So now we know: By accepting the post of minister for foreign affairs, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is entitled to sit on the 11-member National Defence and Security Council. Her decision has thrown a spotlight on this shadowy but apparently powerful body, which has operated in obscurity throughout the term of the outgoing government.
After quizzing the ambassadors of the European Union, India, Japan, and the United Kingdom on the transition last week, The Myanmar Times speaks to the ambassadors for China and Singapore to get their views on U Htin Kyaw's government and the challenges it will face.
Paraphrasing the Roman historian Tacitus, US President John F Kennedy said in 1961 that “victory has a thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan”. This aphorism springs to mind as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy prepare to assume power as the first popularly elected government in Myanmar for more than 50 years.
The ASEAN has long been envisioned as a foundation stone for stability, security and increased prosperity in Asia. But with uncertainty plaguing the political systems of Myanmar, Malaysia, and Thailand, ASEAN may be entering a period of policy and diplomatic inertia.
With the convening of the National League for Democracy-dominated parliament and the formation of the U Htin Kyaw cabinet – including the appointment of Dr Myint Htwe as the new minister for health – we, along with our conflict-affected communities, are hopeful that there is finally light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.
On a recent Tuesday, I turned up, unannounced, at the National Archives building in Nay Pyi Taw. I confess I was not sure what reception my Australian National University collaborator, Andrew Walker, and I would receive.