I was thrilled to read this weekend that Aung San Suu Kyi, the rightfully elected leader of Burma (also known as Myanmar), has been freed from house arrest. Her release has come after Burma’s first elections in 20 years.
Suu Kyi’s story is a testimony to determination in the face of unrelenting opposition and oppression. She has spent 15 of past 21 years in detention. She has won the Nobel Peace Prize. She has sacrificed a lot. Her father was assassinated. She was put under house arrest in 1989 when the State Law and Order Restoration Council declared martial law in Burma. Her party, the National League for Democracy, won the country’s 1990 election, but the military junta disregarded the results. When her husband was dying of cancer in London, England, she could not leave Burma to be with him. She was afraid if she left, she would not be allowed to return to the country. She has not seen her two sons or grandchildren in almost 10 years. She was released once before in 1995, but her movements were restricted. There are supposedly no restrictions on her movements now, and she is going to work. She says she is going to stage a peaceful revolution in Burma. She is still committed to human rights and democracy and freedom. And knowing what she is up against, she still fights. She stills believes. She is my hero.