Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Philippines says Suu Kyi ‘indispensable’ to democracy

Philippines says Suu Kyi ‘indispensable’ to democracy

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Suu Kyi, 76, has been hit with five new corruption charges, adding to a slew of cases against her. AFP

Philippines says Suu Kyi ‘indispensable’ to democracy

Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was “indispensable” to restoring democracy to the country, the Philippines foreign minister said recently, echoing condemnation of her recent sentencing by a junta court.

The Nobel laureate, who has been detained since the February 1 coup last year, was convicted on January 10 of three criminal charges and sentenced to four years in prison.

The junta court has since hit Suu Kyi, 76, with five new corruption charges – adding to a slew of cases against her.

While several Western countries, including the US and Norway, have slammed the latest sentencing, Southeast Asian leaders have been largely silent.

Philippines Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin broke ranks on January 16, tweeting he had adopted “as my own” a statement by his Norwegian counterpart Anniken Huitfeldt that condemned the sentencing.

“Suu Kyi is indispensable in a democratic restoration that will pose no threat of anarchy, dissolution, and civil conflict,” Locsin said, adding Myanmar’s armed forces “have nothing to fear”.

Locsin also backed the recent visit to Myanmar by Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen – the first by a foreign leader since the coup – highlighting regional tensions over how to deal with the crisis-hit nation.

Critics said the visit by Hun Sen, whose country holds the rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), risked legitimising the junta and undermining efforts to isolate the generals.

But Locsin said Hun Sen achieved “headways” and “deserves wholehearted support”.

ASEAN has sought to help Myanmar, agreeing to a “five-point consensus” last year aimed at defusing the crisis, but the generals have shown little sign of changing course.

More than 1,400 civilians have been killed as the military cracks down on dissent, according to a local monitoring group.

In October, the bloc took the highly unusual step of excluding junta chief Min Aung Hlaing from a summit in response to an ASEAN envoy being denied a meeting with Suu Kyi.

But Hun Sen met the military leader during his visit, and has insisted the trip would have a positive impact.


  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio