Monday, November 15, 2010

Released Suu Kyi maiden speech post General election

Aung San Suu Kyi today appearing in a moss-green eingyi and roses in her hair, the pro-democracy leader and beacon of hope for millions said: “I’ve always believed in national reconciliation.

world leaders and human rights groups across the world welcomed her release, not to mention her Burmese and international supporters worldwide.

After meeting party members and foreign diplomats, Suu Kyi then greeted the crowd, people chanted “We love Suu”, amid thunderous applause, the BBC reported.

She reiterated the call for unity that she made yesterday, telling the ecstatic crowds from the balcony of the office today: “Nothing can be achieved without the people’s participation. Without it, we can do nothing” she said. “I want to work alongside the people. I don’t want to work alone. A one-woman show is not a democracy.”“I don’t hate the people who detained me.”In an allusion to the military regime that denied Suu Kyi freedom for so long, she showed her unique strength of character, stating to the crowd that she bore no resentment.“I have no personal grudge or hatred against anyone else. I believe in the rule of law. I place a high value on apology. My thanks go to thanks due,” Suu Kyi said.

She went on to thank her captors for treating her well, and asked them to do the same for the Burmese people. “Those who took my security [detail] treated me well. I would like to thank them well for their kind treatment. I think it would be better if they treated all the people well too.”
She also called for the further release of Burma’s 2,200 other prisoners who remain in jails or labour camps, many sent to prisons far from home, which makes family visits nearly impossible.

“I’d like to honour my colleagues and my colleagues from the democratic struggle who remain languishing in prisons. I wish their immediate release,” she said.

“We can achieve victory if, and only if, we work with courage and determination for what we want.”

Her speech appeared aimed at giving hope to the thousands of supporters who gathered to see and hear her as she spoke of a future Burma.

“I’ve always believed in national reconciliation. I’ve said time and again that I’ve worked by depending on the strength of the people. But that will be effective only when we can use this strength systematically. Please let me say to the people again: We cannot achieve victory by merely hoping for it. We can achieve victory if and only if we work with courage and determination for what we want. We also need to explore the best path to achieve victory too.”

“We demand our just rights.” A symbol of the fight for democracy and human rights worldwide, Suu Kyi cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, recognised the uphill struggle ahead, repeatedly stressed the theme of unity and urged the people to work together to achieve change in Burma.

“In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every paragraph starts with the word ‘everyone’. We must respect that concept. Everyone must fulfil their responsibilities and everyone must be duty-conscious. Only through following these principles will our country progress and develop. The people know well whether our country is progressing and developing. The blame game among us for not progressing is useless. I’d like to say please give us authority to do this job. I know well our people will not beg for this right. We demand our just rights.”

She ”delivered her first scheduled public address at National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in Bahan Township, Rangoon in her addressed thousands of supporters following her release from years of house arrest."I want to hear the voice of the people, after that we will decide what we want to do," she told a sea of followers outside her party headquarters. "I want to work with all democratic forces. I believe in human rights and I believe in the rule of law." The daughter of Burma’s independence hero carries a weight of expectation among supporters for a better future for the nation after almost half a century of military dictatorship.

Public marched in thousand on to congested roads to gather in front of the opposition party’s office, filling all space of pavement anywhere in the vicinity.The visible outpouring of support caused one Burmese in attendance to remark that the country’s generals miscalculated in releasing Suu Kyi so close to the election date, which was marred by transgressions and assessed to have merely provided fresh evidence to the Burmese electorate of the impending need for change.

Appearing slightly past 11 a.m. (local time), Daw Suu, as millions affectionately know her, addressed the enthusiastic crowd in a green shirt adorned with an off-yellow garland. She voiced her support for the Burmese people and thanked them in return for their support.

Towards the close of the gathering, which lasted well past the noon finish time originally announced, she displayed a placard reading “Aung San Suu Kyi loves the Burmese people.” Next to the text was a check mark, a clear slight to Burma’s military and their stage-managed general election held on November 7.

She would later inform a press conference, “I don’t believe in one party or one person dominating the government. That is not democracy.” The junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has been announced to have captured over 80 per cent of available seats, benefitting from enormous structural advantages throughout the electoral process.

While the front and centre portions of those gathered remained relatively calm throughout Suu Kyi’s public address, the outlying viewing areas were the scene of a constant battle between those who turned out hoping to gain the best vantage point possible. According to one NLD senior member, as well as a youth member, they were surprised by how many turned out to witness the event, with the size of the crowd catching them unawares. Those who attended her last release in 2000 said the outpouring of interest this time surpassed that year’s.

Following the general speech, Suu Kyi held a press conference inside party headquarters. Dozens of foreign correspondents covered the event alongside scores of Burmese journalists, greatly testing the physical capacity of the venue.

The opposition leader appeared confident and spoke quickly in response to questions.

She told those gathered, “We [Burma] had elections in 1990, [and] at that time we won. And then now they [the ruling regime] try to make elections again. Why do they make another election? Elections are made according to independence and freedom of choosing as voters like … With this election, what were they thinking?”

Responding to a question about the founding principles and orientation of her movement, Daw Suu expressed: “I didn’t found the NLD as a party but as an organisation for change for the people of Burma. And as long as the people want change for Burma, this organisation … will continue to exist.”

She also lamented the country’s continuing trend to look to solve differences via military force, stipulating that it has never been her opinion that force can provide the requisite salve for Burma’s wounds.

Prior to greeting the general public, Suu Kyi held a closed-door meeting incorporating various members of the international diplomatic community.

According to ‘The Lady’ herself, her plans of public appearances in the days ahead as yet remain undetermined.
Media agencies

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