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The Nikkei View

Suu Kyi pardon does not legitimize Myanmar military rule

ASEAN unity is needed to implement measures to end chaos

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi attends an investment forum in Naypyitaw in January 2019. Though her prison sentence was recently reduced, the 78-year-old still faces over 25 years of incarceration.   © Reuters

Myanmar's military government said it granted amnesty to Aung San Suu Kyi, reducing her jail sentence. By giving the influential pro-democracy leader better treatment, the leadership clearly hopes to soften resistance to the oppressive regime among citizens and ease international pressure.

The military has used harsh tactics against the public since taking control of the government in February 2021, prompting the pro-democracy camp to take up arms and fight back. The result has been chaos across the country. While it would be a welcome development if the partial pardon leads to more dialogue between the opposing sides, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in its role as mediator, should avoid actions that could help legitimize military rule in Myanmar.

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