2007-06-19

Aung San Suu Kyi

Today marks the birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi *, elected president of Burma (Myanmar) in 1990. Ms Suu Kyi's reward for garnering such decisive popular support was to be arrested at once by Burma's military leaders. She has spent eleven of the last eighteen years of her life under house arrest in Rangoon. Communications services are cut and she is denied access to foreign visitors.

For her efforts to bring democracy to Burma Ms Suu Kyi has been awarded the Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the the Nobel Peace Prize.

Suu Kyi's latest period of detention began in 2003 when over a hundred of her supporters were beaten to death my military police. Her incarceration was scheduled to expire last month but was extended another year by Burma's military rulers. The UN and other international organizations have declared her continued detention a flagrant violation of international law.

Aung San Suu Kyi has called on the people of the world: 'Please use your liberty to promote ours.' Today, as she turns 62, millions of people around the world are answering that call.

BBC Country Profile: Burma

The Burma Campaign for Democracy, UK
Aung San Suu Kyi (Profile and Timeline)

Aung San Suu Kyi (Answers.com)
National League for Democracy, Burma (Answers.com)

* Pronounced Ong San Soo Chee.

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