Auckland Burmese celebrate democracy leader’s 66th birthday

Yesterday I spoke at an Auckland celebration of the 66th birthday of Burmese democracy leader (and Nobel Peace Prize winner) Aung San Suu Kyi.

She is now out of house detention, but the regime closely monitors her movements. On Wednesday she begins a tour around the country, to further test the limits of her freedom. It is a risky enterprise. When she last went on such a tour, in 2003, pro-regime thugs assaulted her convoy and killed around a hundred of her followers.

The regime is under more pressure now. The democratic upsurge in the Middle East has heartened Aung San Suu Kyi – and she has been very supportive of it.

She has long advocated using whatever little freedom she or her people have – and she challenges us in the international community to use whatever freedom we have to support their freedom struggle.

Aung San Suu Kyi continues to be an inspirational figures to the world-wide movement for democracy.

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