News / USA

Burma's Freed Democracy Leader: Prepared to Work with All Pro-Democracy Groups

Long-detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi addresses thousands of supporters in Rangoon

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, flanked by her party officials, talks to the supporters as she stands at the gate of her home in Rangoon, 13 Nov 2010
Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, flanked by her party officials, talks to the supporters as she stands at the gate of her home in Rangoon, 13 Nov 2010
Daniel Schearf

Burma's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, now freed from house arrest, has addressed thousands of supporters for the first time in years, saying she is willing to work with all pro-democracy groups.

Aung San Suu Kyi addressed a throng of supporters Sunday at her National League for Democracy headquarters in Rangoon.

She says she has not yet spoken with all the NLD leaders because she was just released. But, speaking for herself, she says she is willing to work with anybody favoring democracy in Burma.

The 65-year-old democracy leader says since she was just released, she will first listen to the public and then the NLD leaders will decide their next move.

Burma's military government freed the Nobel Peace Prize winner from house arrest Saturday evening after keeping her locked up for seven consecutive years.

Leaders and rights groups across the world welcomed her release but also condemned her years in confinement and called for the release of all political prisoners.

Earlier Sunday at Burma's embassy in Bangkok, a small group of demonstrators, the Free Burma Coalition, called for democracy in Burma.

The demonstrators presented a bouquet of flowers to the embassy to thank the government for releasing Aung San Suu Kyi, but added they would have thanked the devil himself.

Andrea Timillero read a statement on behalf of the group calling her incarceration criminal and inhumane, but also holding out some hope that it could be a sign of change.

Timillero said, "Who knows, perhaps the regime really has turned a corner, albeit extremely unlikely though that is. Should that really be the case, the regime must now turn its attention to the two thousand two hundred political prisoners and free them forthwith."

Aung San Suu Kyi's release came just days after Burma's military government held controversial elections it said would restore civilian rule.

Democracy advocates and leaders across the world condemned the elections as designed to cement military power in the guise of democracy.

Aung San Suu Kyi was barred from the elections and, for that reason and other unfair rules, the NLD boycotted the polls.

The government disbanded the NLD for the boycott, which now operates as a social charity.

A military-backed party claimed victory in the elections. Opposition parties who contested the elections say voter fraud and intimidation were common.

The government says the military must retain a significant role in Burma to keep ethnic minority militias from splitting the country.

Aung San Suu Kyi says she will investigate the allegations, but it is not clear if the government would try to stop her.

The NLD won Burma's last elections in 1990 but the military ignored the results and has kept her locked up, on and off, for most of the time since.

You May Like

Video Egyptian Journalists Call for Press Freedom

Despite release of al-Jazeera journalists and others, Egyptian Journalist Syndicate says some remain imprisoned More

Turkey Survey Indicates Traditional Distrusts, Shift to the West

Comprehensive public opinion survey also found a large majority of those interviewed distrust all countries other than country’s neighbor, Azerbaijan More

Pakistan Court Upholds Death Sentence in Blasphemy Killing

Highest court upholds sentence of Mumtaz Qadri convicted of 2011 killing a provincial governor for criticizing country’s controversial blasphemy law More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs