyi is not standing for election as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley (More’s the pity – Ed) but is operating in an altogether harsher environment.

    The possibility is that the junta will seek to retain control by having a President appointed that whilst a National League for Democracy member will run every decision he makes by them as well as Aung San Suu Kyi. “The Lady” may well find herself relatively powerless. We earnestly hope not and hope that Burma (“Myanmar” sounds like a beach resort on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico) can under her leadership take it’s place amidst the ranks of democratic nations.
    See the newspaper reports:

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