Aung San Suu Kyi, © Chris Robinson
As Myanmar prepares for its upcoming elections, a sense of concern and tension is in the air. Many fear that there will once again be political unrest, resulting in widespread arrests from election-related crackdowns. Moreover, contributing to the anxiety is the anticipated release of democracy leader and co-founder of the National League for Democracy (NLD) Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has endured unofficial detention and has been held under house arrest for about 15 years in Yangon.
Will you be among those calling for justice in Myanmar on Friday? On June 18th, Amnesty International and other NGOs will be holding a demonstration and panel discussion in New York to commemorate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday. Activists will also participate in a procession to the Permanent Mission of the Union of Myanmar to deliver 65 yellow roses in honor of Suu Kyi’s 65th birthday. Amnesty International members, the Burmese community, and other activists will be calling for her release, as well as for the over 2,100 political prisoners of Myanmar.
Can’t make it to the demonstration in New York? You can still support Amnesty’s efforts by joining our “Stand with Suu Kyi” photo action.
Stand with us as we stand with Suu Kyi and the more than 2,100 political prisoners in Myanmar!
Amnesty International is asking you to stand with Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Myanmar through a symbolic photographic action. We are hoping to gather at least 2,100 photos by June 19 – Aung San Suu Kyi’s 65th birthday – to represent the 2,100 political prisoners detained in Myanmar.
Myanmar is not a place that had crossed my radar until I traveled to Thailand in October 2008. If you are like me, you might have heard about monks protesting and a devastating cyclone hitting the country, but mostly this is a place that remains shrouded in mystery. Through some fortuitous networking in Thailand, I connected with a Burmese refugee community and learned about the issues in Myanmar firsthand from those fighting to create change in the country and hopefully one day return. Personally, I know that I feel powerless when I think about the weight of what is happening in Myanmar and how little I can do alone. However, when we stand together, we are strong.
At the heart of the movement for Myanmar is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and co-founder of the National League for Democracy (NLD), a pro-democracy political party that sought to counter the military junta that has reigned over Myanmar since 1962. In 1990, the NLD won the majority of the seats in the parliamentary election, but the military junta refused to recognize these election results and instead jailed scores of political activists. For 14 of the past 20 years, Aung San Suu Kyi has endured unofficial detention, house arrest and restrictions on her movement. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
This posting is part of our Write-a-Thon Cases Series. For more information visit www.amnestyusa.org/writeathon/
Aung San Suu Kyi, © Chris Robinson
Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has called for political change in Myanmar and has spent 14 of the last 20 years being punished for it. The military junta that has run the country since a 1962 coup has cracked down on political dissent, jailing thousands of reformists and activists. Aung San Suu Kyi, the primary face of the movement for democracy, has been kept under house arrest, unofficially detained, and subjected to other restrictions since the National League for Democracy (NLD), which she co-founded, won a 1990 general election. The NLD was immediately denied power by the ruling State Peace and Development Council.
Aung San Suu Kyi is one of Amnesty International’s 10 priority cases who you can help free by participating in our Global Write-a-thon running from December 5-13. She has most recently been placed under 18 months’ house arrest in August, a move that the international community has censured as a government pretext to prohibit her from participating in state elections scheduled for 2010.
SEE THE REST OF THIS POST