Saturday, November 13, 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi is Free!!!

Jubilation as Aung Suu Kyi greets supporters outside her home in Yangon
I was chatting with the owner of yet another excellent Nairobi bookstore, Chan, when his cell beeped and he looked at it for moment.  His face immediately lit up and he started laughing joyfully.

"Read this message," Chan said as he handed me his cell.

"Aung San Suu Kyi has been freed by the Burmese government," the message read.

"Oh my goodness I have been waiting for this excellent news.  This is a great day," I said.

"I have to find all her books and put them out because there will be a rush for stuff on her," Chan said as he looked around the shelves where he was standing.

What a wonderful moment and a hopeful one at that for all Burmese people hey?  Freedom beckons.

I know that the struggle to free Burma has a long way to go.  The scam election we just witnessed from afar suggests that these are very early moments.

Suu Kyi told a crowd of more than 5000 people at her house that “If we work in unity, we will achieve our goal. We have a lot of things to do."

Indeed.  The world waits for the "what's next".

I hope that Suu Kyi's release is unconditional and that the other 2000 plus political prisoners languishing in Burmese jails will also be freed.

Onward! to real democracy in Burma.

Picture Credit 

Update (November 14, 2010): Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyer in the US says that her release is unconditional as covered in the following Al Jazeera news report. 

See also: "Aung San Suu Kyi calls for unity and reconciliation in Burma after release" (Guardian, November 14).

And finally, see the interview with Suu Kyi in The Progressive (March 1997) that quotes following passage from her brilliant essay, "Freedom From Fear" (1991):
"It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy, and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance, and fear. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end."
 Her comments today still echo this thinking and commitment.



desert demons said...

It has been absolutely fantastic news! What an amazing woman! I hope this leads to big changes in Burma.

Ridwan said...

She is most definitely an "amazing woman" made my day too.

Just wish the goodwill buzz will continue long enough to energize toward "big changes" ...

Thanks for looking in :)