From being a friend of the people to becoming the face of fiends, Aung San Suu Kyi has taken a U-turn on her previously portrayed ideological beliefs.
The Oxford educated leader of Myanmar spent much of her time between 1989 and 2010 in some form of detention by the military junta for her efforts to bring democracy to then military-ruled Myanmar (also known as Burma). She has spent 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest.
This made her an international symbol of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression. World leaders and people all over called for her release. She was finally released from house arrest in November 2010.
After her release, she pledged to keep working towards restoring democracy and improving human rights in Myanmar.
Now that she is free, the facade behind that champion's face has also been revealed.
Ascent through accolades
For her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights, she was given the Nobel Peace Prize and a number of other prestigious awards.
While awarding the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, the Norwegian Nobel Committee portrayed her as a model "for many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means."
"An outstanding example of the power of the powerless," the then Nobel Committee chief deemed Suu Kyi.
The European Parliament gave Suu Kyi the Sakharov Prize in 2013, calling her a "great symbol of freedom and democracy." She was awarded the prize in 1990, while under house arrest.
Suu Kyi was given, in absentia, the Presidential Medal of Freedom the highest civilian award of the United States for her contribution to world peace and culture in 2000.
Most of her international honours were awarded during her confinement. All those accolades can only be adjudged as an irony now – given her present inclinations
The lady with power and a phantom of deceit
Although the Myanmar constitution forbids Suu Kyi from becoming president because she has children who are foreign nationals she is still seen as the country's de facto leader – regardless of her official title.
Suu Kyi is the unquestioned leader of the party that is running Myanmar since last year. Her long struggle for democracy and human rights was supposed to be her schooling on how to run her country.
However, the once champion icon of human rights has now become the ambassador of evils done against certain people of her country.
Aung San Suu Kyi chooses silence over a moral position while atrocities of the worst kind continue in her own country. Sometimes, she even attempts to defend the atrocities carried out against the people in Rakhine.
Attaché of evil, and justifying it
Military operations in the Rakhine State have caused thousands of Rohingyas to flee across the border to Bangladesh. Soldiers have allegedly killed children, innocent people and raped women during the brutal crackdown on the Rohingyas.
Aid workers and the media are prohibited from visiting the affected areas, apparently to hide the brutality being carried out. Unicef has warned that thousands of malnourished children are suffering from a lack of medical care and are in danger of starving.
The horrific situation prompted John McKissick, head of the United Nations refugee agency in the Bangladeshi border town of Cox's Bazar to conclude, "Rohingya Muslims in Burma are being ethnically cleansed."
All these heinous crimes are being committed within a year of Suu Kyi leading her NLD party to power by winning Myanmar's first openly contested election in over two decades.
But only a few years ago, she was portrayed in a different way. She had a formidable reputation worldwide.
But the brutality by her government's army on Rohingyas following the October 9 militant attack on a security post has put to question Suu Kyi's commitments to democracy and human rights.
Her reluctance to address the atrocities have made it evident that she has forgotten her promise to democracy and human rights.
Not only does she remain silent against the atrocities, she also defends her government's actions by referring to Rohingyas as "Bengalis", arguing that her government's response to the October 9 attack is based on the "rule of law."
Her position is in line with one Myanmar military junta who in the past brutally persecuted Rohingyas on many occasions during their rule of around 50 years. The junta had denied citizenship to the Rohingyas.
Suu Kyi is barred from the presidency by the junta-drafted constitution, but she is leading the country as state counsellor. For power, it seems, she refrains from confronting the military junta who still hold important portfolios like border security, home, and defence ministries.
The once heroine goes to The Hague as a villain
Aung San Suu Kyi will travel to The Hague this week to defend her regime over accusations of genocide against its Rohingya Muslim minority, in one of the most-high profile international legal cases at present.
Myanmar rejects the allegations which stem from the military's savage ethnic cleansing campaign in Rakhine state in 2017. It forced 740,000 people to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh, where they now live in squalid refugee camps.
Suu Kyi will personally represent her fledgling democracy when the first hearings kick off on Tuesday at the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands.
The once feted heroine of human rights has vowed to "defend the national interest."
She will be defending the military who once held her under house arrest for many years to keep her out of power.
For now, it seems she has decided to brush aside concerns that backing the military's brutality against the Rohingya will further tarnish her now sullied international reputation.
Gambia, a tiny and mainly Muslim West African state backed by the 57-nation Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), filed the lawsuit, charging Myanmar of committing genocide and rape.
The British-educated Justice Minister of Gambia, Abubacarr Tambadou, will lead the fight against Myanmar's atrocities
To quote Friedrich Nietzsche: "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."
Through her actions, it proves Suu Kyi gazed onto the abyss long enough to have her shine drained to a sinister silence, that is nefarious in nature.