Thursday, December 1, 2011

Aung San Suu Kyi hosts Hillary Clinton in Burma

"Fear is a habit; I am not afraid."
-Aung San Suu Kyi

Burmese Opposition Leader,
Nobel Peace laureate, and Nonviolent Revolutionary, Aung San Suu Kyi hosted U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton in Burma on Thursday. It is the first time in more than 50 years a diplomat from the United States has visited Burma (Myanmar). A couple of weeks ago, President Obama called Suu Kyi to ensure that she was supportive of Clinton's trip. (Obama Announcement)

Suu Kyi, who was released last year after having spent most of the past 20 years under house arrest, recently announced that she planned to have her party, the National League for Democracy, rejoin Burmese politics.

Clinton's visit comes at at a time when it appears the new civilian government of the repressive regime is looking to reform, although it is still clear there is still a long way to go.

The Guardian reports that before her meeting with Ms. Suu Kyi, Clinton met with Burma's new President, Thein Sien, saying,

"I am here today because President Obama and myself are encouraged by the steps you and your government have taken to provide for your people."

The video below is of Aung San Suu Kyi talking about her support of the visit:

As well as meeting with Ms. Suu Kyi, Secretary Clinton hand delivered a letter from President Obama. Noteworthy in the letter Mr. Obama comments that:

"I have long admired your brave and unwavering struggle for democracy..."


"Secretary of State Clinton's visit will explore how the United States can support efforts to foster political opening and respect for universal human rights, as well as demonstrate the seriousness of our commitment to helping the people of Burma achieve their democratic aspirations."

It is my hope that Ms. Suu Kyi takes this opportunity to remind Secretary Clinton that the world has been watching very closely how well the United States government is doing in regards to respect for universal human rights and helping people achieve their democratic aspirations.

Related Information:

Reuters: Video

Clinton's Visit To Myanmar Should Be Measured In Human Rights Improvement, Says Amnesty International

CBS News Article

The Guardian Article

The New Yorker: 'A Free Woman'

Burma Watch

Free Burma Coalition

Burma Campaign UK

Aung San Suu Kyi addresses U2 fans in Denver:

Aung San Suu Kyi adresses the World Economic Forum 2011 in Davos:

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