News / Asia

Aung San Suu Kyi Release Sparks Celebration, Caution

Supporters of Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi celebrate outside her home after her release from house arrest in Rangoon, 13 Nov 2010.
Supporters of Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi celebrate outside her home after her release from house arrest in Rangoon, 13 Nov 2010.

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Nico Colombant

Aung San Suu Kyi's release from house arrest in Burma, also known as Myanmar, has sparked worldwide celebrations among supporters of the long-time pro-democracy activist.  But her supporters are also cautious in noting the daughter of Burma's assassinated independence leader, Aung San, has been previously released before being detained again.

Members of the Burmese community in France as well as supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi immediately took to the streets to display their relief.

Aung San Suu Kyi Greets Her Supporters in Rangoon

Mireille Boisson was among the protesters in Paris. "As you can guess, it can only be joy right now. It can only be joy for all of us who have been fighting for so long, for her, for the Burmese population who support her, we are really full of joy. But at the same time we are very cautious. I mean, we rejoice now in the moment and we want her to be safe and we ask the Burmese authorities to guarantee her safety," she said.

In Washington, a lawyer who tries to assist some of the hundreds of pro-democracy Burmese activists who are in jail, Jared Gensler also expressed caution about Aung San Suu Kyi's release. "She has been out three times before and nothing has changed in the country. In fact, in recent years, there has not been any indication from the military regime that it intends to compromise in any way whatsoever by engaging in any sort of dialogue with her," he said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a statement saying she joined billions of people around the world who are welcoming the release of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

The statement also called on Burma's military leaders to make her release unconditional so she can travel and take part in politics without restriction.

The 65-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi, who led the National League for Democracy to the most votes in 1990 elections which were then ignored, has been under house arrest for most of the past 20 years.

Her release Saturday from her home in Rangoon comes after November elections in which the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party won in a landslide, but opposition parties who decided to compete were able to gain some seats in parliament and in local legislative assemblies.

 

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