Photo: Flickr/Asela Jayarathne
Photo: Flickr/Asela Jayarathne

Constrained democracy

How far can Aung San Suu Kyi push Buddhist nationalists and the military to accept the mandate to bring about change?  

When Myanmar's new president, Htin Kyaw, was inaugurated on 30 March this year, it was a moment of celebration for the people of Myanmar, and those of us around the world who have supported their struggle for freedom. For the first time in over half a century, Myanmar has a civilian, democratic president with a clear mandate from the people.

When, a few days later, the new government created a new post, that of "State Counsellor", with powers similar to that of a prime minister, and appointed the leader of Myanmar's democracy movement, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who more than anyone else has come to symbolise her country's struggle, it was as close as it is possible to get within the country's flawed constitution to the realisation of a dream many thought we might never see. The woman who had spent over 15 years under house arrest is now running the government.

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Himal Southasian