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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More