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19 June 2005
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Birthday Sparks New Calls for Her Release
Aung San Suu Kyi's Birthday 19 June
31 May 03
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the non violent movement for human rights and democracy in Burma (Myanmar), and Nobel laureate. The recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize meet on 8 December 2001 and she will not be one of them as she is under arrest. More than 30 Nobel Peace Prize laureates will gather in Oslo to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize. Yet one of its most well-known recipients, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of Myanmar's main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), cannot attend. She has been held under de facto house arrest since September 2000, and some 1,600 other political prisoners in Myanmar remain behind bars.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar (Burma) for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.
Aung San Suu Kyi is the daughter of Burma's liberation leader Aung San and showed an early interest in Gandhi's philosophy of non-violent protest. After having long refrained from political activity, she became involved in "'the second struggle for national independence" in Myanmar in 1988. She became the leader of a democratic opposition which employs non-violent means to resist a regime characterized by brutality. She also emphasizes the need for conciliation between the sharply divided regions and ethnic groups in her country. The election held in May 1990 resulted in a conclusive victory for the opposition. The regime ignored the election results. Suu Kyi refused to leave the country and since then, she has been kept under strict house arrest.
Suu Kyi's struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression.
We in Scotland have always stood for our freedom and we salute this lady in her struggle against oppression.
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Article by Irwin Abrams on Aung San Suu Kyi
Published in THE NOBEL PRIZE ANNUAL 1991