Myanmar has been experiencing less peaks than troughs in its transformation after Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), which won a landslide victory in the November 2015 polls, took office in 2016. The NLD inherited deep-seated legacies and prejudices, as well as a unique blend of political identity entrenched over seventy years of civil war. From 2016's promise of being an annus mirabilis under a democratically elected government, Myanmar's fledgling democracy experienced several challenges, particularly in getting the economy back on track amidst ongoing negotiations on power- and resource-sharing with ethnic armed organizations (EAOs), with whom the NLD's predecessor administration had engaged in a nationwide ceasefire process.
The years 2017 and 2018 were something of anni horribiles for the country. Foremost among the litany of disappointments decried by critics has been the NLD government's — and particularly Daw Suu's — reluctance to explicitly condemn violence against the Rohingya in the wake of a disproportionate response by Myanmar's armed forces, the Tatmadaw, to an armed insurgency in August 2017. The Tatmadaw's operations in the northern part of Myanmar's Rakhine State bordering Bangladesh were reported to have included rape, torture, and burning of villages, causing the largest exodus to date of some 700,000 Rohingya residing in Myanmar across the border to Bangladesh. Domestic support for Daw Suu strengthened in proportion to the mounting international advocacy for human rights and humanitarian principles towards a community with whom many people in Myanmar feel no affinity. Within Myanmar, the Tatmadaw wields a constitutional veto as well as a considerable functional dominance in defence, home affairs and border affairs. The Tatmadaw, with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at its helm, is reportedly unhappy with this insinuated scapegoat role. Daw Suu and her cabinet members have continued the emphasis on national security when discussing the issue at home and abroad.
The NLD government has also acknowledged the effects of the international response on the country's economy. Speaking at the Myanmar Investment Forum organized by the Singapore Institute for International Affairs in September 2018, Aung Naing Oo, the head of Myanmar's Department for Investments and Company Administration, frankly admitted having “totally underestimated” the economic impact of the Rohingya issue, and that foreign direct investment (FDI) had declined in the two years since November 2016 when the crisis first erupted.