The coup staged by the Burmese military on February 1, 2021 is plunging the country into an all-out war waged by the armed forces against virtually the whole of the population, as a massive civil disobedience movement is preventing the generals from taking full control of the state. In this lopsided war, the junta led by the Commander in Chief, Min Aung Hlaing, is using all the instruments of violence at its disposal with maniac relish.
officially known as Myanmar — celebrated the seventieth anniversary of its independence at a moment when the failures of its incomplete nation-building project have become increasingly evident. Last year saw the almost complete ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingya minority in the northwestern state of Arakan.
Ethnic identity determines to a large degree who belongs to the Burmese polity, and the place in it of those who do; some groups are de facto relegated to subordinate positions in a hierarchy dominated by the Bamar majority. But the Rohingya are excluded altogether. Since the late seventies, the government’s policy has been one of containment.
Suu Kyi has been far more engaged in playing politics in the opaque corridors of power in Naypyidaw and making tours abroad than trying to listen to the Burmese public at large, whose support she and the NLD seem to take for granted.