Portrait of Yoko Ono with the name of Burma's democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, inscribed on her palm for the documentary project "Even Though I'm Free I Am Not" about Burma's political prisoners by James Mackay. Photo copyright © 2011 James Mackay / enigmaimages.net

Happy Birthday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi!
Along with many others around the world, I was so happy to hear about your release from detention last November.
My birthday wish for you and the people of Burma is that all prisoners of conscience still behind bars in Burma are released!
A dream you dream alone is only a dream.
A dream you dream together is reality.
love, yoko.

Yoko Ono
19th June 2011

aiyellow

Statement from Amnesty International

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has been the beacon of hope and change for nearly two decades in Myanmar (Burma), will be celebrating her birthday on June 19th. Though the celebration may be inhibited, as over 2000 political prisoners remain in prison in Myanmar. Their conditions of detention are often inhumane and horrific; they have been convicted without the benefit of effective counsel or fair trials; and they have been convicted under vaguely worded laws that criminalize peaceful dissent. Amnesty International members across the globe have urged the Myanmar authorities to unlock the prison doors and release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally. We join with Yoko Ono in her birthday wishes for Aung San Suu Kyi.

Free all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar (Burma)

Please join Amnesty International in calling for the release of all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar, take action at:
http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=6645049&aid=14811




Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s New Year Message for 2011

“On studying my political life at the time of the New Year, I found out three periods – the period of my struggle for democracy and human rights for the people, the period of house arrest and the period after my release.

In all these three periods, the great majority of people have come out in support of me as well as my aspirations and my struggles. These peoples include leaders of nations, leaders of religious denominations, Nobel laureates, United Nations, European Union, Amnesty International, peoples of United States and many European countries and people of all nationalities in and out of our country.

I would like to stress my deep gratitude to all these peoples.

I am very happy to note that more enthusiastic and tremendous support has been shown to me by the people including youths on my release from detention this time. I shall relentlessly struggle for bringing about a wide-ranging political and social network for national reconciliation and re-emergence of genuine Union Spirit.

Allow me to call on all the people of the country to join with me in this task with renewed vigour. This is my message.

The cause of democracy shall certainly prevail.”

Aung San Suu Kyi


From AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL:

AUNG SAN SUU KYI, RELEASED, BUT THOUSANDS REMAIN JAILED

MYANMAR, UNLOCK THE PRISON DOORS! FREE ALL PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE!

Aung San Suu Kyi was released on November 13. Urge Senior General Than Shwe to free all the prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.

Take Action Now!

Stand with Suu Kyi and the People of Myanmar!

Photograph yourself and others with a sign reading, “I Stand with Aung San Suu Kyi and the People of Myanmar.” Stand with Aung San Suu Kyi and call for the release of thousands like her who have had their freedoms restricted. Help us gather at least 2,200 photos to represent the more than 2,200 political prisoners detained in Myanmar!

For more information on how to Stand with Suu Kyi, click here.

MYANMAR

The military rulers of Myanmar have jailed thousands of people in their continuing efforts to crush all dissenting views. Most prominent of those detained was Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was released on November 13, 2010 and has been the beacon of hope and change for nearly two decades in Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma.

Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi, © Chris Robinson

Aung San Suu Kyi, co-founded the National League for Democracy (NLD), a pro-democracy political party that sought to counter the military junta that had reigned over Myanmar since 1962. In 1990, the NLD won almost 80 percent of the parliamentary seats in a general election. Surprised at the landslide victory, the military junta refused to transfer power to Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD, and jailed scores of political activists.

For 15 of the past 21 years, Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced “Awng Sahn Soo Chee”) had endured unofficial detention, house arrest and restrictions on her movement.

Aung San Suu Kyi was just one of more than 2,200 political prisoners currently being held in deplorable conditions for exercising their right to peaceful protest in Myanmar.

Political prisoners in Myanmar are still held under vague laws frequently used by the government to criminalize peaceful political dissent. They are being held in grim conditions, with inadequate food and sanitation. Many are in poor health and do not receive proper medical treatment. Many were tortured during their initial interrogation and detention, and still risk torture as a punishment at the hands of prison officers.

Amnesty International seeks the immediate and unconditional release of  all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

Please send politely worded letters to the Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, urging him to bring about the immediate and unconditional release of  all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar. Write to:

Senior General Than Shwe
Chairman
State Peace and Development Council
c/o Ministry of Defense
Naypyitaw
UNION OF MYANMAR (Burma)

Postage: 98 cents

You can use our sample letter as a guide, (word doc)(pdf) but please be encouraged to add your own thoughts.

To call on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to press for the release of all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar, click here.

Background Information »
Action Resources »

Action guide:
PDFMS Word

Stand With Suu Kyi signs (PDF):
8.5 x 1111 x 1714 x 20

Stand With Suu Kyi photo mosaic banners (JPG):
Mosaic 1
Mosaic 2

Sample letter to the editor if Suu Kyi released:
PDF

Sample letter:
PDFMS Word

Petition:
PDFMS Word

Tips on How to Hold a Vigil

Case Sheets:

Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi released

Message from Yoko Ono

Congratulations, sister, and all of us in the world who have been praying for this day!

Thank you for showing us what one can accomplish with a strong belief in justice.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I love you!

yoko

Yoko Ono
13 November 2010




Message from Aung San Suu Kyi


Sky News


BBC News


Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi released

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition leader, has been released after seven years in detention.

Ms San Suu Kyi appeared outside her house, waving and smiling. Someone threw her a flower which she put in her hair.

Addressing the jubilant crowd, she told her supporters: “”There is a time to be quiet and a time to talk. People must work in unison. Only then can we achieve our goal.”

She was expected to meet her party leaders inside her home on Saturday. She also invited her supporters to come to her party’s headquarters on Sunday to hear her speak.

At least 1,000 people had gathered near her lakeside villa to witness her release.

Many cheered loudly and chanted “Release Aung San Suu Kyi” and “Long live Aung San Suu Kyi”, as officials pulled down barbed wire and removed the concrete barricades.

Witnesses said that police were no longer stationed outside the building.

Crowds of hundreds ran towards her house as word of her imminent release spread throughout the capital.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has spent 15 of the past 21 years in detention. British Prime Minister David Cameron said that her release was “long overdue”.

He described Ms San Suu Kyi as “an inspiration for all of us.”

Her release comes a week after a military-backed party claimed a landslide victory in the country’s first elections in 20 years.

Her National League for Democracy refused to take part and encouraged voters to boycott the polls.

Ms Suu Kyi was detained in May 2003 after a government mob attacked her motorcade as she campaigned in central Burma. Scores of her supporters were killed.

Some of the military officers blamed for that attack and the violent suppression of monk-led protests in 2007 are likely to be part of the new government.

She was originally due to be released last year, but a case involving an American who swam across Inya Lake to her home, claiming he wanted to save her, prompted the latest detention.

Her youngest son Kim Aris, 33, arrived in Bangkok ahead of her release but it was unclear whether he would be allowed to visit his mother.

Little is known about her plans although her lawyer says she has expressed a desire to join Twitter to reach out to the internet generation.

Few expect her to give up her long struggle for freedom from repression and attention is now on whether she can reunite the splintered opposition and bring about the democratic change that has eluded Myanmar for so long.

The moment Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest: BBC Audio.

Slideshow from the BBC here.




aiyellow

Amnesty International Welcomes Suu Kyi Release but Urges Myanmar to Release Other Prisoners of Conscience

Human rights organization worked on her release for more than 20 years

Amnesty International welcomes the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, from house arrest in Myanmar.

Daw Suu Kyi co-founded the National League for Democracy (NLD), a pro-democracy political party that sought to counter the military junta that has ruled Myanmar since 1962. For nearly 15 of the past 21 years, Daw Suu Kyi has endured unofficial detention, house arrest and restrictions on her movement.

“The release of Daw Suu Kyi is beyond overdue,” said Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA executive director. “Amnesty International members and other activists around the world tirelessly worked for her release for many years and welcome this news. However, many others still languish in Myanmar’s jails for merely expressing their views and must be released immediately.”

In 1990, the NLD won 80 percent of the parliamentary seats in a general election. Surprised at the landslide victory, the military junta refused to transfer power to Daw Suu Kyi and the NLD and jailed scores of political activists.

Currently 2,200 political prisoners are still in prison, most of them for exercising their right to freedom of expression, assembly and association.

In the United States, Amnesty International USA members and other activists’ efforts to free Daw Suu Kyi included more than 67,000 pleas to U.S. and global leaders urging them to push Myanmar authorities, more than 11,000 petition signatures and thousands of letters urging the Myanmar authorities to release her and approximately 2,200 other political prisoners currently detained.

Hundreds of activists have rallied in front of the United Nations headquarters and Myanmar Permanent Mission in New York calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Daw Suu Kyi and all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar. More than 1600 activists have participated in the Stand with Suu Kyi photo action to support human rights in Myanmar.

“I worked on behalf of Suu Kyi for nearly 20 years, and this news is more than welcomed,” said Jim Roberts, Amnesty International USA Myanmar country specialist. “Now that she has been released, Amnesty International calls on the Myanmar government to allow her to freely exercise her right to the freedoms of expression and association.”

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.



TAKE ACTION: Stand in solidarity with Burma’s political prisoners

A simple act of defiance to demand the release of Burma’s 2,200 political prisoners has gone global – discover how it began as an undercover project with brave Burmese ex-political prisoners by photographer James Mckay and how Amnesty is asking you to take your photo to demand action world leaders at ASEM this October amnesty.org.uk/​hand

This summer, we asked you to stand in solidarity with the over 2,200 political prisoners in Burma. Thanks to an incredible response we were able to hand in a petition of over 5,000 photographs to world leaders at the Asia-Europe meeting in Brussels on 4 October.

Due to your overwhelming support we have decided to extend the action. Please keep the pictures coming!

By adding your photo to our collection, you won’t just be offering support to Burma’s political prisoners. You will also be joining the brave individuals who, having been imprisoned for peaceful political action themselves, have already risked their freedom to stand in solidarity with those who remain in prison. These activists used this small act of defiance to show that they cannot be free while 2,200 others continue to be punished for legitimate protest.

We now plan to hand in a final petition at the Association of South East Nations summit at the end of October. If you have already sent in your picture please help us spread the word.

Participate here.




aiyellow

Myanmar: Government attacks on freedoms compromises elections

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
05 November 2010

The Myanmar government’s attacks on the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association compromises the country’s first elections in 20 years, Amnesty International said today.

The Myanmar authorities have introduced several new laws and directives in the run up to the 7 November elections, restricting free speech and criticism of the government, prohibiting political parties from boycotting the elections, and cracking down on internal calls for the release of the estimated 2,200 political prisoners in the country.

“These elections presented an opportunity for Myanmar to make meaningful human rights changes on its own terms—and with the world watching,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General. “Instead, throughout the run up to the polls, the government has attacked the rights necessary for holding meaningful elections.”

Since March this year, when the government enacted restrictive and repressive Electoral Laws, it has routinely violated the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association. Recent violations include:

• On 14 September, the Election Commission issued a notice outlining strict restrictions on campaign speeches to be broadcast on state media, including vaguely worded provisions that effectively ban criticism of the government or any mention of the country’s problems, particularly ethnic issues.
• On 18 September, the government warned Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party—winners of the 1990 elections—of penalties for encouraging an election boycott.
• On 27 September, authorities sentenced Ashin Okkanta, an ethnic Mon monk, to 15 years’ imprisonment for possessing leaflets calling for the release all political prisoners in Myanmar.
• In the final two weeks of September, the authorities arrested 11 students, at least nine of whom remain in detention, in Yangon for handing out leaflets urging people not to vote.

“That Myanmar continues to hold more than 2,200 political prisoners exposes the government’s contempt for human rights in these elections,” said Salil Shetty. “Their self-described ‘Roadmap to Democracy’, of which these elections are meant to be a significant part, seems to lead only to continuing political repression.”

The Myanmar government maintains that it is not holding any political prisoners, despite the highly critical report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar released on 15 September 2010.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy party won Myanmar’s last polls in 1990 has spent nearly 15 of the past 21 years in detention.

The Myanmar government has also recently denied allegations of serious human rights violations in the country’s ethnic minority regions in the run-up to the polls, including attacks targeting civilians in the army’s ongoing counter-insurgency efforts. In 2008 Amnesty International found that such attacks amounted to crimes against humanity. Amnesty International has called on the UN to establish a Commission of Inquiry into the serious human rights violations in Myanmar.

“Myanmar’s record of human rights violations has threatened the stability of the country and the region, and it’s time for the UN, as well as Myanmar’s neighbours in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to say enough is enough,” said Salil Shetty. “The sham nature of these elections should convince even China and India—which have been supportive of Myanmar’s military government—to side with the people of the country instead.”

The elections are being held against a backdrop of political repression and systematic violence that has continued since tens of thousands of protesters—led by Buddhist monks—took to the streets in August and September 2007, demanding economic and political reforms. The peaceful country-wide demonstrations were violently put down by the authorities, resulting in at least 31 (and possibly more than a hundred) people killed and many more injured, and at least 74 people disappeared and thousands detained.

“Denying the existence of political prisoners and the occurrence of serious international crimes will not make them disappear,” said Salil Shetty. “Only by releasing the prisoners and holding perpetrators of such crimes accountable can the government begin to adequately address these persistent human rights challenges. Holding elections is not enough.”

Regardless of the election results, Amnesty International calls on ASEAN, and Myanmar’s other Asian neighbours, to demand the release of political prisoners and to make a Commission of Inquiry a reality in Myanmar.



FREEDOM TO LEAD by Shepard Fairey

by Shepard Fairey, obeygiant.com

I recently donated my FREEDOM TO LEAD image of Aung San Suu Kyi to an organization called The Best Friend. They printed posters to raise funds and awareness about the situation in Burma. You can support by buying a poster from them or making a donation. I recently watched a great documentary calledBURMA VJ that follows the 2007 Saffron Revolution that the founders of The Best Friend were deeply involved in. The film is moving and powerful in showcasing the courage of the Burmese monks and guerilla video journalists. There are still FREEDOM TO LEAD poster available on obeygiant.com as well with proceeds going to support human rights in Burma.
-Shepard

The Best Friend was founded by two concerned monks, Ashin Issariya and Ashin Sopaka, with the purpose of encouraging people to become more educated, aware and active in the struggle for peace and freedom in Burma. The Best Friend currently operates two libraries in Thailand, one in Mae Sot and one in Chiang Mai, as well as three libraries inside Burma.
http://www.thebestfriend.org/

Both founders were deeply involved in the 2007 Saffron Revolution and continue their struggle for peace, freedom and democracy with the Peace Campaign through peace walks around the world and through the distribution of peace stickers and T-shirts.
Additional projects of The Best Friend include operating two schools for Burmese migrants in Thailand, plus a Relocation Center for Burmese refugees currently living on the rubbish dump of Mae Sot.
http://www.thebestfriend.org/2010/07/05/relocation-peace/

In the run-up to the November elections in Burma, The Best Friend has planned several awareness-raising events around the world. Please take a look at photos of our recent Peace Walk in Chiang Mai, Thailand, that prominently featured Shepard Fairey’s Freedom to Lead poster of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
http://www.thebestfriend.org/2010/09/21/peace-walk-in-chiang-mai/#more-4845

The Best Friend encourages people everywhere to support the struggle for freedom and democracy in Burma, especially in the days leading up to the November election. By making a contribution or purchasing a poster from The Best Friend now, you will be helping us to do even more on the Thai-Burma border to show our support and solidarity with the people of Burma! www.shop.thebestfriend.org


aiyellow

“Political Prisoners in Myanmar Must Be Freed”
says Amnesty International

Amnesty International Press Release
For Immediate Release
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Contact: AIUSA media relations office, 202-509-8194

(Washington, D.C.) On the third anniversary of the violent crackdown on the “Saffron Revolution”, Amnesty International calls on the Myanmar government to immediately and unconditionally free all political prisoners arrested for their peaceful activism.

“While the international community, including Myanmar’s Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) neighbors, has been calling for free, fair and inclusive elections in Myanmar, the plight of thousands of political prisoners has been overlooked,” said Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International’s Myanmar researcher.

The Myanmar authorities continue to imprison over 2,200 political prisoners—more than double the number held before the August 2007 protests against sharp fuel and commodity price rises.

Amnesty International believes the vast majority of those held are prisoners of conscience who are being punished merely for peacefully exercising their rights to free expression, assembly and association.

The Myanmar government will hold its first elections in 20 years on November 7, 2010 against a backdrop of political repression and systematic violence. Under Electoral Laws enacted in March 2010, no political prisoner can take part in the elections or hold membership in any political party.

International attention in recent months has focused on the power-play between the military and the government’s proxy parties on the one hand; and the armed ethnic minority groups, the National League for Democracy, and a small number of new opposition parties on the other.

“The long-standing problem of political imprisonment in Myanmar remains very much at the heart of the political impasse in the country,” said Zawacki. “These prisoners constitute a significant part of the political opposition.”

In the largest show of public discontent against the military government in Myanmar since the 1988 pro-democracy uprising; tens of thousands of protesters—led by Buddhist monks—took to the streets in August and September 2007, demanding economic and political reforms.

The peaceful country-wide demonstrations were violently put down by the authorities in late September 2007. At least 31 (and possibly more than a hundred) people were killed—with many more injured and at least 74 disappeared—and thousands detained.

The brutal crackdown provoked international condemnation, including an unprecedented expression of revulsion and demands for change from the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council and the ASEAN.

Yet even as Myanmar prepares for its first elections in two decades, as part of what it calls a “Roadmap to Democracy”, it continues to repress political opposition.

“It begs belief that the government can attempt to burnish its democratic credentials by holding elections, while it also holds more than 2,200 political prisoners behind bars and out of sight of the campaigns and polls,” said Zawacki . “The international community should point out to Myanmar that these practices cannot be reconciled under any genuine Roadmap to Democracy.”

Many of those who took part in the Saffron Revolution, such as labor rights campaigner Su Su Nway, monk leader and activist U Gambira, and 88 Generation Student group members Min Ko Naing, Htay Kywe, Mie Mie, Ko Mya Aye and Zaw Htet Ko Ko, are in poor health. In the past two years, at least 238 political prisoners have been moved to extremely remote prisons, restricting their access to relatives, lawyers and medical care. Reports of torture and other ill-treatment are rife. The International Committee of the Red Cross has been denied access to prisons in Myanmar since late 2005.

“On this third anniversary of the Saffron Revolution, Amnesty International calls on world leaders to demand that the Myanmar government free all political prisoners at once, and ensure human rights protection throughout the elections period and beyond,” said Zawacki.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.



AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – A Message from Yoko Ono

Following is a special message from longtime Amnesty supporter Yoko Ono:

Dear Amnesty Supporter,

I have a special wish – and you are part of it.

Oct. 9 is the 70th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth. As always, my birthday wish for John is one of peace. For me, finding peace means protecting the human rights of courageous individuals like Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi inspires me to fight for human rights even when the odds seem insurmountable. She has endured unofficial detention for 14 of the past 20 years, yet she continues to inspire the people of Myanmar with her message of peace, love and freedom.

Amnesty International is a leader in the call for Suu Kyi’s release and also for the 2,100 political prisoners detained in Myanmar today.

We won’t rest until they all are free. This is what I love about Amnesty International and why I’m proud to call myself a member.

Please help my wish for peace, love and freedom come true. Make a gift to Amnesty International today.

John shared a common purpose with Amnesty – shining a light on wrongs and campaigning to protect people’s rights.

If John were alive today, I know he’d be grateful for Amnesty’s work. There is no greater champion for prisoners of conscience and victims of torture, for the oppressed and dehumanized. There is no stronger force for human rights.

Through the support of people like you, Amnesty International has become a tenacious, tireless, champion for humanity. Please try to make a financial gift today and help Amnesty International “Pass the Candle” of hope to a new generation so that this bright light never fades.

I urge you to donate right now.

In peace,

Yoko Ono



dassk

Stand With Suu Kyi

On June 18th Amnesty International & Burma Point will be calling activists and supporters throughout New York City to join us outside the United Nations Headquarters at Ralph Bunche Park for a demonstration calling for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all the political prisoners of Myanmar (Burma). The demonstration will take place on the same day as Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday, which will be June 19th in Myanmar (Burma).

Amnesty International members and other activists will be holding signs urging the Myanmar government to immediately and unconditionally release Suu Kyi and all prisoners of conscience. After the demonstration, there will be a panel discussion with T. Kumar, director of international advocacy at Amnesty International USA and Mo Chen from Burma Point, among other experts.

Aung San Suu Kyi, co-founded the National League for Democracy (NLD), a pro-democracy political party that sought to counter the military junta that had reigned over Myanmar since 1962. In 1990, the NLD won over 80 percent of the parliamentary seats in a general election. Surprised at the landslide victory, the military junta refused to transfer power to Suu Kyi and the NLD, and jailed scores of political activists.

For 14 of the past 20 years, Suu Kyi has endured unofficial detention, house arrest and restrictions on her movement. She continues to be held under house arrest in Yangon.

Stand With Suu Kyi on June 18th!

Demonstration
June 18 from 12-1 pm
Ralph Bunche Park across the street from the UN (1st Ave and 43rd St);

Panel Discussion
June 18th from 1-2:30 pm
777 UN Church Center Plaza (44th St and 1st Ave)

CONTACT
Thenjiwe Mcharris / tmcharris@aiusa.org / 212.633.4215

HOSTED BY
Amnesty International & Burma Point

For more information, please contact the AIUSA media office or visit www.amnestyusa.org.

Her name is Aung San Suu Kyi

Amnesty International Calls Suu Kyi’s New Sentence “Shameful”

(Washington, DC) Today’s guilty verdict against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi by a court in Myanmar has been described by Amnesty International’s Secretary General Irene Khan as “shameful”. “Her arrest, trial and now this guilty verdict are nothing more than legal and political theatre,” added Irene Khan.

On August 11, a court in Yangon’s Insein prison found Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader guilty of violating the conditions of her house arrest, after an uninvited man spent two nights there in early May. Under Section 22 of Myanmar’s State Protection Act of 1975, the court sentenced Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to three years imprisonment, commuted to 18 months under house arrest. This was less than the maximum five years’ imprisonment allowed by law.

“The Myanmar authorities will hope that a sentence that is shorter than the maximum will be seen by the international community as an act of leniency. But it is not, and must not be seen as such, especially by ASEAN or the UN. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained for over 13 of the past 20 years but should never have been arrested in the first place. The only issue here is her immediate and unconditional release”, said Irene Khan.

Amnesty International also noted that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a prisoner of conscience, is one of more than 2,150 political prisoners in Myanmar.

Background

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s sentencing comes in the midst of ongoing human rights violations by the military against ethnic minority civilians. In early June the Myanmar army staged attacks and took Karen civilians for forced labor in Kayin State. This resulted in over 3,500 refugees fleeing to Thailand.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

Take action for Aung San Suu Kyi HERE.

aiyellow

Burma court finds Suu Kyi guilty

from BBC News

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to 18 months of house arrest, after a court found her guilty of violating security laws. Ms Suu Kyi, a 64-year-old Nobel peace laureate, was on trial for allowing a US national into her lakeside home after he swam there. Critics of Burma’s military regime say the verdict is designed to prevent her from taking part in elections in 2010. Ms Suu Kyi has spent nearly 14 of the past 20 years in detention. Her American visitor, John Yettaw, was jailed for seven years including four years of hard labour. Ms Suu Kyi was taken straight back to her home after the end of the trial, officials said.

She had always denied the charge but said she expected to be convicted. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was “saddened and angry” by the verdict and described the trial as a “sham”. In a strongly-worded statement, Mr Brown said it was “a purely political sentence”. A statement from the office of Nicolas Sarkozy said the French president was calling on the European Union to impose new sanctions on Burma. The EU presidency said it would impose “additional targeted measures against those responsible for the verdict”. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Aung San Suu Kyi should not have been convicted, and she also called for the release of American citizen John Yettaw.

“We are concerned about the harsh sentence imposed on him, especially in light of his medical condition,” she told reporters. Mr Yettaw is believed to have epilepsy, diabetes and post-traumatic stress disorder, and has been treated at a Rangoon hospital. Myint Myint Aye, of Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party – the country’s main opposition, said the party did not accept the verdict, adding: “We demand her immediate unconditional release and we will keep on pressing.”

Journalists had unexpectedly been allowed to enter the court in Rangoon’s Insein prison shortly before the sentence was announced. The courtroom was initially told that Ms Suu Kyi was sentenced to three years in prison with hard labour. But after a five-minute recess, Burma’s home minister entered the courtroom and read out a special order from the country’s military ruler Than Shwe that reduced the sentence to 18 months and said it could be served under house arrest.

Than Shwe said he reduced the sentence to “maintain peace and tranquillity” and because Ms Suu Kyi was the daughter of Aung San, a national hero who helped to win Burma’s independence from Britain. Ms Suu Kyi looked alert but tired during the 90-minute court appearance. She stood as the verdict was read out and then thanked foreign diplomats for attending.
“I hope we can all work for peace and prosperity of the country,” she said quietly to diplomats seated nearby. She then was led out of the courtroom. There was tight security around the prison, with security forces sealing off the area. The trial has brought international condemnation, and many analysts say the main reason it was held was to give Burma’s military government an excuse to keep Ms Suu Kyi out of next year’s planned multi-party elections. Her previous period of house arrest expired on 27 May, and this new term will mean she is still in detention during the polls, which are expected to happen in about May 2010. The NLD won the last elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take power. Mr Yettaw, 54, swam to Ms Suu Kyi’s lakeside house in Rangoon uninvited and stayed there for two nights in May.

As a result, Ms Suu Kyi was accused of breaching the terms of her house arrest and faced up to five years in prison. Ms Suu Kyi’s two female house companions were also arrested with her. At the trial they also received the commuted sentence of 18 months house arrest.

Mr Yettaw, of Falcon, Missouri, was sentenced to three years in prison for breaching Ms Suu Kyi’s house arrest, three years with hard labour for an immigration offence and another one-year term with hard labour for swimming in a restricted zone. It was not clear if the prison terms would be served concurrently. Reports say he was discharged from hospital on Monday night after a week of treatment for epileptic seizures. But according to the editor of the BBC’s Burmese Service, Tin Htar Swe, the regime has no real reason to keep him so his sentence may well be commuted at a later date.

dassk

64forSuu by Yoko Ono

Aung San Suu Kyi,
Your heart beats with my heart.
My eyes see what you see.
My belief is your belief.
And my life is connected to thousands of universes, as is yours.

Every twinkle of the star must travel billions of years to be seen by us.
But our minds do not have to travel at all to be seen by each other.
Because we are altogether.

Yoko Ono Lennon
June 19th ’09

Video from Amnesty International

Aung San Suu Kyi has committed no crime. As one of the founders of the National League for Democracy and the winner of the 1990 general election, she is being held in detention simply because of her political activities and peaceful opposition to the military regime that controls Burma.
Take action for Aung San Suu Kyi HERE.

aiyellow

Statement by President Obama on Aung San Suu Kyi’s House Arrest and Detention

Below is a statement just released by President Obama:

THE WHITE HOUSE

Statement by the President on Aung San Suu Kyi’s House Arrest and Detention

I call on the Burmese government to release National League for Democracy Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi from detention immediately and unconditionally. I strongly condemn her house arrest and detention, which have also been condemned around the world. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has issued opinions affirming that the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi dating back to 2003 is arbitrary, unjustified, and in contravention of Burma’s own law, and the United Nations Security Council reaffirmed on May 22 their concern about the situation and called for the release of all political prisoners.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s continued detention, isolation, and show trial based on spurious charges cast serious doubt on the Burmese regime’s willingness to be a responsible member of the international community. This is an important opportunity for the government in Burma to demonstrate that it respects its own laws and its own people, is ready to work with the National League for Democracy and other ethnic and opposition groups, and is prepared to move toward reconciliation.

By her actions, Aung San Suu Kyi has represented profound patriotism, sacrifice, and the vision of a democratic and prosperous Burma. It is time for the Burmese government to drop all charges against Aung San Suu Kyi and unconditionally release her and her fellow political prisoners. Such an action would be an affirmative and significant step on Burma’s part to begin to restore its standing in the eyes of the United States and the world community and to move toward a better future for its people.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Statement-by-the-President-on-Aung-San-Suu-Kyis-House-Arrest-and-Detention/

64ForSuu.org: Global Campaign To Free Aung San Suu Kyi launched today

A new website calling for the release of Burma’s democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and all of Burma’s political prisoners, launches today with the backing of major celebrities and a coalition of NGOs and trade unions. The website will become the global hub of the international campaign to release Aung San Suu Kyi.

The launch coincides with the day that, according to the Burmese regime, Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest expires. The UN has already ruled that her detention is illegal. More than 2,100 political prisoners are being held in Burma’s jails.

64forSuu.org allows anyone to upload video, text, image or twitter messages of support to Burma’s imprisoned democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. 64forSuu.org aims to demonstrate the scale of outrage over her continued detention by encouraging high profile individuals and the public around the world to write a 64 word message, a “64”, that will be delivered on Aung San Suu Kyi’s 64th birthday on June 19th.

Organisations supporting the website include; Burma Campaign UKAmnesty International,Christian Solidarity Worldwide,Open Society InstituteAvaaz, theTrade Union Congress ,English PenHuman Rights Watch and Not On Our Watch. The site will launch with messages from high-profile supporters including George Clooney, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Vaclav Havel, David Beckham, Daniel Craig, and the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
Stephen Fry, Eddie Izzard, Kevin Spacey and Sarah Brown will be twittering on the site.

A selection of the 64’s from the site are below:

Not On Our Watch:
“Nineteen years ago, the Burmese people chose Aung San Suu Kyi as their next leader. For most of those 19 years she has been kept under house arrest by the military junta that runs the country. We must not stand by as she is silenced again. Now is the time for the international community to speak with one voice: Free Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Signed by: George Clooney, Sec. Madeleine Albright, Wes Anderson, Drew Barrymore, David Beckham, Bono, Matthew Broderick, Sandra Bullock, James Carville, Michael Chabon, Daniel Craig, John Cusack, Matt Damon, Robert De Niro, Dave Eggers, Jake Gyllenhaal, Václav Havel, Helen Hunt, Anjelica Huston, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Ashton Kutcher, Norman Lear, Madonna, Mary Matalin, Sen. John & Cindy McCain, Rose McGowan, Orhan Pamuk, Sarah Jessica Parker, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Robert Rodriguez, Meg Ryan, Liev Schreiber, George Soros, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi Watts, Prof. Elie Wiesel, Owen Wilson.

British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown’s “64”:
“I add my voice to the growing chorus of those demanding your release. For too long the world has failed to act in the face of this intolerable injustice. That is now changing. The clamour for your release is growing across Europe, Asia, and the entire world. We must do all we can to make this Birthday the last you spend without your freedom.”

Notes to editors:
About Aung San Suu Kyi:

Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced Ong San Soo Chee), Burma’s pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace laureate, symbolises the struggle of Burma’s people to be free. She has been detained for over 13 years by the Burmese regime for campaigning for human rights and democracy in Burma.

On May 18th Aung San Suu Kyi was put on trial, charged with breaching the terms of her house arrest after an American man, John Yettaw, swam to her house and refused to leave. The dictatorship are using the visit as an opportunity to extend her detention, which was expected to expire this month. Her trial is ongoing and she could face a further five years in detention.

In 1990 she led her party to win 82% of seats in national elections in Burma, despite being placed under house arrest. She has been in and out of detention ever since. She was held under house arrest from 1989-1995, and again from 2000-2002. She was again arrested in May 2003 after the Depayin massacre, during which up to 100 of her supporters were beaten to death by the regime’s militia. Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest in Rangoon. Her phone line has been cut, her post is intercepted and National League for Democracy volunteers providing security at her compound were removed in December 2004.

She has won numerous international awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament and the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom. She has called on people around the world to join the struggle for freedom in Burma, saying “Please use your liberty to promote ours.”

For more information contact Johnny Chatterton, and Website Manager for 64forsuu.org, and Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK on 0207 324 4710.

aiyellow

U.N. Security Council must demand Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s immediate release by Myanmar government, urges Amnesty International

Amnesty International, May 14, 2009

To take action for Aung San Suu Kyi online, click HERE.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi, © Chris Robinson

Amnesty International is demanding that the U.N. Security Council, notably China and Japan, and ASEAN countries, urgently intervene to secure Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from Insein prison. They are best placed to bring the necessary pressure to bear on the Myanmar government.

Myanmar's Insein Prison, where Auung San Suu Kyi and hundreds of others are held (c) Digital Globe 2008. Image taken from Google Earth

Myanmar's Insein Prison, where Auung San Suu Kyi and hundreds of others are held (c) Digital Globe 2008. Image taken from Google Earth

“The government of Myanmar must free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at once, without condition, and not return her to house arrest ” said Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International’s Myanmar expert.

Amnesty International is also highlighting the detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s two female companions, Khin Khin Win and her daughter, who were arrested at the same time. All three are facing trial on May 18 in connection with an incident at the beginning of May when an American national allegedly swam across the lake in front of her house and stayed there for two days.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has recently been in poor health. When her regular doctor, Tin Myo Win, called on her on May 7, security forces prevented him from entering her house. On returning home, he was taken away by the authorities. Dr. Tin Myo Win is a former prisoner of conscience, whose current whereabouts remain unknown.

“Khin Khin Win, her daughter and Dr. Tin Myo Win are now among more than 2,100 political prisoners currently being held in prison in Myanmar,” said Zawacki. “Just like other political prisoners, they are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Conditions in Myanmar prisons are extremely bad and jeopardise the health of prisoners.”

“In the absence of a unified international voice, the Myanmar government will continue to act in utter disregard for human rights. Now more than ever, the Security Council and ASEAN member states must send an unequivocal signal to the generals that they can no longer act with impunity,” Zawacki concluded.

Background

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is the leader of the opposition party, the National League for Democracy, and has been detained for 13 of the past 19 years, mostly under house arrest. Her current house detention order is set to expire on May 27, 2009. In March 2009, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said that the detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi violated both international law and Myanmar’s domestic legislation.

About Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
For more information, please visit: www.amnestyusa.org & www.amnesty.org

aung_san_suu_kyi

FREE DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI

The military rulers of Myanmar have jailed thousands of people in their continuing efforts to crush all dissenting views. Most prominent of those detained is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has been the beacon of hope and change for nearly two decades in Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma.

Aung San Suu Kyi, co-founded the National League for Democracy (NLD), a pro-democracy political party that sought to counter the military junta that had reigned over Myanmar since 1962. In 1990, the NLD won almost 80 percent of the parliamentary seats in a general election. Surprised at the landslide victory, the military junta refused to transfer power to Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD, and jailed scores of political activists.

For 13 of the past 19 years, Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced “Awng Sahn Soo Chee”) has endured unofficial detention, house arrest and restrictions on her movement. She continues to be held under house arrest in Yangon without charge or trial.

Amnesty International seeks the immediate and unconditional release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

Please send politely worded letters to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, urging him to bring about the immediate and unconditional release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar.

Write to:

Foreign Minister Nyan Win
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Bldg. (19)
Naypyitaw
UNION OF MYANMAR
Postage: 94 cents

You can use our sample letter as a guide, (word doc)(pdf) but please be encouraged to add your own thoughts.

To take action for Aung San Suu Kyi online, click HERE.

Why are the Burmese Junta scared of Aung San Suu Kyi?


REM’s Michael Stipe asks “Why are the Burmese Junta scared of Aung San Suu Kyi?”
She has now been under arrest for 13 years.
To find out more about Suu Kyi go to http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk

Now! Aung San Suu Kyi from hensmans on Vimeo.

A video animation from 1991 about Human Rights defenders in danger.
This one is about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Aung San Suu Kyi – a biography

Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced Ong San Soo Chee), Burma’s pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace laureate, symbolises the struggle of Burma’s people to be free.

She was born on June 19th, 1945 to Burma’s independence hero, Aung San, who was assassinated when she was only two years old.

Aung San Suu Kyi was educated in Burma, India, and the United Kingdom. While studying at Oxford University, she met Michael Aris, a Tibet scholar who she married in 1972. They had two sons, Alexander and Kim. On March 27 1999, while Aung San Suu Kyi was in Burma, Michael Aris died of cancer in London. He had petitioned the Burmese authorities to allow him to visit Suu Kyi one last time, but they had rejected his request. He had not seen her since a Christmas visit in 1995. The government always urged Suu Kyi to join her family abroad, but she knew that she would not be allowed to return.

Aung San Suu Kyi had returned to Burma in 1988 to nurse her dying mother and was immediately plunged into the country’s nationwide democracy uprising. Joining the newly-formed National League for Democracy (NLD), Suu Kyi gave numerous speeches calling for freedom and democracy. The military regime responded to the uprising with brute force, killing up to 5,000 demonstrators. Unable to maintain its grip on power, the regime was forced to call a general election in 1990.

As Aung San Suu Kyi began to campaign for the NLD, she and many others were detained by the regime. Despite being held under house arrest, the NLD went on to win a staggering 82% of the seats in parliament. The regime never recognized the results of the election.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been in and out of arrest ever since. She was held under house arrest from 1989-1995, and again from 2000-2002. She was again arrested in May 2003 after the Depayin massacre, during which up to 100 of her supporters were beaten to death by the regime’s militia. Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest in Rangoon. Her phone line has been cut, her post is intercepted and National League for Democracy volunteers providing security at her compound were removed in December 2004.

She has won numerous international awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament and the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom. She has called on people around the world to join the struggle for freedom in Burma, saying “Please use your liberty to promote ours”.

Chronology

1945: Born in Rangoon on June 19th, the daughter of independence hero and national leader General Aung San and Daw Khin Kyi; General Aung San is assassinated July 19, 1947.
Aung San Suu Kyi is educated in Rangoon until 15 years old
1960: Accompanies mother to Delhi on her appointment as Burmese ambassador to India and Nepal and studies politics at Delhi University
1964-67: BA in philosophy, politics and economics, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford University. She is elected Honorary Fellow in 1990.
1969-71: Assistant Secretary, Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, United Nations Secretariat, New York
1972: Research Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bhutan; married Dr. Michael Aris, a British scholar.
1973-77: Birth of sons Alexander in London (1973) and Kim (1977) in Oxford
1985-86: Visiting Scholar, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
1987: Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Simla
1988, March: Student protests break out in Rangoon.
1988, July 23: General Ne Win steps down as Chairman of the Burma Socialist Programme Party(BSPP) after 26 years, triggering pro-democracy movement.
1988, Aug 8: The famous 8-8-88 mass uprising starts in Rangoon and spreads to the entire country, drawing millions of people to protest against the BSPP government. The following military crackdown killed thousands.
1988, Aug 26: Aung San Suu Kyi addresses half-million mass rally in front of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon and calls for a democratic government.
1988, Sep 18: The military reestablishes its power and the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) is formed. The military again crushes the pro-democracy movement, killing hundreds more.
1988, Sep 24: The National League for Democracy (NLD) is formed, with Aung San Suu Kyi as general secretary.
1988, Dec 27: Daw Khin Kyi, mother of Aung San Suu Kyi, dies. The funeral procession draws a huge crowd of supporters, which turns into a peaceful protest against military rule.
1989, Jul 20: Aung San Suu Kyi is placed her under house arrest in Rangoon under martial law that allows for detention without charge or trial for three years.
1990, May 27: Despite her continuing detention, the National League for Democracy wins a landslide victory in the general elections by securing 82 percent of the seats; the military junta refuses to recognise the results of the election
1990, Oct 12: Awarded, in absentia, the 1990 Rafto Human Rights Prize.
1991, Jul 10: Awarded, in absentia, the 1990 Sakharov Prize (human rights prize of the European Parliament)
1991, Aug 10: The military regime retroactively amends the law under which Aung San Suu Kyi is held to allow for detention for up to five years without charge or trial.
1991, Oct 14: Awarded the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize
1991, Dec 10: Aung San Suu Kyi’s ‘Freedom from Fear’ and other writings published in London.
1992: The Nobel Committee reveals that Aung San Suu Kyi has established a health and education trust in support of the Burmese people to use the $1.3 million prize money.
1994 Sep 20: Gen. Than Shwe and Gen. Khin Nyunt of SLORC meet Aung San Suu Kyi for the first time since the house arrest.
1995 Jul 10: The junta releases Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest.
1995 Oct 10: The NLD defied junta’s ban on changes in party leadership positions and reappointed her as the party’s General Secretary.
1999 Mar 27: Aung San Suu Kyi’s husband Michael Aris dies of prostrate cancer in London. His last request to visit Aung San Suu Kyi, whom he had last seen in 1995, was rejected by the military junta which said if Aung San Suu Kyi wanted to leave the country she could do so. She refused the offer knowing that she would not be allowed to return to Burma.
1996-2000: Aung San Suu Kyi defies travel bans imposed against her and continually tries to leave Rangoon. In March 1996, she boarded the train bound for Mandalay but citing a “last minute problem” the coach she was in was left behind at the station. 

On 2 September 2000, around 200 riot police surrounded Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s motorcade near Dala and forced them to return to Rangoon after a nine-day standoff.

2000 Sep 23: Aung San Suu Kyi is placed under house arrest.
2000, Oct: Aung San Suu Kyi begins secret talks with the military junta. Substance of the talks remains secret, and UN Special Envoy Razali acts as a “facilitator.”
2000 Dec 07: US President Bill Clinton confers America’s highest civilian honour on Aung San Suu Kyi. Her son Alexander Aris receives the award on her behalf.
2002 May 6: Aung San Suu Kyi is freed after 19 months of house arrest.
2003 May 30:
During a tour of northern Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters are attacked by the regime’s militia in the town of Depayin. As many as 70 people were killed in the attack and over 100 people arrested, including Aung San Suu Kyi. Aung San Suu Kyi remained in secret detention for over three months.
2004 March: Razali Ismail, UN special envoy to Burma, has his last meeting Aung San Suu Kyi.
2006 May 20: Ibrahim Gambari, UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs, met Aung San Suu Kyi, the first visit by a foreign official since Razali’s visit in 2004. Gambari met Aung San Suu Kyi again in November 2006 but his visit failed to secure any concessions from Burma’s military regime.
2007 May 25: Aung San Suu Kyi’s term of house arrest was extended for another year.
2007 Sept 22: Aung San Suu Kyi left her house to greet and pray with Buddhist monks outside her gate during the biggest demonstrations in Burma since the 1988 uprising. This is the first time she has been seen in public since 2003.
2007 Sept 30: The UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari meets Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon.
2007 Oct 24: Aung San Suu Kyi reaches a total of 12 years in detention.
2007 Oct 25: Aung San Suu Kyi meets the regime’s newly appointed liaison officer, Aung Kyi, but no details of their discussion are made public.
2007 Nov 6: Aung San Suu Kyi meets UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari.
Text of Aung San Suu Kyi’s statement released by U.N. envoy
08 November 2007
2008 Jan 31: Aung San Suu Kyi meets NLD leadership. She asked that they convey to the public the message that “We should hope for the best and prepare for the worst.” 

“What I can say is Daw Suu is not satisfied with the current meetings with the junta, especially the fact that the process is not time-bound,” NLD spokesperson Nyan Win said, referring to the lack of a time frame for the talks to achieve any results.

2008 Mar 8: Aung San Suu Kyi meets UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari.
2008 May 27 Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention is extended again.

‘In The Quiet Land’ by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

In the Quiet Land, no one can tell
if there’s someone who’s listening
for secrets they can sell.

The informers are paid in the blood of the land
and no one dares speak what the tyrants won’t stand.

In the quiet land of Burma,
no one laughs and no one thinks out loud.
In the quiet land of Burma,
you can hear it in the silence of the crowd

In the Quiet Land, no one can say
when the soldiers are coming
to carry them away.
The Chinese want a road; the French want the oil;
the Thais take the timber; and SLORC takes the spoils…

In the Quiet Land….
In the Quiet Land, no one can hear
what is silenced by murder
and covered up with fear.
But, despite what is forced, freedom’s a sound
that liars can’t fake and no shouting can drown.

‘Free Bird Towards a Free Burma’ by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

My home…
where I was born and raised
used to be warm and lovely
now filled with darkness and horror.

My family…
whom I had grown with
used to be cheerful and lively
now living with fear and terror.

My friends…
whom I shared my life with
used to be pure and merry
now living with wounded heart.

A free bird…
which is just freed
used to be caged
now flying with an olive branch
for the place it loves.

A free bird towards a Free Burma.

‘Why do I have to fight?’ by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

They killed my father a year ago,
And they burnt my hut after that
I asked the city men “why me?” they ignored
“I don’t know, mind your business,” the men said.

One day from elementary school I came home,
Saw my sister was lifeless, lying in blood.
I looked around to ask what happened, if somebody’d known,
Found no one but living room as a flood.

Running away by myself on the village road,
Not knowing where to go but heading for my teacher
Realizing she’s the only one who could help to clear my throat,
But this time she gave up, telling me strange things in fear.

Why, teacher, why.. why.. why?
I have no dad nor a sister left.
To teach me and to care for me you said, was that a lie?
This time with tearful eyes she, again, said…

“Be a grown one, young man,
Can’t you see we all are dying?
And stop this with your might as soon as you can,
For we all are suffering.”

Links

aiyellow


The Burma Campaign UK works for human rights, democracy and development in Burma. …


U.S. based organization that dedicated to empowering grassroots activists around the world to bring about an end to the military dictatorship in Burma…


1976 Nobel Peace Laureate, Betty Williams, recounts her experience from visiting the children in a Refugee Camp for Burmese. Honest, Graphic, Real…


A news magazine published by IPG which was founded in 1992 by Burmese exiles living in Thailand…

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comments

27 Responses to Happy Birthday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi! Free all prisoners of conscience in Myanmar (Burma)

  1. Very happy for Daw Su Birthday/

  2. BIA says:

    ✿♫♫°º✿

    Happy Birthday to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi! Congratulations to her and Yoko for keeping the flame of the struggle for peace and justice, women warriors and admirable.

    BIA – BRASIL

    ✿♫♫°º✿

  3. ZELI says:

    YOKO,EU GOSTO DE VC E DO JON.ADORO AS MUSICAS DELE.ESSE BLOG ESTÁ MUITO BEM FEITO E CRIATIVO.
    MEU TWITTER,É @LEITEVANDERLEI.
    GOSTARIA DE AGRADECER POR TER MIM ADD.
    QUERO DIZER QUE VC E SEU FILHO,FOI A COISA QUE MAIS O JON AMOU.
    POR TUDO ISSO,AMO VCS TAMBEM.BEIJOS

  4. Bill Bourne says:

    Thank you beautiful people for inspiring us all upward…

    Peace – b

    • CJ Ryan says:

      Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, I salute you! I admire and support your aspirations and I rejoice in your release. I celebrate your serenity and your dignity.
      May your wings have strength to Fly on ‘free bird’ and may God bless you always!

      CJ Ryan
      Dublin

  5. We need a ‘Share’ button for this one so it can go viral on Facebook! The combination of these two splendid women is perfect

  6. Krishnakumar varma says:

    Congratulations. Feel so good. A real victory! After so many years of patient waiting. Pray God, they do not arrest her up again. Wishing her success. Krishnakumar Kochi, Kerala , India

  7. John Joyce says:

    SO HAPPY FOR YOUR RELEASE! You are an inspirational embodiment of peace and justice. I support you with all my heart!
    John Joyce
    New York, USA

  8. Sylken6 says:

    One never knows what it feels like to be free until one is held captive against their will. I wish you all the best and am so elated that you have been finally set free from captivity. May your heart be filled with Peace and Love!

  9. Bia says:

    The life on earth is perpetuated through justice!!! At last free!!! One must believe and always strive!!!
    Bia
    Porto Alegre – Brasil

  10. nathalie says:

    This is a beautiful day!!!

  11. Dean says:

    A hero to the Burmese people and an inspiration to all humanity. Thank God Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is free today.

  12. Ofunne says:

    The exitement of Aung San Suu Kyi’s release has triggered huge ripples of excitement as well as apprehension around the world. My good friends at A.K. Rockefeller have realeased a pulsating, catchy remix in the hero’s honor! Download for free while it lasts.

    http://www.ofunne.com/music/aung-san-suu-kyi-remix-by-general-fathead/

    I dream of attending a discussion with Yoko and Aung San Suu Kyi on the same panel!

  13. Gene Rubio says:

    Aung San Suu Kyi,
    Freedom will prevail. ✌
    Now she can close the door behind her.

  14. Hanna says:

    I am so happy that Aung San Suu Kyi is finally free! She has spent more than 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest. Aung San Suu Kyi was one of more than 2,200 political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience in Myanmar, currently being held in unfortunate conditions in for simply exercising their right to peaceful protest. But what about the other prisoners of conscience in Myanmar? Will they finally learn what real freedom is and how long will that take? I strongly believe it will happen, it is only a question of time.

  15. Elinor Wahl says:

    This is wonderful news! I didn’t even know who this woman was until a few days ago, but now I’m glad that she’s been released after such a long period. Proof that peaceful intentions and inner strength can win out in the end.

  16. Luisa says:

    freedom & life & water & brightness for all beings

  17. Sonia Vinluan says:

    The fight is not over yet; remember you have a lot of sacrifice to be endure and be careful of people who will kill you!!!!!

  18. Hi! I want to inform you that your writeing is super. Sorry for my English. I’m from Germany, i’m using google translate so i can read this blog.. If you want you can visit my articles Skijanje U Njemačkoj .

  19. hyperspacecowgirl says:

    I imagine freedom for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi every day.

  20. That is very helpful. It presented me a few ideas and I’ll be placing them on my web site shortly. I’m bookmarking your blog and I’ll be back again. Thanks again!

  21. Moe Chan says:

    Thanks Ms Ono! While we imagine peace, we are determined to live it in Burma, soon! Again, many thanks to you for supporting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma.

  22. と「peace」です。普遍の人間の真理です。これは神が保障したものではありません。宇宙が保障したものです。だからヨ-コ・オノは大西洋の北海の海に宇宙に届く希望でもって、サーチ・ライトを建設したのです。私たちも付いていきます。スーチーさん、だから絶望することなく私たちの存在を、感じていてください。春野一樹

  23. jorge says:

    There is also this beautiful song by jane Birkin dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi:

    The video of the song with subtitles in Japanese by Amnesty International Japan:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeP-PkEcf-g

    ジェーン・バーキン最新アルバム「冬の子供たち」(EMIミュー ジック・ジャパン)に収録されている「アウンサンスーチー」のプ ロモーションビデオです。アムネスティ・インターナショナル フランス支部制作。 ビルマの人権状況について詳しくは http://www.amnesty.or.jp/mo… をご覧ください。
    ジェーン・バーキン最新アルバム「冬の子供たち」(EMIミュージック・ジャパン)に 収録されている「アウンサンスーチー」のプロモーションビデオです。アムネスティ・イ ンターナショナル フランス支部制作。

    ビルマの人権状況について詳しくは
    http://www.amnesty.or.jp/modules/wfse
    をご覧ください。

    Another video of the song made by Amnesty International France:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv3qad2jg8s

    En ce jour d’anniversaire d’Aung San Suu Kyi, Prix Nobel de la Paix 1991, Amnesty International a l’honneur de s’associer à Jane Birkin pour présenter la chanson qu’elle a écrite pour elle. Depuis sa rencontre avec Aung San Suu Kyi il y a une dizaine d’années, Jane Birkin soutient inlassablement le peuple birman. Cette chanson émouvante et militante est une plaidoirie pour le combat que mène Aung San Suu Kyi pour la démocratie au Myanmar (ex-Birmanie).

    Indignée par la répression des moines et de la population birmane à l’automne 2007, Jane Birkin a écrit cette chanson et l’a interprétée depuis sur les scènes du monde entier. La chanteuse militante vient de terminer à Paris l’enregistrement en studio de cette plaidoirie en faveur d’Aung San Suu Kyi, dont le texte reprend des informations diffusées par Amnesty International.
    http://www.amnesty.fr/aungsansuukyi

    Interview with jane Birkin
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqFCgv7JRMA

    In this other video Jane Birkin speaks about Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi. She supports a pacifist transition towards democracy in Burma. Producted by Actions Birmanie, Pierre Francois, Angélique Berhault and Matthieu de Nanteuil:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rWbZPnuFSU

    Jane Birkin Live at Concert les Ailes de l’Espoir organisé à Bruxelles (au Botanique) par Actions Birmanie le 10 décembre 2007
    http://www.birmanie.net

  24. May Daw Suu Kyi’s life of hope and courage not end in tragedy…

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