Released: Aung San Suu Kyi

Monday, November 15, 2010

This has been a long time coming and to be honest, when I caught the news over at a friend's house, I thought two things:

1. Finally.

2. What happens next? What does this mean for Myanmar (aka Burma)?

I don't think anyone - especially me - really knows what it means and how things will play out for her in the future, but this, at the very least, is a start.

From CNN:

Freed activist Aung San Suu Kyi pledged Monday to keep working toward restoring democracy and improving human rights in Myanmar, saying she is not concerned about being detained again in the future.

"Actually, I don't think about it," Suu Kyi, who was released from house arrest Saturday, said in her first comments to CNN. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient has spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest for her dogged opposition to authoritarian rule in Myanmar -- which she calls by its former name, Burma.

"I may be detained again," Suu Kyi said, noting she's been in and out of house arrest over the last two decades. "I just do what I can do at the moment," she said.

"We have to work together," she said. "That is the main message. Those inside the country have to work together and also those supporters outside."

Suu Kyi had much the same message for her supporters Sunday, telling them in a speech, "I'm not going to be able to do it alone. You've got to do it with me. One person alone can't do anything as important as bringing change and democracy to a country."

"We would like to form a network of people working for democracy," she told CNN Monday, and said she would like to open a dialogue with "those who are in a position to do something, to change the situation in Burma for the better."
Apparently she hasn't had any contact with Myanmar's military leader and head of state Gen. Than Shwe and probably won't be seeing her children anytime soon as they still haven't gotten visa's to visit her - so that dialogue is still ongoing.

Statement By The President

While the Burmese regime has gone to extraordinary lengths to isolate and silence Aung San Suu Kyi, she has continued her brave fight for democracy, peace, and change in Burma. 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. Whether Aung San Suu Kyi is living in the prison of her house, or the prison of her country, does not change the fact that she, and the political opposition she represents, has been systematically silenced, incarcerated, and deprived of any opportunity to engage in political processes that could change Burma. It is time for the Burmese regime to release all political prisoners, not just one.The United States looks forward to the day when all of Burma’s people are free from fear and persecution. Following Aung San Suu Kyi’s powerful example, we recommit ourselves to remaining steadfast advocates of freedom and human rights for the Burmese people, and accountability for those who continue to oppress them.