In an essay titled 'Freedom from Fear' in 1991, the State Counsellor of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, wrote: "It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it."
It is rather ironic that Suu Kyi wrote those lines about the same military who put her under house arrest for 15 years, the army with whom she worked out a power-sharing arrangement in 2016, the army she vehemently defended at the International Court of Justice on the Rohingya genocide case, and the same army that two days back once again detained and deposed her.
However, this irony goes deeper.
Suu Kyi's father, Aung San, founded the modern Burmese army and negotiated Burma's independence from the British Empire. He was then assassinated in 1947. In 1960, Suu Kyi went to India with her mother. She studied politics at Delhi University and later obtained a BA degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economy from Oxford University. On 1 January 1972, she married Michael Aris and they soon had two sons.
Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988, initially to tend to her ailing mother, but later to lead the pro-democracy movement. Her husband's Christmas visit in 1995 turned out to be the last time he and Aung San Suu Kyi met, as she stayed in Burma and he was refused any additional entry visas by the Burmese dictatorship.
Aris died of terminal prostate cancer in 1999. For another decade, she did not see her children. Suu Kyi had been urged by the Burmese government to leave the country to see Aris when he became ill, but she refused to leave, fearing that if she left, she would be denied re-entry, as she did not trust the military junta's assurance of return.
From 1989 to 2010, Suu Kyi passed 15 years in house arrest in her home by Inya Lake because of her political career. She also had to serve some time in Insein Prison in Rangoon.
She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.
Meanwhile, there was outrage for her release all over the world. There were once even protests in Dhaka!
Suu Kyi received vocal support from Western nations in Europe, Australia and North and South America, as well as India, Israel, Japan, the Philippines and South Korea.
Nobel Peace Prize winners (the Dalai Lama, Rigoberta Menchú, Prof Elie Wiesel, former US Presidents Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter) called for the rulers of Burma to release Suu Kyi. UN Secretary Generals Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon also held several talks with the Burmese military generals and presidents for her release.
Her arrest and subsequent trial in 2009 received worldwide condemnation, including by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Security Council, Western governments, South Africa, Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Burma is a member.
Finally, on the evening of 13 November 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest.
One might think that Suu Kyi would never support the military after years of torture at their hands, but alas, with time, she appeared to favour the military more and more.
In November 2015, her party National League for Democracy (NLD) won the national election in a landslide victory and established the first civilian government since Myanmar's independence from the British Empire.
Due to the 2008 constitution of Myanmar, Suu Kyi was barred from becoming the President of the country as her husband and children were foreign citizens. So a new position was created for her. Suu Kyi became the State Counsellor. She was also put in charge of the foreign ministry.
At the start of her tenure in 2016, she invited the Chinese, Canadian and Italian Foreign Ministers in April and the Japanese Foreign Minister in May and discussed having good diplomatic relationships with these countries.
And then all hell broke loose in the western coast.
On 25 August 2017, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army launched attacks across the Rakhine state and the army responded in a way which can only be termed a genocide. More than 700,000 helpless Rohingyas crossed the Bangladeshi border in the following days to get away from the persecution by the government forces, which include heinous crimes such as of rape, murder, arson and destruction of their villages.
Aung San Suu Kyi, when interviewed by the Guardian, denied the allegations of ethnic cleansing. She has also refused to grant citizenship to the Rohingya.
Previously in May 2016, Aung San Suu Kyi asked the newly appointed US Ambassador to Myanmar, Scot Marciel, not to refer to the Rohingya by that name as they "are not recognized as among the 135 official ethnic groups" in Myanmar.
Time and time again, Suu Kyi has shown somewhat of a personal resentment towards the Rohingyas. The way she prioritises her relationship with the military over international opinion on the plight of the Rohingyas has come under heavy criticism and eroded much of the goodwill she earned during her years of arrest.
After the crackdown, the British writer George Monbiot wrote in The Guardian calling on readers to sign a petition to have the Nobel peace prize revoked, criticising her silence on the Rohingya crisis.
Several Nobel Peace Laureates have since denounced her for her inaction, including the youngest among them, Malala Yousafzai.
Though the Nobel committee did not revoke her prize, several other of her honorary prizes were revoked including Freedom of the City of London by the Oxford City Council, Elie Wiesel Award by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Edinburgh award, Ambassador of Conscience Award by Amnesty International and honorary Canadian citizenship.
Whatever Suu Kyi had done for a transition from a military regime to democracy in Myanmar, were tarnished and the once humanitarian "The Lady" lost her grace when she appeared in the International Court of Justice and defended the Burmese military against allegations of genocide against the Rohingya.
Suu Kyi did not use the phrase "Rohingya" in describing the ethnic group in her speech of over 3,000 words. She asserted that the genocide charges were "incomplete and misleading," arguing that the case was, in fact, a Burmese military reaction to the ARSA attacks. She also asked after the Burmese government had launched inquiries, how there could be "genocidal intent", and also urged the Rohingya to return after being displaced.
Suu Kyi also received criticism for the persecution of journalists who tried to investigate the genocide claims. Athan, a Yangon-based free speech group, claims 44 journalists have been detained since the NLD took office including two reporters from Reuters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were sentenced to seven years for revealing a military-led massacre of 10 Rohingya men.
When she was first detained in 1989, she had supporters from all over the world who urged for her release, however, after all that she has done since she gained the power, will there be an international outcry for her release this time?