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Opinion

Aung San Suu Kyi is playing politics with appearance at Rohingya case

Defending military from charge of genocide wins her power at home

| Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos

On December 10, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and de facto leader of Myanmar, delivered a 20-minute long statement at the International Court of Justice defending Myanmar against accusations of genocide brought by Gambia. Thousands of the country's Rohingya Muslim minority have been killed and at least 750,000 forced to flee from a campaign of violence by Myanmar's military.

The international community's response to her defense of the military has been largely unimpressed, forming a sharp contrast to the vast support and admiration she has harvested domestically, as shown by massive rallies for her. As Myanmar enters the 2020 election season, Aung San Suu Kyi's calculation clearly prioritizes domestic political gains -- but it stands to hurt Myanmar more in the long term.

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