By AFP and published by The Straits Times
Yangong – Toppled Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has “no comment” on a declaration of war against the junta by a shadow government dominated by lawmakers from her party, her lawyer said on Monday (Sept. 20).
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military ousted Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) government in a February coup, sparking huge democracy protests that have triggered a bloody crackdown from the junta.
NLD lawmakers make up the majority of a National Unity Government (NUG), which is working to overturn the military regime and declared a “people’s defensive war” earlier this month, urging citizens to attack junta assets.
Following the declaration, clashes between local “people’s defence forces” and the military have increased, and more than a dozen army-owned communications towers have been attacked, according to anti-junta groups.
Suu Kyi had “no comment” when asked by her lawyers about the NUG’s declaration of war, her lawyer Khin Maung Zaw said, and would comment only after discussions with others in the NLD leadership.
“She said she never turns against the wishes of the people,” he added.
Non-violence is a core principle of Suu Kyi and was a defining characteristic of the democracy movement she led against a previous junta decades ago.
But many young protesters have embraced the resistance movement, seeing it as the only way to permanently root out military dominance of the country’s politics and economy.
Myanmar’s junta has also put ousted leader Suu Kyi on trial for incitement, her lawyer said today (Sept. 21), the latest in a list of charges that could see her jailed for decades.
She pleaded not guilty to charges of incitement, her lawyer Khin Maung Zaw said, adding that she “seemed to be in good health”, a week after she skipped a separate hearing because she felt unwell.
Each charge carries a maximum of three years in prison.
Ousted president Win Myint has also pleaded not guilty to incitement.
Top: Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest, with meetings with her lawyers and court appearances her only link to the outside world. Photo: AFP and published by The Straits Times
Home Page: Aung San Suu Kyi remains a revered figure locally for her opposition to a previous junta. Photo: Reuters and published by The Straits Times