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Al Jazeera, Myanmar and the "ideal country"

The recent Al Jazeera focus on Myanmar "Aung San Suu Kyi's Myanmar" (see link below) paints a bleak picture of the first year of NLD government.

The program emphasises the shortcomings of the NLD, and of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in particular, following the victory in the 2015 elections.

It is well worth watching, but the criticism never really gets past the simplistic comparison of Myanmar against some ideal modern state.

Of course we may still hold to certain ideals and values but a more interesting Al Jazeera program might have explored how the NLD are attempting - successfully or unsuccessfully - to navigate through the many political trade offs they are faced with.

If there was a "Norway button" somewhere that the NLD could push and instantly become a stable, wealthy and liberal country then I suspect they would have pushed that already.

Unfortunately they are instead faced with delicate trade offs where they are weighing sets of political and economic interests against each other.

We might not agree with the decisions the NLD are making about free speech or peace negotiations, but uncovering and exploring those trade offs might make for more interesting viewing.


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