Aung San Suu Kyi released From House Arrest

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at gate of her home (AP)
November 12, 2010

"The struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma is a struggle for life and dignity. It is a struggle that encompasses our political, social and economic aspirations."  --Aung San Suu Kyi

Burma's pro democracy leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from house detention today after her final 18 month sentence expired. For the better part of two decades the Nobel Peace laureate has been held prisoner by the militant government.

Suu Kyi's release comes days after the November 7th election, the first in 20 years.  The Union Solidarity and Development Party won the election in a landslide amidst accusations of election fraud.  Her National Democracy League party was banned from the election.  She will speak from the offices of the banned party today.

Twenty years earlier Daw Aung San Suu Kyi won the country's election and was quickly placed under house arrest while the military seized control.  Critics of the militant ruling party claim that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was released to detract the media from concentrating on the sham election results.

Over 2,200 pro democracy supporters still remain imprisoned. They include members of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's League for Democracy and many former journalists.

From Time:
When the barbwire and barricades finally came down after seven-and-a-half years, Burmese police officers quietly moved out of the way to a surge of running, screaming supporters shouting just one name: Aung San Suu Kyi. 
Many had waited since Friday morning for the Nobel Peace Prize winner's expected release. When she was eventually freed at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday the crowd outside her home had swelled to about 1,000 people following a tense afternoon. Authorities had called in an additional 40 armed guards after the crowd earlier edged closer to the barricades that surrounded the compound where the symbol of opposition to Burma's military junta was under house arrest. The official move prompted jeers from her supporters and a sit-down protest by more than 30 members of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party. By then, "The Lady's" loyalists were out in force.
From Japan President Obama stated:
"She is a hero of mine and a source of inspiration for all who work to advance basic human rights in Burma and around the world. The United States welcomes her long overdue release."


Anonymous said...

Are there Burmese contract workers / a Burmese community in Saipan?