Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Human Rights Update 6-12-07: Remember Aung San Suu Kyi, Honor Her Sacrifice, Reflect on Your Own Freedom & What You Choose to Do With It

Image: Aung San Suu Kyi, TIME 100

In the Quiet Land, no one can say
when the soldiers are coming
to carry them away.
The Chinese want a road;
the French want the oil;
the Thais take the timber;
and SLORC takes the spoils...
In the Quiet Land....
In the Quiet Land, no one can hear
what is silenced by murder
and covered up with fear.
But, despite what is forced, freedom's a sound
that liars can't fake and no shouting can drown.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Human Rights Update 6-12-07: Remember Aung San Suu Kyi, Honor Her Sacrifice, Reflect on Your Own Freedom & What You Choose to Do With It

By Richard Power

Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has spent eleven of the last eighteen years in detention.

In May, the military junta that rules Burma extended her house arrest for another year. June 19th will be her 62nd birthday.

Despite disingenuous decrees and self-serving sanctions, it is the greed of great nations that enables the Burmese regime, just as it enables the Sudanese regime; and, by extension, it is the greed of those great nations that underwrites the luxury of our denial.

As I did at this time last year (Words of Power #24: Lost Symbols, Part One – Aung San Suu Kyi, AQ Khan, & The World Tree), I ask you to remember this great woman over these next few days, and reflect on your own freedom and what you choose to do with it.

To follow the struggle to free Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese people, click on the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's pages.

Here is a poignant report on Burmese activists attempts to honor her sacrifice and pray for her protection:

More than 20 Burmese women activists were driven out of a Rangoon pagoda today and were stopped from conducting a prayer vigil for the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi by the pagoda management. ... They were driven away by the pagoda management committee members, said NLD Women affairs in-charge Daw Myint Myint Sein.
"We went to the pagoda today. And we made swan offerings, and prayers. As we were about to finish, a man (chairman of the committee) came and asked us which group we belonged to and what we were doing here. Politics, he asked? We cannot allow this, go away, he said and chased us away," Sein told Mizzima over telephone.
"He also said that the committee cannot allow it because 'there is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's name'," added Sein.
Though the group was unable to conclude their prayers, Sein said that they could pray for about 20 minutes.
Though some activists started conducting prayers at pagodas for the release of detained Burmese Nobel Peace Laureate since her latest arrest in May 2003, the prayer vigils gained new momentum in Rangoon and across the country since the beginning of May 2007.
"This is the month of our leader's [Suu Kyi] birth day. And since her arrest has been extended to another year, we are conducting prayers for her release and other political prisoners," said Sein. ...
"Despite the difficulties and crackdown, we will continue with the prayer vigil. We have vowed to conduct prayers from June 1 to 19," Sein added.
Mizzima News, 6-11-07

Happy Birthday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi! I hope this message finds its way to you.

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