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Old 2021-02-02, 02:45   Link #1
TinyRedLeaf
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Myanmar military topples civilian govt, declares one-year emergency

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Yangon (Feb 1): Myanmar's military seized power on Monday in a coup against the democratically elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party in early-morning raids.

The army said it had carried out the detentions in response to "election fraud", handing power to military chief Min Aung Hlaing and imposing a state of emergency for one year, according to a statement on a military-owned television station.

A presenter for the military-owned Myyawaddy TV station said the reason for takeover was in part due to the civilian government's failure to act on the military's claims of voter fraud in last November's election and its failure to postpone the election because of the coronavirus crisis.

Phone lines to the capital Naypyitaw were not reachable and state TV went off air hours before Parliament had been due to sit for the first time since the NLD's landslide election win in November, viewed as a referendum on Aung San Suu Kyi's fledgeling democratic government.

REUTERS

Military coup cannot be a solution for Myanmar
Quote:
By Nehginpao Kipgen
(Feb 2, 2021)

The shocking detention of Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and a State of Emergency declaration on Monday have sent ripples through the international community but comes as little surprise to keen observers.

Since Myanmar's most recent general election held last November delivered a strong mandate to the National League for Democracy (NLD), tensions between the military and the NLD have intensified.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the main opposition party with close links to the military, which saw a slide in votes, did not accept the results.

Worse, they accused the Union Election Commission (UEC) and the NLD of engaging in electoral fraud, including duplication of names using the same identity cards, voting without identity cards, voters with false identity cards, and the issue of underage and overage voters.

But the military must reverse its actions.

It's hard to see the last 24 hours as anything else than the losers of an election attempting repeatedly to overturn the results and override the will of voters as their other options fade. The prior theatrics do little to mask this narrative.

Allegations of electoral fraud

The USDP said it had called for military intervention on the basis that the UEC did not pay serious attention to their complaints after filing more than 1,200 objections and complaints with the police and the election commission.

While the military responded with a reasonable move to look into alleged cases, its sudden expansion of investigations and subsequent claim of finding 8.6 million irregularities just last week took everyone by shock.

To the UEC's credit, its swift response, issued on Saturday, has been consistent since such claims arose: It has found no major irregularities potentially impacting the election results.

The UEC also took pains to emphasise how both local and international independent observers found the conduct of the election to be, by and large free and fair.

By threatening to revoke the Cconstitution on Monday, the military revealed it is willing to overturn the political system when its interests are threatened.

The Constitution is the brainchild of the military, worked on since the 1990 general election, and was even put up for a referendum in 2008 against factions urging otherwise.

Possible face-saving solution

All is not lost. There are face-saving ways for Myanmar to escape this crisis. Elected members of Parliament could consider taking up the military's suggestion to establish a commission to investigate fraud claims, to unequivocally dispel doubts and act as a backstop for future complaints and allegations.

It is difficult to see how such actions would be perceived as anything short of rewarding bad behaviour by the international community. Condemnations have come quick. International sanctions could follow.

For a country long used to a political system where the military holds huge sway, some say this national spirit of pragmatism and political incrementalism may be needed to steer Myanmar away from backsliding into yesteryears.

CNA


Dr Nehginpao Kipgen is a Political Scientist, Associate Professor and Executive Director at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Jindal School of International Affairs, O P Jindal Global University. He is the author of three books on Myanmar, including Democratization of Myanmar.

Myanmar coup will reverberate far beyond Southeast Asia
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By Bilahari Kausikan
(Feb 2, 2021):


The shock announcement by the Tatmadaw, the official name of Myanmar's armed forces, that it had detained State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and several other top National League for Democracy leaders and declared a state of emergency — coup in all but name — is the first high stakes test of the Biden administration's relationship with the 10-member Asean bloc.

How the US responds to the situation in Myanmar and, equally important, how Asean responds, could set the future trajectory of the relationship in ways that may be difficult to change. This has implications that extend far beyond Southeast Asia. Both sides seemed to understand this, at least for now.

Initial statements from the White House and State Department expressed strong disapproval of the Tatmadaw's action and solidarity with the Myanmar people. This is the least the US could say under the circumstances.

Significantly, however, there was no knee-jerk threat of sanctions or to dial down the level of diplomatic representation. This keeps US options open and suggests that for all its emphasis on democratic values, the Biden administration has not lost sight of the broader strategic context of competition with China.

From the Tatmadaw's violent suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations in the late 1980s up to the first decade of the 2000s, Myanmar was an albatross around the neck of US-Asean relations. The imposition of sanctions and isolating Myanmar during that period did nothing to change the situation on the ground and only drove Myanmar into China's arms.

The Tatmadaw is strongly nationalist and has no intrinsic affinity with China. Historically and up to the present day, the Tatmadaw has viewed Beijing's support for the Burmese Communist Party and ethnic insurgencies with grave suspicion. Given other options, the Tatmadaw will not want to be overly dependent on China.

Arguably the most significant achievement of the first Obama administration was the normalisation of relations with Myanmar, without which its pivot to Asia and the deepening of relations with Asean would not have been possible. That the second Obama administration did not follow-up this strategic window of opportunity in its Asean diplomacy is another matter.

The two key players are still State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and the military's commander in chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. They have more in common than many think.

Ms Suu Kyi's response to the Rohingya crisis had made clear that she is no icon of liberal democracy and the record of her first term revealed that, reluctant to delegate authority, she got herself mired in the small details of governing but was unable to provide the strategic direction her country needed.

Like it or not, the Tatmadaw was and still is the best functioning institution in a largely dysfunctional state, a power that can never be ignored. Both are stubborn nationalists whose instinctive response to a political problem is not to compromise.

Ultimately this is much more about power than principle.

NIKKEI ASIA


Bilahari Kausikan is former Permanent Secretary of Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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Old 2021-02-02, 11:51   Link #2
TinyRedLeaf
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Yangon (Feb 2): Popular anger against the Myanmar military has surged on social media, despite efforts by the junta to cut off traditional lines of communication in the country.

A swathe of Facebook users changed their profile pictures to portraits of detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, or to the red colour of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

Facebook is the main social-media platform in Myanmar.

In the main city of Yangon, people banged pans and sounded car horns after dark in protest. This came after one of Myanmar's biggest youth groups and its federation of student unions called for civil-disobedience campaigns, alongside those staged by doctors from across the country, including a 1,000-bed hospital in the capital Naypyidaw.

"That is inspiring," activist Thinzar Shunlei Yi told Reuters of the civil-disobedience campaign, whose new Facebook page already had more than 112,000 likes.

"We cannot accept dictatorship." In a letter that anticipated her detention and was published by an aide on Monday, Ms Suu Kyi had called on people to protest against a coup, though she did not specify that they should take to the streets.

Pro-democracy supporters showed anger in many ways, including a slew of insults to a Facebook post by the new Information Minister thanking people for their best wishes.

And in an echo of months of anti-government protests in Thailand, two senior members of Suu Kyi's NLD posted pictures of themselves giving the three-finger salute of opposition to army rule that was inspired by "The Hunger Games".

REUTERS
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Old 2021-02-03, 07:58   Link #3
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Yangon (Feb 2): Fitness instructor Khing Hnin Wai has been filming herself performing aerobics on the same street in Myanmar's capital city for months. But none of her videos has gone quite as viral as the one she posted on Monday, in which she inadvertently captured the country's military coup unfolding in the background.

In the video, she can be seen dancing energetically to techno-pop while wearing workout gear and a face mask, seemingly oblivious to the convoy of black vehicles streaming down the road behind her as Myanmar's military seizes control of the government.

Her video has since garnered more than 67,000 Facebook reactions and has also been circulated widely on other social media platforms, including in one tweet that has racked up nearly 60,000 likes and 25,000 retweets.

Resty Woro Yuniar, a reporter for the South China Morning Post, wrote on Twitter that the music in the background is an Indonesian song called "Ampun Bang Jago", which she said was "used widely on TikTok during Omnibus Law protests last year".

The BBC has quoted a Facebook post by Khing Hnin Wai, in which she reportedly wrote that "I wasn't dancing to mock or ridicule any organisation or to be silly. I was dancing for a fitness dance competition. As it isn't uncommon for [Naypyidaw] to have an official convoy, I thought it was normal so I continued."

NPR
A selection of my favourite comments from NPR's Facebook post of the above story:
Quote:
Mara Cordova
I don't CARE... SOMEONE CALL UP THE PEACE PRIZE PEOPLE ... I want to make LAST MINUTE nomination: Khing Hnin Wai. She is not the hero we deserve- but she is the hero we need.

Gabby Hastings
All this while wearing a mask! Her oxygen levels didnt drop and she's still alive! I hope Karen sees this!

Yara Wilde
Man, our coup only had a guy with a Viking hat growling on top of desks ☹️

Matthew A. James
This was every republican on January 6th.
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Old 2021-02-03, 12:17   Link #4
cyberdemon
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This entire things feels like they watched and noted every Trump argument and action then said “hold my beer”
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Old 2021-02-03, 23:25   Link #5
Yu Ominae
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Suu Kyi is charged for violating import/export laws for alledgly providing radios for her personal close protection officers. And the president Win Myint was charged with violating the Natural Disaster Management Law, in the sense of violating COVID-19 restrictions.

----

Some article on the man in charge, Min Aung Hlaing.

A lot of articles I uncovered suggest that he has a motive, personal (likely due to being in charge of anti-ARSA ops) and financial (his family is involved in the Myanma economy). Most won't be surprised that they can't get the habit of being a junta.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/general-...wer-in-myanmar

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation...ble-status-quo

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/My...uu-Kyi-in-coup

The NGO Justice for Myanmar has more info on Aung Hlaing's financial interests.

https://www.justiceformyanmar.org/st...in-aung-hlaing

Edited by Ominae on Feb 3rd 2021 at 8:25:02 AM
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Old 2021-02-04, 02:22   Link #6
TinyRedLeaf
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Originally Posted by cyberdemon View Post
This entire things feels like they watched and noted every Trump argument and action then said “hold my beer”
Yes. I suspect the apparent coincidences aren't as coincidental as they might at first appear.

Of course, local conditions play by far the biggest roles, but the Myanmar coup, to my mind, demonstrates how inter-connected the world is today. The Myanmar military very likely looked at events unfolding in the US elections, and seized on "electoral fraud" as a good pretext for a coup.

It's also striking how the Myanmar people were inspired by Thai protesters, which is not surprising, given how the Thais are very familiar with military coups.

And then there's the mask, dutifully worn by the PE instructor, even as she went about doing her video routine. It's a light-hearted comical moment in a dire time, but the very fact that she was wearing a mask highlights how the pandemic has reached every part of the world, connecting all of us in a common tragedy.

I'm curious how the international community will deal with Aung San Suu Kyi in the future, assuming she gets out of this latest crisis unscathed and unharmed. Her image as a democracy icon may have been tarnished over the past 10 years, but she remains the only plausible civilian leader in Myanmar today. Like it or not, real-politik will require all sides to work within her constraints.

Like the former Singapore ambassador Bilahari Kausikan has pointed out, power matters much more than principle. Principles without power to back them up amount to no more than wishful thinking. So, any settlement to this crisis will need to involve the military, no matter how distasteful that might be.

And, yes, that means nothing good for the Rohingya will come out of this. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded.

Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2021-02-04 at 02:40.
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Old 2021-02-04, 03:22   Link #7
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post


And, yes, that means nothing good for the Rohingya will come out of this. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluded.
Wonder why some information are not discussed in western media, but those information were discussed in Asia forum.

For example, when British controlled Myanmar, British hired the people from neighboring country as Myanmar's police force. After British lost control of Myanmar, these police wanted to partition Myanmar's territory. So, people of Myanmar were upset about these people.

Another example is that Myanmar military is still the real ruler of the country. The former military leader allowed Suu Kyi to win the election, and the military has default seats in the country's senate. Even Suu Kyi won the election, her position as the president is not the same as the Commander in Chief of Myanmar military. So, Myanmar military is their own class.
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Old 2021-02-04, 11:56   Link #8
TinyRedLeaf
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Originally Posted by scififan View Post
When British controlled Myanmar, British hired the people from neighboring country as Myanmar's police force. After British lost control of Myanmar, these police wanted to partition Myanmar's territory. So, people of Myanmar were upset about these people.
...this is the first I've heard of this. Do you have a source?

The police have never been well-regarded in Myanmar. During British rule, they were seen as enforcers of an alien law, and after independence, the police were looked down upon by the increasingly powerful military. In either case, the police were associated with either brutality or incompetence among the population. Given this history, I suppose it's possible that the police were staffed by foreigners, but that's not something I'd ever come across in references.

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Originally Posted by scififan View Post
Wonder why some information are not discussed in western media, but those information were discussed in Asia forum.
In the greater scheme of things, Myanmar doesn't matter. The country has little to no geopolitical clout, even within Southeast Asia, so it's hardly surprising that not many people are paying attention, despite the grave historical consequences of the latest coup.

That's the case not only in Western media, but in Asian media as well, I expect. The story just isn't as "sexy" as a made-for-movie plot like that of small guys vs fat cats on Wall Street, for example, and the number of views for this forum thread speaks for itself.

Besides, everyone is preoccupied with immediate concerns over the pandemic That Myanmar gets any attention at all is thanks in no small part to the international stature of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scififan View Post
Another example is that Myanmar military is still the real ruler of the country. The former military leader allowed Suu Kyi to win the election, and the military has default seats in the country's senate. Even Suu Kyi won the election, her position as the president is not the same as the Commander in Chief of Myanmar military. So, Myanmar military is their own class.
It should be pointed out that, throughout history, it's almost always the military that controls the country. Civilian political leadership is extremely rare, and almost always fragile. Mao Zedong said it best: "Political power grows from the barrel of a gun."

If you think about it, it's a wonder that any civilian government can keep the military on a leash. It's only very recently in world history that this has become a "norm". Unfortunately, in my home region, it's still largely a work-in-progress. The Thai military, with its close association to the monarchy, is unlikely to ever relinquish political power in the near future. And it's only been in the past 20 to 30 years that military dictatorships were toppled in the Philippines and Indonesia.

It's simply the fact that where civilian institutions are weak, the military will step in to fill the vacuum.

It has been pointed out that Indonesia may serve as the best possible example of political transition for Myanmar. But, as is always the case, there are limitations. The key difference is that, even before Indonesian president Suharto finally lost power in 1998, the former general had long since been laying the foundations for a civilian government. And that was why Indonesia's transition to democracy had been relatively smooth, and mostly bloodless.

That has not been the case in Aung San Suu Kyi's government. To be sure, it was never likely that she would be able to build institutions strong enough to eclipse the military — the generals would never have allowed it, just as they are not allowing it to happen today.

I think a lot will depend on how strong the popular pushback can be. If the people of Myanmar meekly allow the military to have its way, then the junta will continue to stay in control.

Thankfully, cooler heads have so far prevailed in the protest movement — the demonstrators are fighting back with civil disobedience, not violence. The greatest credit goes to the medics, doctors and healthcare workers — they've been the most high-profile protesters so far.

Remember, it was people power that toppled the Marcos regime in the Philippines. Civil disobedience can work, but it will require the full support of the people, who must be mentally prepared for brutal repression. It may be a tall order, but it's a critical question that the people of Myanmar must ask of themselves.
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Old 2021-02-05, 08:29   Link #9
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This'll be a big issue on how the rest of the world will try to intervene to get Suu Kyi and her cabinet released.

Locsin and some parts of Asia says it's concerned, but there is talk of how the West will set another bad precedent because of Libya and Iraq.
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Old 2021-02-05, 23:46   Link #10
scififan
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
...this is the first I've heard of this. Do you have a source?

The police have never been well-regarded in Myanmar. During British rule, they were seen as enforcers of an alien law, and after independence, the police were looked down upon by the increasingly powerful military. In either case, the police were associated with either brutality or incompetence among the population. Given this history, I suppose it's possible that the police were staffed by foreigners, but that's not something I'd ever come across in references.

The discussion was from several years ago, and I cannot find the archive of the discussion now.

Ironically, I have to quote the English sources, which said foreign immgrants were farm labors and soliders of colonial army, instead of police.

https://www.orwellfoundation.com/the...pire-in-burma/
Quote:
Their village is their universe, and as long as they are left in peace to cultivate their fields, they do not care whether their masters are black or white.

A proof of this political apathy on the part of the people of Burma is the fact that the only British military forces in the country are two English infantry battalions and around ten battalions of Indian infantry and mounted police.

Thus twelve thousand armed men, mostly Indians, are enough to subdue a population of fourteen million.
https://www.irrawaddy.com/from-the-a...myanmar-2.html
https://www.globalsecurity.org/milit...ry-british.htm
https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201...ritish-empire/

However, the story of their migration to Burma, their role in British colonial army, Colonial army's role in suppression of Burmese rebellion, Colonial army's role in pillaging Burmese villages and land grab, Burma leaders' promise for Burma citizenship for Rohingya people, Rohingya people's Burma partition movement, and Burma's military's oppression on Rohingya people, can be easily found online.


I heard some information, but have not found other sources for verification.
Maybe you have the information to verify following statement:
Quote:
1. Myanmar military is controlled by 10 families. Everyday business in Myanmar has to be approved by these 10 families.
2. Myanmar civilians have been warned by Myanmar military not to protest on streets.
3. Before the coup, PRC had an army stationed at the border. PRC also provided weapons to Myanmar military.

Last edited by scififan; 2021-02-05 at 23:59.
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Old 2021-02-06, 07:01   Link #11
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https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...ined-14126558?

The Tatmadaw detained an Australian who's an advisor to the civilian government.
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Old 2021-02-08, 04:55   Link #12
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Originally Posted by scififan View Post
... foreign immgrants were farm labors and soliders of colonial army, instead of police.

https://www.orwellfoundation.com/the...pire-in-burma/
Thanks. That was a useful read, and it chimes generally with what I know about British imperial rule in this region. George Orwell, incidentally, served with the Burmese police as a young man, and he wrote a sharply incisive short story about his firsthand experience with colonialism.

The British use of Indian troops is a very well-established fact. They were commonly known as sepoys, for example. There are also the Nepali Gurkhas, who retain a fearsome reputation to this day for loyalty and excellence in service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scififan View Post
Quote:
1. Myanmar military is controlled by 10 families. Everyday business in Myanmar has to be approved by these 10 families.
2. Myanmar civilians have been warned by Myanmar military not to protest on streets.
3. Before the coup, PRC had an army stationed at the border. PRC also provided weapons to Myanmar military.
Regarding 1), I can't find freely available sources to back that claim. Speicalised journal articles will probably provide more details, but those cost money to access.

But I don't think it's a case of oligarchs "controlling" the military per se. I find that highly unlikey, given the generals' fragile egos. It's likely the case of generals working very closely with crony capitalists for mutual benefit. I found this piece on one such tainted industralist, Zaw Zaw, who had been targeted by US sanctions.

Regarding 2), well, the military's warning doesn't seem to have had an effect. Yet. (Here's hoping they don't resort to actual shooting...)

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As for 3), again I can't find any credible sources to back up that claim. It is possible that the Chinese are dealing with the military through illicit channels, but if this commentary is to be believed, then it seems that Beijing does not enjoy having to deal with the Myanmar generals because they are unreliable partners:

China does not like the coup in Myanmar
Quote:
By Enze Han

Hong Kong (Feb 6, 2021):


Officially, non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries has long been a core principle of China's foreign policy.

It is not possible for China to openly condemn the military's actions because it has set no such precedent. The Chinese government does not condemn regime changes in other countries and Beijing is in no position to make an exception in Myanmar's case.

Beijing has always considered the Tatmadaw to be incompetent and corrupt. Its mysterious behaviour and unpredictable nature did not sit well with the Chinese government in the past.

It was military men who turned out to be the most damaging to China's economic and strategic interests. [For example,] there have been cancellations and threats to renegotiate existing contracts for Chinese investment in Myanmar... A case in point is the shelved Myitsone Dam, where the Chinese company that invested in the initial stage of the project suffered massive financial losses.

Beijing tends to view the Myanmar military as ungrateful, rapacious, greedy and a poor business partner.


EAST ASIA FORUM


Enze Han is Associate Professor at the Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Hong Kong.
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Old 2021-02-08, 08:50   Link #13
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
China does not like the coup in Myanmar
I have different data:

China, Russia block UN Security Council condemnation of Myanmar coup

https://www.france24.com/en/americas...f-myanmar-coup

To me it is clear that it is an unwritten rule of the thumb that undemocratic governments support each other in their totalitarian ways. Myanmar becomes for china another example of "failed democracies" to support the narrative they have to suppress the liberties in hong kong (and at home).
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Old 2021-02-08, 09:48   Link #14
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Originally Posted by mangamuscle View Post
I have different data:

China, Russia block UN Security Council condemnation of Myanmar coup

https://www.france24.com/en/americas...f-myanmar-coup
That might not contradict TinyRedLeaf's point; not comdemning the coup isn't automaticly the same a liking it. It isn't as if China is stuck in a black-and-white mentality when it came to foreign relation, just look at North Korea.
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Old 2021-02-08, 10:12   Link #15
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Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
That might not contradict TinyRedLeaf's point; not comdemning the coup isn't automaticly the same a liking it. It isn't as if China is stuck in a black-and-white mentality when it came to foreign relation, just look at North Korea.
The same could be said about Russia and Belarus. Putin does not like Lukashenko, the later not being the puppet the former wants. But Russia no doubt supports Belarus actions after the "elections" last year by not condemning them. The last thing putin wants is a pro-western democracy on his border and xi jinping is no different.
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Old 2021-02-08, 10:41   Link #16
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Originally Posted by mangamuscle View Post
The same could be said about Russia and Belarus. Putin does not like Lukashenko, the later not being the puppet the former wants. But Russia no doubt supports Belarus actions after the "elections" last year by not condemning them. The last thing putin wants is a pro-western democracy on his border and xi jinping is no different.
Aung San is pro western.....HAHAHAHAHA TIL
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Old 2021-02-08, 10:44   Link #17
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
Aung San Suu Kyi is pro western.....HAHAHAHAHA TIL
Considering she has had a military boot on her neck from day one, yeah, as western as can be (and would have been even more, that was the reason for the military to do the effort of a coup).
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Old 2021-02-10, 09:40   Link #18
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She is a Burman nationalist, no more no less. Just because she's an opponent of people the west does not like, does not make her their friend. She has far more in common with the Tatmadaw than some American congressman


Or I guess you could say it's in the same way that Syngman Rhee's ROK is technically a "pro-US democracy"....wouldn't be too far off
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Old 2021-02-10, 21:23   Link #19
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
She is a Burman nationalist, no more no less. Just because she's an opponent of people the west does not like, does not make her their friend. She has far more in common with the Tatmadaw than some American congressman
You must have never heard or read in your life The enemy of my enemy is my friend

Quote:
Or I guess you could say it's in the same way that Syngman Rhee's ROK is technically a "pro-US democracy"....wouldn't be too far off
False equivalency. Here we have an elected president ousted in a coup (yeah, I am waiting for the so called "proof" this election was rigged, probably in the same box where the proof Donald Trump won a second term was hidden). Whether she is nationalist, vegetarian, tsundere, alien or whatever is a red herring. Of course, the moment real proof that she rigs election to stay in power is the moment she stops being pro-west and becomes just another autocrat like those ruling over north korea.
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Old 2021-02-11, 00:59   Link #20
aldw
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Originally Posted by mangamuscle View Post
False equivalency. Here we have an elected president ousted in a coup (yeah, I am waiting for the so called "proof" this election was rigged, probably in the same box where the proof Donald Trump won a second term was hidden). Whether she is nationalist, vegetarian, tsundere, alien or whatever is a red herring. Of course, the moment real proof that she rigs election to stay in power is the moment she stops being pro-west and becomes just another autocrat like those ruling over north korea.
Being pro-west =/= supporting democracy, especially since the US itself more often that not supported coups against elected governments throughout its history, and the whole tie-up between the US and Saudi Arabia and before that the Shah of Iran shows that obedience to US demands always takes priority.
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