Celebrations as Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi released

The BBC’s correspondent in Rangoon witnessed Aung San Suu Kyi’s release

BBC News
13 November 2010

World leaders and human rights groups have reacted with joy at the release from house arrest of Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ms Suu Kyi walked from her Rangoon house at the end of her sentence on Saturday, having been detained for most of the past two decades.

Her lawyers say no conditions have been placed on her freedom.

But correspondents say it is not yet clear what role she will be able to play in the country’s politics.

Her release comes six days after the country held its first elections in 20 years – they were won by the military but widely condemned as a sham.

Mr Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won the election in 1990 but were never allowed to take power. She has been under house arrest or in prison almost continually ever since.

At best it’s a single step forward on the proverbial thousand mile journey”

Thousands of Ms Suu Kyi’s supporters had gathered outside her home in Rangoon since Friday to await her release.

No official announcement was given but in the late morning on Saturday, her release papers were delivered to her house and she emerged to huge celebrations – the cheers were so loud she was unable to address the crowds for about half an hour.

Ms Suu Kyi told the crowd there was “a time to be quiet and a time to talk”, and that she would visit the now-disbanded NLD at their headquarters on Sunday….

This article continues, with videos, at BBC News

An interview with a family member demonstrates the tragedies of the isolation of Suu’s house arrest.


John Simpson World Affairs Editor, BBC News, Burma

What we saw here were scenes of extraordinary, unforgettable pleasure. But no-one knows what comes next.

Aung San Suu Kyi phrased her new policy with deliberate vagueness when she talked about people working together to achieve their goals.

Working with the opposition leaders who thought she was wrong to opt out of last week’s elections, certainly – but working with the generals who run this country and who have kept her prisoner so long, that’s going to be very hard indeed.

This isn’t South Africa and the old regime isn’t just prepared to fade away.

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Video from RussiaToday:

American Power has videos and a comprehensive article:

The main story’s at LAT, “Myanmar Frees Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi.” I’m just blown away by the brazen and bankrupt maneuvering of the military junta, which just held the most carefully scripted elections imaginable, the first elections in 20 years. The timing of Suu Kyi’s release naturally followed the balloting, if it could be called that. To release her ahead of the vote may well have helped topple the regime in power. See WSJ from earlier this month, “Myanmar’s Muted Election: Residents Debate Importance of Sunday Vote, First in 20 Years

Please visit American Power for more…

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