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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora