sabato 13 novembre 2010



Aung San Suu Kyi: 'I'm very happy to see you again'

By the CNN Wire Staff
November 13, 2010 8:38 a.m. EST
Click to play
Aung San Suu Kyi release
  • Obama praises courage of the Nobel Peace laureate
  • Thousands gathered outside her party headquarters in Yangon
  • She has spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest

(CNN) -- Myanmar's ruling military junta released democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest Saturday to a throng of supporters trying to reach out and shake her hand.

"I'm very happy to see you all again," she told the crowd gathered near her lakeside home in Yangon.

More supporters waited at the headquarters of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest for her dogged opposition to authoritarian military rule in the nation formerly known as Burma.

Recently, she had little outside human contact except for two maids and visits from her doctor. Sometimes, she spoke to supporters over the wall of her compound.

U.S. President Barack Obama said he admired Suu Kyi's courage.

Images Myanmar does not want you to see
2008: Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced
Myanmar's controversial election
Gallery: Most of the past 20 years under house arrest

"While the Burmese regime has gone to extraordinary lengths to isolate and silence Aung San Suu Kyi, she has continued her brave fight for democracy, peace, and change in Burma," he said in a statement Saturday.

"She is a hero of mine and a source of inspiration for all who work to advance basic human rights in Burma and around the world. The United States looks forward to the day when all of Burma's people are free from fear and persecution."

Security has been stepped up in Myanmar, but it was unclear whether it was related to Suu Kyi's release or the country's first elections in two decades that were held last Sunday.

Though Suu Kyi has had minimal contact with the outside world, reports from her domestic lawyer indicate she is in good spirits, said Jared Genser, another one of her lawyers who is based in the United States.

"I am personally delighted for her, for her family," Genser said.

But he tempered his joy with words of caution.

"I don't speak on her behalf as to what comes next," Genser said. "The challenges are enormous."

He said it was unclear whether anything would fundamentally change in Myanmar, given the recent "sham" elections in the country.

Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International's Myanmar specialist, said it made "perfect sense" for the regime to free her since she was no longer an electoral threat to them.

Suu Kyi's opposition party won the 1990 elections by a landslide but the regime never recognized those results. The election Sunday was the first since then but Suu Kyi was barred from participating because of a recent conviction.

The ruling military junta has been slowly releasing official election results, but critics say a victory for the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party is all but certain.

The Burma Campaign UK, which promotes human rights in Myanmar, accused the ruling junta of rigging the November 7 election. The group welcomed Suu Kyi's release but warned that it should not be interpreted as a sign that democratic reform is on the way.

"The release of Aung San Suu Kyi is about public relations, not democratic reform," said Zoya Phan, International Coordinator at Burma Campaign UK.

"I am thrilled to see our democracy leader free at last, but the release is not part of any political process, instead it is designed to get positive publicity for the dictatorship after the blatant rigging of elections on 7th November," Phan said.

Suu Kyi's latest house arrest came after she was found guilty of breaching the terms of her house arrest after American John Yettaw swam uninvited to house and briefly stayed there.

The regime passed a law that made her ineligible for Sunday's elections because of that conviction.

Over the years, Suu Kyi has repeatedly challenged the junta and discouraged foreign investment in Myanmar.

In one incident in 1998, soldiers prevented her from leaving Yangon. But Suu Kyi refused to turn back and was detained in her minivan for almost two weeks.

"She is the symbol of the hope for the people of Burma. If she is out today the whole country will rise up, will follow her," said Khin Omar of the Network for Democracy and Development.

CNN's Moni Basu contributed to this report.

Log in or sign up to comment

soundoff (48 Comments)

Post a comment

Log in or sign up to comment
  • noFauxNews
    great news!!!!

    CNN, do you guys not know how to edit out the tech guy talking over everyone? How about you mute him from the live feed to begin with?
  • Danram
    Good news! :-)
  • Nostromo45
    I was arrested in Myanmar - then Burma - in 1971, allegedly for currency smuggling. I made a mistake declaring how many Australian Dollars, US dollars and Pounds Sterling I had on me when I entered the country. The British consul came to my assistance, but to no avail. A so-called illiterate judge s... more
  • LEJ34
    there is hope for Mynamar,look at South Africa
  • AmishAirline
    The people of Burma, like the people of Tibet, better hurry up and find some oil under their dirt. Otherwise, the only attention that will be given to the rapes and killing will come in the form of a warm-fuzzy CNN story.
  • docqualizer
    I am overjoyed to learn of her release. And, like others, I am hoping she will stay safe.
  • ZhingPao
    Thank you.
  • s0ngstr3ss
    I remember reading about her when I was 12, and wondering if they'd let her out before I'd grown up or she'd died, whichever came first.
  • ZhingPao
    How old are you now?
  • aceblazin
  • aceblazin
  • Liberalh8
    This woman is incredibly brave. I hope she stays safe. I could see Myanmar (or their ally China) plotting to do her in, making it look like an accident.
  • vdo2d
  • jackbauer182
    pull your head out of your @$$
  • KeithRN
    Hope she does better than Bhutto
  • chedar
    I wish her well. If China stop these assisting these goons, then Burma will become democratic immediately. There will be more foreign investment for the people of Myanmar. The people of Myanmar does not deserved to be under the regime ignite Goons.
  • SIMON1977
    A genuine view of joyful celebration of people for having their leader is now observed in Burma after a few days of military ruled election. It is not the expression for the result of ready made tricky cards but from the deepest heart of the people of Burma. God bless Daw Aung San Su Kyi.
  • facts4us
    10 bucks says she`ll be dead before the next election.The govt can kill her easily now and blame it on anyone
  • facts4us
    sucker bet? I think it`s virtually guaranteed
  • Vulcanized
    That's a sucker bet.
  • ManojJohn
    The world is condemning Burma Junta for the last 40 years..and will go on condemning for the next 100 years..

    The people of Burma will get no help from the outside world,,

    Aung San Suu Kyi needs Burmese to make a Gandhian effort.

  • viewerusul
    This came not long after CNN reported Suu Kyi decided not to participate in the new round of elections. Talk about manipulating individuals lives on a governmental level, what a showcase of a corrupt system.
  • Vulcanized
    Beautiful woman... patience of a saint.
  • vizi
    dont know why dictatiors / army personal are called junta , army personnel taking public office by force should be hanged on the first opportunity to do so.

    burma army has destroyed the country
  • DartmanX
    I give it two weeks tops before she's under arrest again. Better money is on 10 days.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1 hour, 6 minutes ago
Suu Kyi: Symbol of hope
She is small but only in physical stature. Aung San Suu Kyi is the very embodiment of Myanmar's long struggle for democracy.
updated Mon November 8, 2010
Myanmar's recent history
Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, has been under military rule since 1962.
updated Mon November 8, 2010
Cyclone exposed secrets
Amid the destruction of Nargis, CNN was able to see firsthand the spirit of Myanmar's people.
updated Fri November 5, 2010
Junta's grip on economy
Analysts say "bad governance" has led to the development of two parallel economies.
updated Sat November 6, 2010
Opinion: U.S. must not give up
"Genuine political and economic reform and the advancement of human rights will be the real test of change in Myanmar."
Quick Job Search