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City of Los Angeles Declares June 19 Aung San Suu Kyi (click to view PDF)

June 18, 2008

Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously tonight in favor of a resolution declaring June 19, 2008, as Aung San Suu Kyi Day.

June 19 will mark the 63rd birthday of Burma’s democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is currently under house arrest in her homeland by the ruling military regime, despite having been chosen by 82 percent of Burmese voters in a national election in 1990 and despite having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Known to many as “Asia’s Nelson Mandela,” Aung San Suu Kyi leads the struggle for human rights and democracy under the rule of one of the world’s most brutal military regimes. The military junta has been condemned by the United Nations, United States government, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other groups for its horrific human rights abuses. The people of Burma and pro-democracy groups in Burma and around the world are trying to bring her plight and the tyranny of the Burmese government to the forefront of United Nations’ and the United States’ concern. The Los Angeles resolution was inspired by a similar one passed in San Francisco, CA and Ithaca, NY last year (and liberally borrows language from that resolution).

A group of Burmese residents of Los Angeles, along with their American supporters, presented a draft of the resolution to the City Council a few weeks before Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday on June 19. It was met with immediate support by council members. Councilman Eric Garcetti, along with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, were the main sponsors of the resolution, and Councilman Bill Rosendahl cosponsored it.

Since last year, this is the second time in a row that Los Angeles has passed such a positive measure just on Aung San Suu Kyi. The contents of the resolution remain the same as those of last year, but this time the Mayor signed onto it. The Los Angeles area has the largest concentration of the Burmese community in the U.S. It has seen a steady increase in political activities for Burma over the past few months.

This also coincides with multiple ‘house arrest’ parties on June 14 and June 15 in honor of Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday, as part of a nationwide effort being sponsored by U.S. Campaign for Burma, a leading US based non-profit organization trying to bring about an end to dictatorship in Burma ( A group of Burmese and American supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi celebrated her birthday in Monterey Park on June 15 by putting themselves under house arrest and raising money for US Campaign for Burma.