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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs