There are falls from grace and then there is Aung San Suu Kyi.
In 2015 her election to the post of state counsellor – de facto head of government – was hailed as a sea-change moment for Myanmar.
Three years on the feted Nobel peace prize winner has become a global pariah at the head of a regime that has excused a genocide – jailed journalists and locked up critics – leaving the international community wringing its hands as Myanmar remains as repressive as ever.
Last week Amnesty International became the latest organisation to strip Aung San Suu Kyi of a human rights award – citing its ‘profound disappointment’ in her.
Just days later the 700,000 Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar after a brutal military-led campaign of ethnic cleansing in August last year collectively refused to take part in a repatriation plan – due to Myanmar’s failure to ensure they had freedom – rights and safety.
Many believe the Myanmar government – which Aung San Suu Kyi leads – has no intention of taking back the Rohingya at all.
‘While she has always been a politician she used to be a politician that stood for democracy and human rights – including freedom of the press’ said Bill Richardson – a US diplomat who has known Aung San Suu Kyi for 25 years.
‘She has clearly failed to champion these issues since coming to power.
Her government has been as enthusiastic about jailing journalists and government critics as the military government that preceded hers’.