• Set the Torturers Free: Transitional Justice and Peace vs Justice Dilemma in Burma/Myanmar

    Author: Michał Lubina
    E-mail: michal.lubina@uj.edu.pl
    Institution: Jagiellonian University in Kraków (Poland)
    Year of publication: 2018
    Source: Show
    Pages: 77–96
    DOI Address: http://dx.doi.org/10.15804/ppsy2018106
    PDF: ppsy/47-1/ppsy2018106.pdf

    Burma/Myanmar seems to be a perfect ground for transitional justice with both long-failed transitions to democracy that seemed to succeed in 2015 finally and smouldering civil war taking place there since 1948 (since the 1990s limited to Borderlands). Unfortunately, the political realities in Burma/Myanmar make it unlikely, if not impossible, for transitional justice to be applicable in Burma/Myanmar. The victorious in 2015 elections democratic opposition party, National League for Democracy (NLD) came to power thanks to the political deal with the former military government and is consequently being forced to cohabitate politically with the army that still holds critical political checks over the government. It made NLD’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi to conduct moderate domestic policy without trying to charge the generals for their former crimes. In this circumstances, transitional justice is unwanted by mainstream political actors (NLD, the army) and seen as threatening to peace by many in the Myanmar society. This approach firmly places Burma/Myanmar on one side of the ‘peace vs justice’ dilemma. It answers the “torturer problem”, one of the central problems of transitional justice – how to deal with members of the previous regime which violated human rights – in ‘old fashion’ way, by granting them full amnesty. As such Burma/Myanmar case also falsifies an optimistic claim that transitional justice is necessary for political reforms.

  • A Lioness Turned into a Fox. A Political Realist View of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi

    Author: Michał Lubina
    E-mail: michal.lubina@uj.edu.pl
    Institution: Jagiellonian University (Poland)
    ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3342-1763
    Year of publication: 2020
    Source: Show
    Pages: 41-57
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/ppsy2020203
    PDF: ppsy/49-2/ppsy2020203.pdf

    For long Aung San Suu Kyi has been considered a global hero. After 2012, however, that deification has given way to condemnation. Suu Kyi was a hero; a hero who after 2012 betrayed the alleged values. The reason of this radical change of perception is the fact that until 2012 Suu Kyi had been considered a personification of idealism in politics and for “betraying” these values she has been criticized since then. This article claims that both mentioned discourses on Suu Kyi miss the point and are being built on wrong assumptions. Contrary to popular belief Suu Kyi has always been a politician; more: a realist politician. Therefore, the aspects that should be questioned are not whether is she a good or bad one or whether she turned away from the people or even whether she has changed or not, etc. The question is, whether she is a skillful politician – she must be judged by the ethic of responsibility. Suu Kyi’s tactics evolved according with changing political circumstances – she combined two archetypes of political behavior: that of a “lion”, or rather “lioness” and that of a “fox”. That itself shows one thing: Suu Kyi possesses prudence, the ultimate political value.

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