Is Aung San Suu Kyi going to be released?
May 1, 2002 1:15 PM   Subscribe

Is Aung San Suu Kyi going to be released? Speculation's mounting that the military government of Myanmar is going to end opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's 18-month house arrest, after a U.N. envoy's trip to the country. Think that'll help, or even happen? (Suu Kyi's a bit of a cause celebre at the moment -- Bono's had her face on a t-shirt and he wrote "Walk On" about her, so you know something's going on...)
posted by logovisual (6 comments total)
For shame, Myanmar. Let her go.
posted by will at 1:50 PM on May 1, 2002

The release would be important, but like the case of Mandela, it's what follows that matters. I can't yet see the Burmese junta allowing her to return to politics, and I don't see her accepting a release that doesn't allow that.

(And yeah, like the Beeb, I prefer 'Burma', because 'Myanmar' legitimises the junta somewhat.)
posted by riviera at 2:25 PM on May 1, 2002

from the article- 'Aung San Suu Kyi has been under various forms of house arrest for most of the past 12 years'
i can't imagine what that feels like.
myanmar want to trade, but even the cia don't dig their style, so to avoid losing any more trade (Texaco, Levi Strauss, Motorola. Ericsson, Pepsico, Heineken, Carlsberg, Amoco, Liz Claiborne, C&A and many others) they want to soften their image.
'if Aung San Suu Kyi is indeed to be freed, observers say the key question will be the degree of political activity she will be allowed to undertake. '
what would be the point of releasing her (again), if she is still to be restricted. the whole thing sounds familiar.
anyhoo, if you want to go visit the country to see what it's like for yourself, lonely planet have some good general advice.
after preview i thought that too riviera, but then i read (see below), so now can't make my mind up.
'The Burmese, it seems, have always called their country Myanma. But outsiders know it as Burma - a name derived from the dominant Burman race.

Faced with unrest and revolt for the last ten years by several non-Burman minority groups, the military regime in Rangoon has decided to de-emphasize Burma and kindle national solidarity with Myanma. And Rangoon, by the way, will be pronounced and spelt Yangon.'

From Time, Vol. 133 No. 24, 1989
posted by asok at 2:42 PM on May 1, 2002

One of the reasons for change seems to have been the junta's ill-considered slapping of trade barriers on the ASEAN trade group, which has been in aggregate one of its few sources of support. ASEAN, led by Malaysia's Mahathir, is interested in seeing liberalization -- presumably because they don't want their own relationships with the West, particularly the growing EU-ASEAN links, to suffer. (The move by Myanmar may have been in anticipation of firmer sanctions by ASEAN.)

But the really interesting -- and admittedly optimistic -- theory is that the junta itself has freed itself of the influence of its founder, Ne Win.
posted by dhartung at 3:35 PM on May 1, 2002

This amazing travelog (flash required) of Burma is a must see, and refers among other things to the dictatorship there and Aung San Suu Kyi.
posted by talos at 2:16 AM on May 2, 2002

talos, thank you so much for that link. Absolutely stunning.
posted by acridrabbit at 7:30 AM on May 2, 2002

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