Aung San Suu Kyi released

13 Nov 2010

Release of Aung San Suu Kyi welcome but does not indicate sign of genuine progress towards democracy

Burma Action Ireland welcomes the release of Burma’s democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, but warns that by itself, this does not mean that the military are serious about reform and democracy.

Today, Burma’s Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been freed after spending 15 years and 20 days in detention. More than 2,200 other political prisoners remain in jail, and the people of Burma are not free. Speaking after her release back in 2002, Aung San Suu Kyi said “My release should not be looked at as a major breakthrough for democracy. For all people in Burma to enjoy basic freedom – that would be the major breakthrough.”

Aung San Suu Kyi symbolises the hope of Burmese people for freedom, peace and democracy. She commands the respect of all Burmese and has the capacity to unite and mobilise the people, include Burma’s ethnic minority groups. Following last Sunday’s widely criticised fraudulent elections which perpetuate military rule, the military will want Aung San Suu Kyi’s release to seen as a positive step towards democratic change. Speaking today, Burma Action Ireland’s Chairperson Keith Donald said “While we very much welcome Aung San Suu Kyi’s release, it should not be seen as an indication that the military regime is interested in genuine progress towards reform and democracy. They should release all political prisoners and end the military offensives against the ethnic minorities.”

For many years, the international community including the United Nations Security Council, UN General Assembly, UN Human Rights Council, EU, US, ASEAN and even China have stated that the way to bring about genuine change in Burma is for tri-partite dialogue between Daw Suu Kyi and the democracy movement, ethnic representatives and the military regime. Keith Donald added “The international community must not make the same mistake it made in the past, they must continue to apply pressure to ensure that the military engage in a genuine process leading to national reconciliation and democracy”.


For further information:

Eileen Seymour - Burma Action Ireland: 087 618 0321

Burma Action Ireland

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