The release of Aung San Suu Kyi by Jane

By: ziyingtan

Nov 25 2010

Category: Uncategorized

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I chose to remix an article about Aung San Suu Kyi because, like the Dalai Lama, she has been an exemplary spokesperson for peace and freedom even though she has been held prisoner by the Burmese government for almost 16 years. (I use the words for the names “Burma” and “Rangoon” because the words “Myanmar” and “Yangon” are those chosen by the military regime.) The repressive regime has been accused by the United Nations and Amnesty International of human rights abuses: murder, recruitment of child soldiers, forced relocations, forced labour and political imprisonment.

On November 13th, Aung San Suu Kyi,( known by her thousands of Burmese supporters as THE LADY), was released after being held under house arrest for seven years. She had been placed under house arrest by the military junta which has ruled the country since it took power in 1962. Her father was revered for bringing about Burma’s independence from Britain in 1947, but he was assassinated for his political beliefs when Ms Suu Kyi was only two years old.

“The pro-democracy leader called for freedom of speech in army-ruled Myanmar on Sunday and urged thousands of supporters to stand up for their rights and not lose heart, indicating she might pursue a political role.”

“Aung San Suu Kyi is free to speak her mind, address large crowds and meet with foreign diplomats. But the generals who rule Myanmar are still preventing the democracy icon from doing the one thing she wants to do most: see her family.

In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Ms. Suu Kyi expressed excitement Friday about the desire for change among the young people of Myanmar and said she wanted to meet with junta leader General Than Shwe and “let him speak first” about the country’s political crisis.”

But she also expressed frustration that the junta won’t allow her two sons to visit her. She said she has yet to even see a photograph of her young grandchildren.

“What I missed most were my sons. I would have liked to have seen them,” she said, referring to the seven years she spent under house arrest in Rangoon, a time during which she was allowed to receive just one letter from each of her sons, Alexander and Kim. During her house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi was not allowed access to telephone, television or internet.

Though the world has celebrated Ms. Suu Kyi’s Nov. 13 release, the junta hasn’t followed that up by granting a visa to Kim, who has been in Bangkok for two weeks now trying to get permission to enter the country better known as Burma and see his mother. “I don’t think they’ve given a thought to answering [his visa application],” Ms. Suu Kyi said, a rare hint of bitterness in her voice.

Now 33, Kim last saw his mother more than a decade ago. The electric guitar he played on his last visit to Rangoon, now badly out of tune, still sits in the front room of the family home on the shore of Inya Lake, where Ms. Suu Kyi has spent most of the past two decades, alone but for the company of two maids.

And while Ms. Suu Kyi has spoken daily with each of her sons since her release, she said Friday that she had not yet been able to see even a photo of her two grandchildren, whom she has never met. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been under some form of detention for 14 of the 20 years since she led the National League for Democracy to a sweeping win in a 1990 election that the military has never honoured.”

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