23 October, 2020

New San Over Irrawaddy

Suu Kyi's release spells a new beginning, but the restoration of democracy is still the junta's call

New San Over Irrawaddy
There's a real sense of euphoria at the headquarters of Myanmar's main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD). It's a hive of activity and excitement. The ramshackle offices, near the famous Shwedagon Pagoda here, is brimming with party activists. Outside, thousands of supporters and well-wishers have gathered to see their leader—Aung San Suu Kyi.

The crowd outside the offices starts chanting her name the moment they receive news of her impending arrival. The chant gets louder and louder, as her car gets closer, bursting into a deafening roar as she arrives. The NLD activists do their best to maintain order as, desperate to get a glimpse of their leader, the crowd mobs Suu Kyi. She looks radiant and is overwhelmed by the tumultuous reception. The NLD leaders whisk her inside, apprehensive that the crowd could go out of control. That's the last thing anyone wants—an excuse for the military to place her under house arrest again.

Clearly, this is a different Myanmar to the one seven years ago when Suu Kyi was first freed from house arrest, after...


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