Aung San Suu Kyi

Address by Aung San Suu Kyi at the NGO Forum o...
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Today is Aung San Suu Kyi 64th Birthday. The Nobel Peace Prize Winner is spending it in Insein Prison, a notorious prison. She is still awaiting the verdict of the show trail for breaking the terms of her detention. She has already spent more than 13 years in detention and faces another 5 years in prison

She is one of more than 2,100 political prisoners, imprisoned just for peacefully calling for freedom. They face horrific treatment in prison. They are banned from receiving family visits and denied proper medical care.

Today we remember their struggle and hope for their release. For that is all we can do sadly.

Damien Rice & Lisa Hannigan: Unplayed Piano – Recorded for Aung San Suu Kyi 60th Brithday

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Free Burma

Burma – The (Good) power of Religion

As may of regular visitors will know, I am a huge supporter of Aung San Suu Kyi and the democracy movement in general in Burma (or Myanmar what ever you want to call it). Over the last few days Buddhists monks and nuns have started protesting against the regieme and have even called for its downfall!

“A group calling itself the All Burma Monks Alliance urged ordinary people for the first time “to struggle peacefully against the evil military dictatorship” until its downfall.”*

Aung San Suu Kyi was allowed out of her house to the delight of protesters.

But things are starting to get difficult with the regime starting to increase security around Aung San Suu Kyi House and security around the protests.

The regime cannot use violence against the monks due to the huge public outcry that it will cause not only in Burma, but in other Buddhist countries and China, one of its main supporters. Times are getting very interesting in Burma.

* Source Guardian 24/9/07 “Burmese monks’ protests grow”

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi Hospitalized

UNITED NATIONS — Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been hospitalized with severe diarrhea, activists with contacts in the country said Friday.

Suu Kyi, 60, was taken to the hospital Thursday afternoon after calling her physician to say she was suffering from diarrhea and weakness, said Thaung Htun, the New York-based U.N. representative for the Burmese government in exile. Myanmar is also known as Burma.

Htun said Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who has spent much of the last 16 years under house arrest, was delayed going to the hospital because her physician had trouble getting permission to see her.

“The physician should have a visit any time he thinks it’s necessary,” Htun said. “Delays should not happen because of asking permission from the authorities.”

Htun said colleagues in Myanmar had confirmed Suu Kyi’s hospitalization. It was not immediately clear if she had been released.

In Washington, the State Department said it had heard reports of Suu Kyi’s hospitalization but could not confirm them.

“We would call upon the Burmese government to provide Aung San Suu Kyi any and all medical assistance that she might need and to do so expeditiously and to ensure her safety during any treatment,” spokesman Sean McCormack said.

“And we would also reiterate our call on the regime to release her from house arrest. It’s sometimes difficult to get good, solid information in Burma, just because of the nature of the place. But we are quite concerned about the reports.”

Myanmar’s junta took power in 1988 after crushing vast pro-democracy demonstrations in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. In 1990, it refused to hand over power when Suu Kyi’s party won a general election by a landslide.

The United States and many Western nations have since shunned the junta due to its poor human rights record and failure to give up power.

Earlier Friday, the government acknowledged for the first time that it had extended her house arrest last month.

Aung San Suu Kyi Detention Extended ­ UN must act

27 May 2006

Burma¹s brutal military dictatorship today extended Aung San Suu Kyi¹s
detention, sending a strong signal to the international community that it
has no intention of relinquishing power. The extension comes despite calls
for her release from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Burma¹s Asian
neighbours. It is also an embarrassment for UN Under-Secretary Ibrahim
Gambari, who was duped by the regime¹s lies and propaganda during his visit
to Burma last week.

³We are disappointed but not surprised. This regime has no interest in
turning a new page with the international community,² said Yvette Mahon,
Director of the Burma Campaign UK. ³The UN has tried and failed several
times in the past to solve this problem with talks. What we need now is a
binding Security Council resolution to compel the regime to release Aung San
Suu Kyi and restore democracy to Burma.²

The regime has consistently defied the United Nations, ignoring over a dozen
calls for Aung San Suu Kyi¹s release by the Secretary General, and 28
resolutions by the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Commission.

Hopes for Aung San Suu Kyi¹s release were stoked by Ibrahim Gambari, who
said that her release would be concrete evidence that the regime was ready
to turn a new page. Past UN envoys to Burma have also made similar
overoptimistic predictions, only to be proved wrong. Gambari failed to learn
the lessons of history. The regime engages with the international community
only as a negotiating tactic to delay possible sanctions. It has twice
before used the release of Aung San Suu Kyi as a trump card to alleviate
international pressure, without introducing a single democratic reform. So
far this tactic has worked.

As the generals smiled and posed for pictures with Gambari last weekend,
their soldiers continued their military offensive against Karen civilians,
with more than 16,000 people now forced to flee their homes. Intimidation of
NLD members continues, and more than 1,100 political prisoners languish in
jail, many regularly tortured.

Aung San Suu Kyi has now spent a total of more than ten years in detention
(10 years and 215 days on 27th May 2006). Her current period of detention
began on May 30th 2003 when a convoy she was travelling in was attacked by a
regime run militia, the Union Solidarity Development Association (USDA).
USDA thugs beat around 100 National League for Democracy supporters to death
in the attack.

Countdown to freedom: 17 years after she was first put under house arrest, will Aung San Suu Kyi finally taste liberty?

The outside world has had its first direct word from Aung San Suu Kyi in more than two years. The next week could mean everything or nothing for the imprisoned democratic leader of Burma. The Burmese junta’s surprise decision to grant a senior United Nations official access to the 1991 Nobel peace laureate has revived hope she may be released.

This week, the generals who crushed Ms Suu Kyi’s democracy movement will decide whether to extend her house arrest beyond its present term, which expires on Saturday. That day will mark the 16th anniversary of her overwhelming election victory. The military dictatorship ignored that and she has spent 10 of the past 17 years imprisoned.

Ibrahim Gambari, the Under Secretary of the United Nations, became the first person from outside the secretive and oppressive state, to see one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners, since March of 2004. She is in virtual solitary confinement and in the absence of contact with the outside world rumours arose that Ms Suu Kyi, now 60, is slowly being poisoned.

read on here

Burma Exhibition – Burma, Forgotten Nation – Forgotten People

As you will be aware the official opening of a photographic exhibition entitled “Burma, Forgotten Nation – Forgotten People”, in the Cork Vision Centre, North Main Street, Cork on Monday 22nd May at 6.00pm.

“Burma, Forgotten Nation – Forgotten People” will feature a collection of approximately 40 photographs taken by the Cork photographer, Philip Daly, who recently accompanied Simon Coveney TD MEP on a fact-finding trip to the Burmese refugee camps on the Thailand/Burma border.

For more click here