News / Asia

    Activists, Asia Pacific Governments Welcome Aung San Suu Kyi's Release

    Hands reach to touch the hand of Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi after her release from house arrest in Rangoon, 13 Nov 2010
    Hands reach to touch the hand of Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi after her release from house arrest in Rangoon, 13 Nov 2010

    Burma democracy activists and Asia regional governments have welcomed the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from detention but are also urging Burma's military government to support calls for national reconciliation.

    The release of Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, from detention Saturday has been widely welcomed by Burmese expatriate communities, democracy activists and regional governments.

    Aung San Suu Kyi, released after the end of an 18 month sentence, has spent much of the past two decades in some type of government confinement for her calls for democracy in Burma.

    Bo Kyi, a former political prisoner himself and secretary of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) based in Mae Sot Thailand, hoped Suu Kyi's release would mark a step toward democracy in Burma.

    "I am extremely happy for her release as well as the Burmese people who are extremely happy. Now thousands of people are singing to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma," he said. "She will do her best for the national reconciliation and then to restore democracy and human rights in Burma."

    "Bridge between political groups"

    Debbie Stothardt, spokeswoman for rights group, Alternative ASEAN Network,  says Aung San Suu Kyi's role in Burma would be as a "bridge" between competing political groups, ranging from the military to Burma's ethnic minorities.

    "Aung San Suu Kyi is the single most unifying force in Burma and Burma really at this time needs someone like Aung San Suu Kyi to be able to travel around, to be able to dialogue with all the stake holders and to put fresh energy back into the movement," she said.

    Stothardt also pointed to rising anger after the recent general elections that have resulted in a pro-military party close to Senior General Than Shwe securing  some 75 per cent of the votes. But analysts and other Burmese political parties claimed there was widespread fraud and voting manipulation by the military.

    Aung Din, a spokesman for the U.S. Campaign for Burma, says Aung San Suu Kyi is now expected to once again take a political role in Burma after her detention.

    "As a leader she will move about freely, she will talk to the media and she will talk to the people," he said. "She will get involved with the politics as soon as possible. The general public admire her as the one and only leader who can bring democracy, justice to their country. So there's no doubt that she's a serious threat to the military junta especially to top military, Senior General Than Shwe."

    International pressure

    But Aung Din also believed international pressure had played a crucial role in ensuring Suu Kyi's freedom, including that from the United States and the United Nations.

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, in a statement, urged Burmese authorities to free other political prisoners. Rights groups say there are more than 2,200 political prisoners in Burma, including journalists and former members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy.

    Neighboring Thailand in a statement from its Foreign Affairs Ministry said Aung San Suu Kyi's release marked another important step in national reconciliation and democratization process in Burma.

    Australia, in also welcoming Aung San Suu Kyi's freedom, said the Nobel Peace Prize laureate had paid a heavy price for advocating freedom and called on the Burmese authorities to embark on an "inclusive and genuine process of national reconciliation."

    Timeline of Major Political Events in Burma

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora