News / Asia

Rangoon Diary: Burmese Reunite with Beloved Democracy Leader

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

This is a special report from a journalist inside Rangoon, who has been covering Burma's political developments for VOA despite the threat of deportation. The journalist's identity is being withheld so that they may continue reporting. We bring you their notes from the field.

On Saturday evening in Rangoon, Aung San Suu Kyi peered over the top of the gate that has separated her from the rest of Burma for the past seven years.

"It's been so long since I've seen the people," she said to hundreds, if not thousands, of cheering supporters. "I won't say more now, because you can't hear what I'm saying, but I will hold a speech with a loudspeaker tomorrow at the NLD office."

The pushing crowd, which had been crying and sweating, was charmed and let out a collective laugh as they caught their first glimpse of the pro-democracy leader. Dressed in t-shirts bearing Aung San Suu Kyi's image, her supporters held cameras and phones in the air to record the moment, chanting her name and singing the theme song of the National League for Democracy.

Supporters of Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi run towards her home in celebration of her release from house arrest in Rangoon, 13 Nov 2010
Supporters of Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi run towards her home in celebration of her release from house arrest in Rangoon, 13 Nov 2010

It was a highly emotional day for so many people of Burma. The road in front of Aung San Suu Kyi's house has been blockaded on and off for several years, but as soon as the blockades were removed Saturday, streams of people rushed toward her home. In a country with no freedom of assembly, the massive gathering alone was a feat. And Aung San Suu Kyi's release, a triumph.

"We don't know what will happen to her now," said one man who came to show his support with his wife and children. "Because after the elections, we still don't know who is the winner, and what she can do."

"She will do what she can," his wife said. "She will know what to do."

Burma held its first election in 20 years on November 7. The military government branded the vote a move towards democracy. But the opposition and Western governments have called the election a sham, pointing to rampant fraud at the polls and vote counting stations. Final results have not been released. Still, the government's proxy party is claiming to have won some 80 percent of the seats.

1990 election results annuled

The last party to win 80 percent of the votes in a Burmese election was the National League for Democracy in 1990. The opposition's victory against the military government solidified Aung San Suu Kyi's place in the people's hearts, but it also sealed her fate as an enemy of the state. The government annulled the election results, and has held the politician in some form of detention for 15 of the past 21 years.

Despite a recent split in her party, Aung San Suu Kyi remains a unifying force in the political arena and has maintained her ability to bring a crowd together.

"She rules the people's hearts," said a member of the opposition splinter group the National Democratic Force outside Aung San Suu Kyi's house on Saturday. "We are so happy she is out."

Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein, a member of the recently formed Democratic Party, said the opposition parties are making plans together as to how to proceed after the elections, including a plan to cooperate with ethnic parties in border areas.

While Aung San Suu Kyi has won her freedom, more than 2,000 political prisoners remain behind bars in Burma. And the conditions of "The Lady's" release are still unknown.

Timeline of Major Political Events in Burma

on Dipity.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs