Myanmar opposition leader and former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday shot down a warning against using language in rallies that “challenges the army” leading up to the country’s 2015 parliamentary elections.
Since becoming a lawmaker, Suu Kyi has been working to amend the military-drafted constitution that, in its current state, blocks her from attaining the presidency while also giving the military great influence over the governing body. A parliamentary committee voted last week against changing the constitution.
"It is not the work of (the) elections commission to warn me or other leaders of what we should say or what we should not say," she said.
Her condemnation of the warning came on the same day that the government issued another warning against free speech, threatening “to expel students from technological colleges and institutes who participate in political activities that lead to ‘unrest.’"
Some are seeing the coming elections as a test of whether the army — for whom a quarter of seats in parliament are reserved, unelected — will loosen its grasp over the government.
Just last week, however, Bangkok-based human rights group Fortify Rights released a report that shows the military may not be so willing to let go of power, especially as it continues to wage war against ethnic groups.