Myanmar junta reduces Aung Sun Suu Kyi's jail term by 6 years, still has 27 to go

The Junta pardoned her for five offences out of 19.

Tan Min-Wei | August 01, 2023, 06:06 PM

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Myanmar's military government has on Aug 1 pardoned former leader Aung San Suu Kyi for five out of 19 offences, reducing her jail sentence from 33 years to 27 years.

33 Years imprisonment

Suu Kyi has been detained by the military for over two years, ever since the 2021 coup.

She has been convicted of a total of 19 offences such as election fraud and corruption, the latest of which came in December 2022.

Reuters reported that Myanmar Junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun had announced that Suu Kyi, now 78, had been pardoned of five unspecified offences, resulting in a six year reduction of her jail term.

This comes after reports that she had been visited in prison by outgoing (maybe) Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, and was subsequently moved from prison to house arrest in a "high level venue compound" according to France 24.

It was also reported that an official from Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), said that Suu Kyi had received a visit from lower house Speaker Ti Khun Myat.

The official said that Suu Kyi was likely to meet with China's special envoy for Asian Affairs, Deng Xijuan.

After over two years of almost no news about Suu Kyi other than her convictions, there appears to be a flurry of activity in Myanmar related to Suu Kyi and her fellow National League for Democracy leaders.

Ousted president Win Myint, who according to the European Union, has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, received a four year pardon, bringing his sentence to eight years.

State of emergency

The pardons where not entirely unexpected, with The Irrawaddy, a Myanmar news outlet hostile to the military government, predicting that the Junta would announce some pardons for political prisoners to mark the consecration of a new statue of Buddha.

However, hopes for a resolution to the Myanmar crisis are dampened by the Junta's announcement on Jul 31 that they would extend the country's state of emergency by a further six months, according to Bloomberg.

The state of emergency allows a government to hold off on holding fresh elections, but is only meant to be in place for one year, with two possible six month extensions, according to the Guardian.

This means that this new extension, the fourth, will bring the state of emergency a full year beyond its legal limit.

Analysts that The Irrawaddy spoke to expected "no meaningful changes in Myanmar" after Jul 31.

The paper also quoted Myanmar's leader, Min Aung Hlaing, as saying "much remains to be done to restore stability and rule of law across" Myanmar.

Coup and consequence

Myanmar has been enmeshed in a state of uncertainty and violence ever since February 2021, when the military led a coup against the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, which had just won a general election in a landslide.

The military has been unable to establish firm control over the whole of the country, with many joining resistance groups and waging a violent struggle against the military.

The Junta has fought back vigorously, including air strikes on what it characterises as hostile forces, but what other groups say are civilian gatherings.

Singapore, along with its fellow Asean members, had initially negotiated the Five Point Consensus with Myanmar stakeholders in 2021, which called for an end to violence and the ability to meet with all stakeholders, including political prisoners such as Suu Kyi.

But as of this date, no significant progress has been made on the 5PC.

Myanmar, which remains a member of Asean, has had its top level political leadership disinvited from major Asean meetings, but has been invited to send non-political representatives, such as civil servants.

As of yet, they have declined to do so.

Singapore's government says it remains committed to the 5PC, as well as preventing the flow of weaponry and material that would bring harm to civilians.

If you are interested in learning more about the conflict and its impact of Myanmar's citizens, please watch this video:


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Top image via Wikipedia