Myanmar Frees Democracy Leader Aung San Suu Kyi –

Myanmar’s government released pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi after more than seven years of house arrest, offering a glimmer of hope for opposition groups that have been trying to unseat the country’s harsh military regime for decades.

Ms. Suu Kyi’s release isn’t likely to trigger major political change in Myanmar, an impoverished but strategically important Southeast Asian nation with extensive natural gas reserves between China and India. Despite being one of the world’s most famous political prisoners, Ms. Suu Kyi’s position has weakened considerably in recent years as Myanmar’s ruling junta has fortified its financial and military strength through expanded ties with China and other Asian allies.

But freedom from house arrest gives the 65-year-old Nobel laureate at least one more shot at revitalizing the country’s demoralized and divided opposition before she loses the energy to do so. It also could lead to renewed international pressure on Myanmar to contemplate reforms aimed at repairing its tattered relations with the Western world, including steps to release other political prisoners…..

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners noted that more than 2,200 political prisoners continue to be held in Myanmar and released a statement, “Unlike Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, the door to freedom will not be opened wide with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s release, indeed, it will not even be opened a crack.”

One woman, a 30-year-old relief worker, said on Saturday that she had begun to feel “hopeless” as the day wore on, without any news of Ms. Suu Kyi’s release. But when Ms. Suu Kyi emerged, she felt “happier than I can say,” she said. “We feel empowered by her.”

Another Yangon resident, a 66-year-old retired government employee, was more reserved about the news. “This is the news everyone always wanted to hear,” he said. “But there are challenges for her, and of course, for all of us.”

BBC News – Burma releases pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi

The Burmese military authorities have released the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, from house arrest.

Appearing outside her home in Rangoon, Ms Suu Kyi told thousands of jubilant supporters they had to “work in unison” to achieve their goals.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years. It is not yet clear if any conditions have been placed on her release.

US President Barack Obama welcomed her release as “long overdue”.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Ms Suu Kyi was an “inspiration”, and called on Burma to free all its remaining political prisoners.

The decision to free 65-year-old Ms Suu Kyi comes six days after the political party supported by the military government won the country’s first election in 20 years. The ballot was widely condemned as a sham.

‘Long overdue’

For more than 24 hours crowds of people had been waiting anxiously near Ms Suu Kyi’s home and the headquarters of her now-disbanded National League for Democracy (NLD) party for news of her fate.

Many wore T-shirts sporting the slogan “We stand with Aung San Suu Kyi”.

On Saturday afternoon, a stand-off developed between armed riot police and several hundred people gathered on the other side of the security barricade blocking the road leading to her lakeside home. Some of them later sat down in the road in an act of defiance.

As tensions rose, reports came in at about 1700 (1030 GMT) that official cars had been seen entering Ms Suu Kyi’s compound, and then that unnamed officials had formally read the release order to her.

Hundreds of people then surged forward and rushed forwards to greet her.

The ecstatic crowd swelled to three or four thousand before Ms Suu Kyi, in a traditional lilac dress, finally appeared, about 30 minutes later, on a platform behind the gate of her compound.

She took a flower from someone in the crowd and placed it in her hair.

Ms Suu Kyi then tried to speak, but was drowned out by the noise of the crowd, many singing the national anthem and chanting her name repeatedly.

“I have to give you the first political lesson since my release. We haven’t seen each other for so long, so we have many things to talk about. If you have any words for me, please come to the [NLD] headquarters tomorrow and we can talk then and I’ll use a loud speaker,” she joked.

“There is a time to be quiet and a time to talk,” she added. “People must work in unison. Only then can we achieve our goal.”….

Burmese Dissident Is Freed After Long Detention –

YANGON, Myanmar  — Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, was freed from house arrest on Saturday, setting her on the path to a possible new confrontation with the generals who had kept her out of the public eye for 15 of the past 21  years.

As she stepped out of the lakeside compound where she had been confined, in her latest period of house arrest, for the last seven-and-a-half years, she was greeted by thousands of jubilant supporters, some of them in tears.

She stood waving and smiling as people cheered, chanted and sang the national anthem in a blur of camera flashes. She held a white handkerchief in one hand.

“Thank you for welcoming me like this,” she said, clutching the iron bars of her gate as she looked out at the cheering crowd. “We haven’t seen each other for so long, I have so much to tell you.”

She said she would speak again on Sunday at the headquarters of her now defunct political party, the National League for Democracy.

“We must unite!” she said. “If we are united, we can get what we want.”

Suu Kyi freed: Myanmar frees Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi –,0,4357514.story

Myanmar frees opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi

The Nobel laureate greets a jubilant crowd outside her home after being held in detention for 15 years by the country’s military rulers. She promises to speak at greater length Sunday. The conditions of her release are not immediately clear…..

Those who boycotted may be tempted to say, “I told you so” given the widespread perceived fraud, while many of those who opted to work within the system now feel disenchanted.

“It’s especially hurtful for someone like me, given that I supported the election,” said Khin Zaw Win. “The scale of the cheating and fraud boggles the mind.”

In the past, however, she has been one of the only people in Myanmar able to unify the diverse pro-democracy movement, ethnic parties and the public, one reason the regime fears her so much.

“We will all come back together,” said Thant Zin, a National Democratic Front candidate in the recent election who lost to a pro-regime candidate because of what he said was cheating. “She must lead us strongly. We must combine for Burmese democracy against our common foe.”

Insiders say vote fraud provides an ideal platform to gain traction quickly after years of living without a telephone, TV or the Internet, and having her mail heavily censored. “The regime was foolish,” said one member of civic society. “They gave her a huge gift with the cheating.”….

Others said the only way change can occur in Myanmar is incrementally.

“My government is very powerful; you can’t fight the army,” said Aye Ko, an artist imprisoned in the early 1990s for being a student protester. “If Aung San Suu Kyi wants to make a revolution, big demonstrations, that’s a problem. You need to go slowly or you’ll be arrested again.”

Myanmar official media report on freeing Aung San Suu Kyi

YANGON, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) — The Myanmar government’s state radio and television aired a news report Saturday night on the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, a noted political figure of Myanmar and leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD).

Aung San Suu Kyi was freed on Saturday near-evening after serving 18 months’ confinement to her residence in Yangon.

A verdict of the Home Ministry, read by Police Chief Brigadier- General Khin Yi, said Aung San Suu Kyi was totally given amnesty without grudge.

According to the report, Khin Yi greeted with Suu Kyi, expressing delight on seeing her healthy.

Khin Yi said he hopes to see a peaceful and stable future of the country which Aung San Suu Kyi replied the same.

Khin Yi promised to help Aung San Suu Kyi if she has any need.

According to the verdict, Aung San Suu Kyi’s two female housemates, Khin Khin Win and Win Ma Ma, were also freed from the same 18 months’ suspended sentence like Aung San Suu Kyi.

The release of Aung San Suu Kyi, 65, came six days after Myanmar held a multi-party general election on Nov. 7.

Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD General Secretary, was last sentenced by a district court to three years’ rigorous term on Aug. 11, 2009 for allegedly violating her terms of house arrest by accommodating a U.S. citizen, John William Yettaw, who swam across the Inya Lake in Yangon and sneaked into to her lakeside house for three days from May 3 to 5 when she was under restriction.

The sentence was then commuted half and the remainder was suspended by the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) by putting her under 18 months of house restriction until expiry on Saturday.

YouTube – Raw Video: Hope Mounts for Suu Kyi Release

YouTube – Suu Kyi released (13Nov10)

YouTube – Cheers meet Aung San Suu Kyi released

Cheers greet Aung San Suu Kyi as Burma’s military junta release the democratic leader from house arrest in Rangoon. . Follow us on twitter at .

YouTube – Suu Kyi ‘maintained dignity throughout’

YouTube – Aung San Suu Kyi Released From Detention

Myanmar’s military government freed its archrival, democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, on Saturday after her latest term of detention expired. Several thousand jubilant supporters streamed to her residence.(Nov. 13)

YouTube – Video of Aung San Suu Kyi released, met by cheering crowd


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