Sunday, April 29, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi

While the American press was busy churning out soundbites about presidential politics earlier this month, something momentous happened on the other side of the world. I heard only one mention of it on TV (though it was more widely covered in the print media), and I think it may have gone unnoticed by many, so I am adding the heroic and charismatic Aung San Suu Kyi to Quigley's Cabinet. After decades of suppression by the government of Myanmar (Burma) - including 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest, the 66-year-old dissident has been elected to Parliament. Although the governing body is still controlled by the military-backed ruling party, Aung San Suu Kyi has taken public office as leader of the opposition's party, the National League for Democracy. The New York Times calls her "a symbol of moral fortitude in the face of oppression" and "a repository for the wide-ranging hopes of a long-suffering population." Here is a chronology of Aung San Suu Kyi's life that includes her receipt of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. And here is what some of the voters said about Aung San Suu Kyi, who has already made news in her new position:  A 76-year-old woman said, “I feel like crying when I talk about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. It felt so good to vote for her party - only Daw Aung San Suu Kyi can save us from deep poverty.” “We used to fear speaking with foreigners about democracy. Now we have courage,” remarked a 50-year-old former schoolteacher. " A 61-year-old man remarked, "Look at us – we are so happy, it's like we've each been released from prison....We have freedom now. Said Aung San Suu Kyi herself to the cheering crowd.: "We hope this will be the beginning of a new era."

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