Coup de grâce: the downfall of Aung San Suu Kyi

Coup? What coup? The early morning takeover of Myanmar on Monday by the Tatmadaw (Burmese army) barely deserves the name. The word ‘coup’ suggests that Myanmar was being ruled by a civilian and democratic government before now. It was not. Although Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won a landslide victory in ‘free’ elections in 2015, the constitutional revision implemented by the military in 2008 meant that Tatmadaw retained 25 per cent of seats in both houses of the national assembly. More pertinently, whatever the outcome of elections, Tatmadaw reserved its rights to three ministries: home affairs, border affairs and defence. Furthermore, in a move aimed squarely at

The truth about Burma’s ‘imprisoned princess’

As Perseus was flying along the coast on his winged horse Pegasus, he spotted Andromeda tied to a rock as a sacrifice to Poseidon’s sea monster Cetus. It was love at first sight. Perseus slew Cetus and married Andromeda. Thus began the damsel-in-distress archetype that has been a mainstay of western culture ever since. Riffs on the archetype have been used by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens and Wagner. Perhaps it was these examples that inspired the global liberal establishment (the BBC, Hollywood and the Nobel Peace Prize committee among others) to create, in the 1990s, the mythical version of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s ‘imprisoned princess’, the saintly spiritual heir to