Pattaya Daily News

15 November 2010 :: 12:11:13 pm 46011

Aung San Suu Kyi’s Release Extends New Hope For Burma

Pundits are cautioning not to expect too much from Aung San Suu Kyi’s release, as the Junta is unlikely to relinquish power after it has done so much to retain it. The road map to democracy may entail the Burmese people having to work with the Junta, supported by the rest of the world.
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November 15, 2010: Charismatic Nobel Peace Prize award winner, Dr. Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from 15-years of house arrest on Saturday, Nov13, was greeted with applause from world leaders, but she is not yet out of the woods. Speculation has it that the Burmese Junta only released her because they considered her grass roots’ support had dwindled over the time of her captivity, but the mass turn out by her still avid supporters on the day of her release and at a press conference yesterday showed this is far from the truth, in fact, her support may have grown despite her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), having been dissolved. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has said that he considers there is a disparity between her supporters’ expectations and the Junta’s true intentions. The woman who symbolises Burmese democracy and who is widely seen as being on a par with Gandhi and Nelson Mandela has said she will hold talks with all groups, including the Junta, to achieve national reconciliation. However, one fears that her newly won freedom is tentative and that she may well be re-arrested relatively soon.

“I welcome the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and extend my appreciation to the military regime in Burma. I extend my full support and solidarity to the movement for democracy there and take this opportunity to appeal to freedom-loving people all over the world to support such non-violent movements,” the Dalai Lama said. President Barack Obama said her release was “long overdue”, while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Ms Suu Kyi was an “inspiration”, and urged Burma to free all its remaining 2,200 political prisoners.

Daughter of Aung San, widely considered to be the father of modern-day Burma, who orchestrated Burma’s independence from Great Britain, Dr. Suu Kyi was educated at Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, St Hugh’s College, Oxford, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Recipient of the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, the International Simón Bolívar Prize in 1992, and the Olaf Palme Prize in 2005, she was the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy Party, which won 59% of the national votes and 80% of the seats in Parliament, but never got to take power, having been placed under house arrest 20 July 1989, before the elections.

One of her most famous speeches is the “Freedom From Fear” speech, which begins: “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.”

That she continues to represent an inordinate threat to the Junta’s stranglehold on power is evident from following statements:

“As long as Aung San Suu Kyi walks the streets of Burmese cities, she can mobilize public opinion against the regime. They are afraid of her popular appeal. And when you (combine) Aung San Suu Kyi and massive discontent, you’ve got a very explosive situation,” said exiled dissident Muang Zarni.

And “She is our beacon of hope. She stands for freedom and democracy in Myanmar,” according to Burmese beauty salon owner Moe Moe when interviewed in a survey recently.

However, ‘The military, which has run Myanmar since 1962, is expected to continue to do so through a proxy party. Its so-called “roadmap to democracy” is widely seen at home and abroad as a sham to extend military rule with a civilian façade,” wrote the Washington Examine recently.

Dr. Suu Kyi herself told the BBC: “I want to listen to what the people want. I want to listen to what the other countries want, what they think they can do for us, what we think then that they could do for us, and to work out something that is acceptable to as many people as possible.”

When asked how she would describe her future role, she said: “I just think of myself as one of the workers for democracy. Well, better known, perhaps, than the others here in Burma but one of those working for democracy.”

Dr. Suu Kyi said freedom of speech was the basis of democracy, but extending a clarion call to a 4,000-strong crowd in Rangoon: “We must work together. We Burmese tend to believe in fate, but if we want change we have to do it ourselves, she said”

However, she did also say:”This is a time for Burma when we need help. We need everybody to help in this venture: Western nations, Eastern nations, all nations.”

Finally, to quote the Guardian: ‘Aung San Suu Kyi may yet succeed in uniting the opposition, but at the moment it remains fragmented and politically marginalised. The road back from here will be hard, but to help the people who matter, the Burmese people, may mean having to work with, rather than against, the elected representatives of the military Burmese government.’

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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