News of Transferring Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint from Prison to House Arrest

 

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – April 16
MoeMaKa, April 17, 2024

News of Transferring Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint from Prison to House Arrest

On the day before the Thingyan New Year, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and former President U Win Myint were moved from Nay Pyi Taw Prison and Taungoo Prison to an undisclosed location. It is likely that the military council deliberately leaked this information to the public. Typically, such news would be difficult to uncover for weeks or months if the military council were trying to conceal it, suggesting that the recent disclosure was intentional.

The Military Council’s spokesperson informed VOA and BBC that the Ministry of Home Affairs is exploring ways to alleviate the conditions for not only Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Win Myint but also for elderly prisoners and those in poor health.

It appears they intended to downplay the impression that this action was taken exclusively for these two individuals. The Ministry of Home Affairs under SAC has been known to deny medical treatment to political prisoners, even in urgent cases requiring treatment outside the prison. Advocacy groups have reported that at least seven political prisoners have died over the past seven years due to this denial.

Comparing these events to the military council’s explanations reveals inconsistencies and suggests that their reasons are not valid. This raises the question of why these two NLD leaders were moved from prison to a separate detention facility. It is worth examining whether the military council is showing a willingness to negotiate and find a political solution to the military, political, and diplomatic crises it is currently facing. There might also be an assumption that this was done under international pressure, particularly from China.

Since the coup d’état, the military council has avoided discussions with organizations like the NLD, which has substantial public representation, regarding the country’s crisis. Instead, they have consistently tried to prove the NLD party and its leaders guilty of various crimes.

For the past three years, the military council has maintained this stance. Given the recent territorial losses and the surrender of their armed forces, it is still unclear whether they have genuinely changed their attitude towards seeking a political solution or if this is merely a strategic move. Another possibility is that they aim to reduce political and diplomatic pressure from some international and neighboring countries.

For anti-military forces aiming to establish a federal democratic union, it is crucial not to reject dialogue outright and to maintain a position that avoids further conflict if agreements do not compromise their goals.

In Myanmar, the traditional Thingyan New Year involves washing away the bad experiences of the past year and starting anew with a positive mindset. Reflecting on the past year in Myanmar reveals a period marked by war, loss of life, displacement, destruction of homes and livelihoods, psychological distress, the loss of loved ones, and arbitrary killings and torture.

It is also notable that the NUCC, NUG, CRPH, and allied forces conducted reviews and statements on their activities over the past three years at the People’s Conference in early April. Since the second People’s Assembly, they have engaged in official internal criticism, highlighting partner conflicts. The NUCC, CRPH, and NUG, which are leading the revolution, will undoubtedly continue to play a pivotal role. Observers will need to see how many lessons they can learn, how much they can improve, and how they can adjust their strategies.

The past year has seen extensive fighting, the destruction of towns and villages, and military successes by ethnic armed forces in Northern Shan State and the northeastern part of the country. Conversely, the number of territorial battles has increased, leading to more people fleeing the war and rising civilian casualties. Some international observers have concluded that Myanmar is approaching a widespread civil war involving all sides. While residents of cities like Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, Pathein, Monywa, Taunggyi, and Mawlamyine have not yet experienced a full-scale civil war, they continue to suffer its effects.