November 13, 2010

Chairman Kerry On The Release Of Burmese Political Prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi

Washington, DC – Today, Burma freed Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest.  The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, she is known worldwide for her courageous championship of democracy and human rights for the people of Burma.  Daw Suu, as she is respectfully known in Burma, along with many other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) have been unjustly confined by the military junta that controls Burma for most of the past 20 years.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) issued the following statement:

“I am thrilled to hear that Aung San Suu Kyi has finally been released from house arrest. The leadership, grace, and perseverance that she demonstrated during her many years of detention has been inspiring.  But the joy of her release is tempered by the continuing hardships confronting the people for whom she has sacrificed so much.

"I look to the new government of Burma to release the hundreds of other political prisoners who remain unjustly behind bars.  And I call on the authorities to allow Daw Suu and other democracy advocates to speak freely and move about the country.

“Last week, the Burmese government staged national elections, trumpeted by the generals who run the country as part of a ‘roadmap to democracy’.  The international community rightly condemned these elections as undemocratic in design and execution.

“In the coming weeks and months, the world will watch closely to see whether Burma’s new leaders begin the journey toward genuine democracy, peace, and respect for fundamental human rights, or whether they remain mired in the failed policies of the past.  A shift toward more inclusive, responsive, and democratic governance will allow the long-suffering people of Burma to better their lives, and, over time, will create opportunities for the government of Burma to improve relations with the United States and begin to repair its much-tarnished international reputation.”

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