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Former Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to appear in court

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Former Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to appear in court

AP 2
Photo: AP

Myanmar’s former state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi will appear virtually in a Naypyidaw court today for her trial’s latest hearing. Her civilian government was ousted by the Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, in a February coup.

In addition to her original charges of violating a natural disaster management law and illegally importing walkie-talkies, Suu Kyi has received two further charges—one under a colonial-era act banning publication of information that “disturbs tranquility” and another under a telecommunications law specifying equipment licenses. The Tatmadaw is also investigating her government for financial misconduct.

On the ground, Myanmar’s situation has continued to deteriorate as security forces are now using live ammunition against pro-democracy protesters—more than 70 have been killed since protests began. Internationally, the Tatmadaw’s coup has been met with condemnation and sanctions, though it has not changed the junta’s actions.

The additional charges against Suu Kyi are a message to demonstrate the Tatmadaw’s disinterest in returning power. Likewise, the improbability of a meaningful intervention by ASEAN will likely further embolden the military, making moderated peace talks between them and democratic activists highly unlikely, thus risking Myanmar’s devolution to a pariah state. Nevertheless, unless the Tatmadaw soon delivers on promised new elections, expect international organisations to call for more aggressive sanctions.

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Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

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