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Suu Kyi draws thousands to NLD office

“I’ve always believed in national reconciliation.”

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Aung San Suu Kyi spoke to at least 40,000 people from the National League for Democracy headquarters in Rangoon at around noon today, after emerging the day before to freedom for the first time after seven years of house arrest.

Wearing a moss-green eingyi and roses in her hair, the pro-democracy leader and beacon of hope for millions said: “I’ve always believed in national reconciliation.”


The military regime in Burma had detained Suu Kyi for most of the past two decades. Yesterday, world leaders and human rights groups across the world welcomed her release, not to mention her Burmese and international supporters worldwide.

After meeting party members and foreign diplomats, Suu Kyi then greeted the crowd, people chanted “We love Suu”, amid thunderous applause, the BBC reported.

She reiterated the call for unity that she made yesterday, telling the ecstatic crowds from the balcony of the office today: “Nothing can be achieved without the people’s participation. Without it, we can do nothing” she said. “I want to work alongside the people. I don’t want to work alone. A one-woman show is not a democracy.”

“I don’t hate the people who detained me.”

In an allusion to the military regime that denied Suu Kyi freedom for so long, she showed her unique strength of character, stating to the crowd that she bore no resentment.

“I have no personal grudge or hatred against anyone else. I believe in the rule of law. I place a high value on apology. My thanks go to thanks due,” Suu Kyi said.

She went on to thank her captors for treating her well, and asked them to do the same for the Burmese people. “Those who took my security [detail] treated me well. I would like to thank them well for their kind treatment. I think it would be better if they treated all the people well too.”


She also called for the further release of Burma’s 2,200 other prisoners who remain in jails or labour camps, many sent to prisons far from home, which makes family visits nearly impossible.

“I’d like to honour my colleagues and my colleagues from the democratic struggle who remain languishing in prisons. I wish their immediate release,” she said.

“We can achieve victory if, and only if, we work with courage and determination for what we want.”

Her speech appeared aimed at giving hope to the thousands of supporters who gathered to see and hear her as she spoke of a future Burma.

“I’ve always believed in national reconciliation. I’ve said time and again that I’ve worked by depending on the strength of the people. But that will be effective only when we can use this strength systematically. Please let me say to the people again: We cannot achieve victory by merely hoping for it. We can achieve victory if and only if we work with courage and determination for what we want. We also need to explore the best path to achieve victory too.”

“We demand our just rights.”

A symbol of the fight for democracy and human rights worldwide, Suu Kyi cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, recognised the uphill struggle ahead, repeatedly stressed the theme of unity and urged the people to work together to achieve change in Burma.

“In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every paragraph starts with the word ‘everyone’. We must respect that concept. Everyone must fulfil their responsibilities and everyone must be duty-conscious. Only through following these principles will our country progress and develop. The people know well whether our country is progressing and developing. The blame game among us for not progressing is useless. I’d like to say please give us authority to do this job. I know well our people will not beg for this right. We demand our just rights.”

Last Updated ( Monday, 15 November 2010 01:16 )  

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