Monday, November 15, 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi Emerges From House Arrest - Again

After seven years of house arrest by order of the Burmese junta, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is finally free to travel again. In all, she has been detained under various forms of house arrest for 15 of the last 21 years. During much of that time, her only company was visits from housekeepers and the Burmese equivalent of a probation officer.

Yet the Nobel Peace Prize winner told the BBC in an in-depth interview that, even when confined to her home for so long, she always felt free. She acknowledged that the extended detention called upon her "inner resources." but Aung San Suu Kyi kept the focus on others throughout the interview.

She spoke, for example, of how the house arrest separated her from her family. Her husband died abroad, after being denied a visa to return to Burma. Her protracted detentions by the junta also kept Aung San Suu Kyi apart from her two sons. She recognized her family's suffering, and the suffering of her political supporters, but expressed no pity for herself. Instead, she kept the focus on her own moral choices.

A prisoner of conscience par excellence.

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