The World Stands with You, Madam Aung San Suu Kyi!

Yesterday, one of today’s most recognisable political prisoner and champion of democracy, the true, rightful president of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, celebrated her 61st birthday – alone, by herself, in house arrest where she’s been since 2003 following a government-sponsored mob attacked her and killed some of her supporters in Myanmar.

I would like to convey my support and heartfelt wish to the Madam President, and I wish I could tell her that she’s one of the Top 10 Most Influential Women in the World that I truly respected and have high regards for. It pains to know that her detention has been renewed by the militaristic junta for another year, under the pretense that “it’s for her own good.”

I first came to know about the heart-wrenching story of Suu Kyi way back in 1997 as a bright-eyed, well-read and informed lad. Then, the media gave considerable highlight about Suu Kyi’s life because her late husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had attempted to get into Myanmar to be with his wife. The cruel, heartless junta government denied him the entry visa, thus ruthlessly denying a dying man’s wish to see his beloved wife for the last time. This generated a lot of attention in media circles internationally and locally and of course, most condemned the government for being so heartless.

Suu Kyi’s husband eventually died in 1999 without ever seeing her and the couple’s children remain safe in UK though the mother could never leave Myanmar to see them or she will not be allowed back into the country.

Savouring the outdoors is a luxury that Suu Kyi can no longer afford because of her house arrest since 2003.

Then, I was curious about Suu Kyi and who this woman was that led a government to be so hostile against her. I realised that she was a political prisoner like Nelson Mandela once was. I never knew that a woman could become a political prisoner as well as I thought no one would be so cruel to a woman but I guess was naive then. Suu Kyi’s story shocked and moved me till this day. No need for me to rehash her life story when there are already so many articles on her that is easily accessible on the Internet, some of which I will list below.

Like Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned for his stand against apartheid in South Africa, Suu Kyi is a political prisoner, incarcerated for her fight against a cruel government

So, as the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner celebrates her 61st birthday isolated from the rest of her loved ones, her supporters and the world, everyone must continue to apply pressure on this draconian government who is doing the country a great injustice by setting back the country 16 year’s of progress since it refused to give up control of the country to Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy that won a decisive election in 1990.

Yes, this is an incredibly delicate matter and governments had to proceed with caution when mulling over what to do. But the world cannot wait and let the junta have their way. Countless negotiations have been made and broken over the years, it is indeed frustrating and even ASEAN seems to have given up hope in securing Suu Kyi’s release. The UN has pleaded and has had roundtable discussions but nothing concrete has been done about it. The United States, who has been so gung-ho in going to war to “liberate” Afghanistan and Iraq, doesn’t seem to be doing anything other than monitoring the situation.

A young Myanmarese woman prays for the good health and posterity of her beloved leader.

The junta government continues to insist that no one has the right to meddle with the internal affairs of the country – an argument that has been frequently used again and again by subversive governments who has something to hide – but they should understand that when it involves the cruel treatment of a human being and the infringement of that person’s rights, the world has every right to step in and call for it to stop, regardless of the consequences.

It’s up to the Myanmarese people to do what is right. The junta government has not only been cruel to Suu Kyi, but they’ve also had a dastardly poor record on human rights – other political prisoners were frequently said to be tortured, driven away countless of Karen people from their homes and frequent corruption within the military government – all these had caused the people to be fearful to stand up for their rights. No doubt the government is military, powerful and rules with an ironfist, but when people muster up the courage to stand up for their true leader and their country, like it was depicted in the movie V for Vendettachanges can happen! The movie V for Vendetta can actually be a depiction of what Myanmar is right now and it shows that liberation from the militaristic rule is not an impossible mission or future.

                                        The charismatic vigilante V from V for Vendetta. Myanmar needs a figure like V - even if his methods are questionable - who can inspire and lead the people of Myanmar to mass revolt against an oppressive government

All they need is just a hero, a true nationalistic figure who longs for freedom in the country. Suu Kyi, as she approaches her golden years, can no longer fight the good fight. I pray that there is a young, idealistic believer and supporter among the young Myanmarese in the country who will take up the lady’s mantle and fight for freedom, justice and democracy. If there’s any hope of ending the junta’s rule, it’s up to the young generation in Myanmar’s poverty-stricken country. They cannot remain fearful forever…there will come a time when they’re fed up with the junta government.

Supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi clamouring and demanding for her release. Her supporters worldwide continues to demand her freedom as she celebrates her birthday alone once more.

Until that happens, the world continues to look on at Myanmar with a cautious eye. But it has to happen soon. Who is to say that the junta government will not one day decide to pay her a house call and execute her without the world knowing? While the junta might be smart enough to not do something that will provoke animosity from the international world, who is to say that they did not harbour the intention to do so and would do it given the chance?

Time is running out for the Suu Kyi and Myanmarese people.

This is the 21st century. Governments like those in Myanmar and North Korea must not be allowed to rule any longer. They should pay heed to China, who has wise up to the fact that the country needs to shake off their coummunistic image and idealogy in order to progress and retain the support of the people by providing the people the opportunity to have a good life. Deny the good life to the people, and you’ll suffer the wrath of the people.

Madam Suu Kyi, I, like the many hundreds of thousands of your supporters around the world, pay tribute to the great woman that you truly are and will forever be. Your strength, your courage and your will to fight what seems to be a losing battle serves as a testament that nothing can quench or stifle our dreams and desires when we truly believe in the cause that we are fighting for.

LONG LIVE AUNG SAN SUU KYI, a true warrior of freedom and democracy if there ever was one!

Related Articles on Aung San Suu Kyi

  1. Aung San Suu Kyi on Wikipedia
  2. Nobelprize.org’s Timeline on Aung San Suu Kyi
  3. A 1998 Article on Aung San Suu Kyi by BBC News reporter Arlene Gregorius
  4. The Burma Campaign UK
  5. The US State Department’s Condemnation of Suu Kyi’s Detention Extension
  6. Bangkok Post’s Report on the 61st Birthday of Suu Kyi
  7. Hear Suu Kyi’s speeches and read interviews and letters by Aung San Suu Kyi here at Free Burma
  8. Aung San Suu Kyi: A True Hero
  9. Free Aung San Suu Kyi!
  10. CBC News Report on Aung San Suu Kyi
  11. Thought-provoking comment on the US media’s response to Aung San Suu Kyi
  12. Malaysia’s Lim Kit Siang Lashes Out against Suu Kyi’s Continued Detention
  13. Timothy Garton Ash, political writer and columnist at Britain’sGuardian Unlimited, on Aung San Suu Kyi
  14. Newsday.com’s report on Aung San Suu Kyi
  15. MTV releases TV ad campaign to promote Aung San Suu Kyi’s freedom but MTV Asia censures it
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