Friday, July 27, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi on Guns and Conflict Resolution

Quote: Youtube Interview
Data: Source
Words of wisdom from the East.

Aung San Suu Kyi entered politics to work for democratization in her native Burma in the 1980s and founded the National League for Democracy in September 1988. She was placed under house arrest on July 1989 where she remained--for 15 of the next 21 years--until she was released in November 2010 after intense international pressure. She is influenced by both Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence and by Buddhism, in general. In july 2012, she attended the Parliament for the first time as an elected lawmaker. The Nobel Laureate is a symbol of resilience and decency to millions around the world. Learn more about her here.

What amazes me is that her struggle--she is a freedom fighter in the truest, most noble sense of that word--is not that well known in the United States. In fact, before she took office as a member of Parliament, she gave an address not to the United States Congress, but to the Parliament in the United Kingdom. (She did testify before a House Committee via remote video once, however). She was also the first woman who was not the Queen to address both Houses of Parliament.

According to The Guardian last month:
In a historic speech within the 11th-century walls of Westminster Hall, Aung San Suu Kyi has implored Britain and "the world beyond" to reach out to help Burma at "the moment of our greatest need." 
The Burmese pro-democracy leader, the first woman apart from the Queen to address both houses of parliament, appealed for practical help to support reforms to bring "better lives, greater opportunities, to the people of Burma who have been for so long deprived of their rights to their place in the world". 
The Nobel laureate received a standing ovation for her 30-minute address, an honour previously accorded only to the French president Charles de Gaulle, the South African president Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Pope Benedict XVI and the Queen.
During a day that was to prove the climax of her first UK visit in 24 years, politicians competed in laudatory praise of the Lady, as she is known, as she met parliamentarians, and royalty. 
David Cameron saluted "Daw Suu" as a "symbol of courage". The Commons Speaker, John Bercow, introduced her as "a leader and a stateswoman", the "conscience of a country" and a "heroine for humanity".

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