Myanmar began its transition toward democracy only a decade ago, with the military junta installed in 1962 finally ceding power and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi freed from house arrest. But that path looks like it may have come to an abrupt stop this week with a sudden military coup.
The 75-year-old Suu Kyi, who had formed an uneasy alliance with Myanmar’s military since taking control of the government in 2016, was arrested Monday along with other elected ministers from her National League for Democracy (NLD) party in armed, predawn raids.
The Tatmadaw, as the military is known, has declared a year-long state of emergency, citing an article in the country’s 2008 constitution. But the coup may have dashed any remaining optimism for Myanmar’s troubled democracy after a decade of political setbacks and simmering ethnic tension.