News / Asia

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi Released from House Arrest

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

Click here to see Burma Events Timeline

Burma's military government released democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest Saturday after her current term of detention expired. Her release comes days after a military-backed party claimed to win Burma's first elections in two decades.

Hundreds of Aung San Suu Kyi's supporters gathered outside her house in Rangoon Saturday to welcome her release.

She briefly addressed the crowd, telling them she will speak again Sunday at her National League for Democracy headquarters.  

Aung San Suu Kyi walked free after spending most of the past 20 years locked up.

Burma's military government has detained her on and off, mostly in her house, since 1989.

Khin Ohmar is coordinator of the Burma Partnership, a coalition advocating democracy in Burma. She says the military government is afraid of Aung San Suu Kyi's influence.

"She is, in their eyes, she is the enemy of the state," she said. "She is the major threat to their power because she is the one who is trusted by the whole country, who is trusted by the people."



Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her efforts to bring democracy to Burma. She is widely beloved in Burma and seen as a global icon of peaceful resistance against injustice.

Her latest term of house arrest was for allowing an uninvited American man last year to stay overnight without permission.

It expired on Saturday, just a few days after a military-backed party claimed victory in Burma's first election in two decades.

Critics say the military, which has ruled for five decades, designed the election so it could stay in power. The government says the election was a key step toward a civilian government.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won Burma's last elections in 1990 by a landslide but the military ignored the results.

She was banned from contesting the polls. The NLD boycotted the election because of that and other rules the party considered unfair.

The government disbanded the NLD because of its boycott and it now operates as a social charity.

Aung San Suu Kyi has said she will investigate opposition complaints of voter fraud in the elections.

Some of her supporters worry any political activity could give the government an excuse to throw her back in detention.

Burma's government is considered one of the most repressive in the world. The military, however, says it must keep a firm grip to prevent ethnic minority militias from trying to split the nation.

Timeline of Major Political Events in Burma

You May Like

Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Ukraine Accuses Russia of Territorial Incursionsi
X
Zlatica Hoke
August 28, 2014 4:07 AM
Ukraine says a key border town (Novoazovsk) and surrounding areas of in southeastern Ukraine have fallen under the control of Russia's military. President Poroshenko says "Russian troops have actually been brought into Ukraine." Despite repeated denials from Moscow, Ukraine accuses the Kremlin of providing weapons and fighters to separatists in eastern Ukraine, toward the Russian leadership's alleged goal of annexing that strategic territory. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Accuses Russia of Territorial Incursions

Ukraine says a key border town (Novoazovsk) and surrounding areas of in southeastern Ukraine have fallen under the control of Russia's military. President Poroshenko says "Russian troops have actually been brought into Ukraine." Despite repeated denials from Moscow, Ukraine accuses the Kremlin of providing weapons and fighters to separatists in eastern Ukraine, toward the Russian leadership's alleged goal of annexing that strategic territory. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid