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Politics

Suu Kyi's strategic silence

Myanmar's de facto leader pushes democratic ideals by avoiding day-to-day issues

After one year in power, Aung San Suu Kyi has gone all but missing from the public ear. Her voice, long known for inspiring her people, is heard in only a handful of public appearances or daily private meetings with officials and foreign dignitaries, while there is nearly no interaction with the media.

When she does occasionally address a public audience, she repeats abstract concepts such as "national reconciliation," "rule of law" and "peace." But what is even more noticeable in her speeches is a commanding and pedagogical rhetorical style underpinned by a puritanical political ideology. The latter shows a world view that values individual fulfillment of ta-wun (duties or responsibilities) rather than exercise of akwin-ahyeh (rights or entitlements).

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