International/Kuala Lumpur

Fall of an Icon

Aung San Suu Kyi has increasingly stifled dissent using a slew of
repressive laws and little is being done to address the country’s weak rule.

By Muhammad Omar Iftikhar | June 2020

“Four years after Aung San Suu Kyi came to power, Myanmar remains a country where the slightest criticism of the authorities can land you in jail,” says Clare Algar, Senior Director for Research, Advocacy and Policy at Amnesty International. She further says, “Environmental activists, poets and students are among those who have been arrested and prosecuted simply for expressing their opinions.”

Aung San Suu Kyi, the first State Counsellor of Myanmar since 2016, has been under the radar for not being fair to her citizens. She has failed to address her country's rising ethnic and economic predicaments. The plight of the Rohingya has been left in the dark because she does not want to take any action for their relief.

Despite the world considering Suu Kyi to change the socio-economic dimensions of Myanmar, she has remained unsuccessful. Over the years her government has been harassing critics. This even includes the slightest of a difference the critics might have with state affairs. Moreover, her government has also arrested and prosecuted activists since she came to power four years ago.

Amnesty International has shown concern over her government silencing those who raised a voice of reason in Myanmar. According to the human rights group, the people who have been arrested include students, journalists and environmental and labour activists among others. Abbott Arriyawuntha Biwuntha, a Buddhist monk was also arrested under Aung San Suu Kyi’s regime. He faced criminal defamation charges for criticizing the military. He also accused a senior officer of donating money to a rigid religious nationalist group. Saw Wai, a poet who expressed his views about bringing changes to the 2008 constitution of Myanmar was also arrested. "I only have my poetry as my weapon. I will fight with it … I will not surrender," he told Amnesty International. This shows the level of monitoring and observation that the law enforcers are abiding by on the orders of Suu Kyi. She does not want anyone to talk against her leadership style or the government itself.

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The writer has a special interest in the region’s social and political affairs. He can
be reached at omariftikhar82

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