Myanmar Junta’s Persecution of Opposition Research: the end of a national moral authority

The Myanmar junta has manipulated the pliable court system to convict Australian academic Sean Turnell of violating the Official Secrets Act by doing basic research.

Democracy and the rights of the Opposition are only an aspiration in Myanmar. A vengeful, disorganized military lurches from one self-seeking repressive action to the next. The state has little authentic meaning in Myanmar: it is not much more than a collection of armed gangs in uniforms.

To that end, other than to just bear witness, research into the abuses of the Opposition in Myanmar has scant impact as a spur to reform. The military has shown no interest in actual governance beyond its own kleptocracy.

All that’s left to do is mobilization. The transformation of Myanmar society into regional fragments may provide the only limited safeguards for civil liberties. Extremism localism will hamstring the military’s abusive ambitions.

The Opposition may end up the only truly national institution. It will ultimately form the successor Estates General.