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Statement on the Birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi (click to view PDF)

The Office of Tibet

241 East 23nd Street, New York, NY 10016

Statement on Aung San Suu Kyi’s 65th Birthday:

Aung San Suu Kyi is among the great fearless moral leaders of the world. She has dedicated her life to the cause of freedom and democracy in Burma, and given her freedom for this cause. Today, as we mark Aung San Suu Kyi’s 65th Birthday, she will be marking this day as yet another day without freedom, cut off from her children and family, under house arrest imposed on her by the military dictatorship that rules Burma.

The military junta led by General Than Shwe fears Aung San Suu Kyi because what she represents is the future of Burma: a free democratic Burma where ordinary citizens can have control over their own lives. Because they fear her, they have put her under house arrest to neutralize her influence over the people of Burma, and to diminish her fame abroad. Instead the exact opposite has occurred. Aung San Suu Kyi is more beloved than ever among ordinary Burmese and the world views her as one of the greatest heroes of our time.

For her selfless dedication to democratic values and human rights at enormous personal cost to herself and her family, and her contributions to freedom which will be her lasting legacy, she has been awarded numerous honors including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and the US Congressional Gold Medal.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s personal courage provides inspiration and hope for the Tibetan people along with many other dispossessed and oppressed peoples. We hope for her release from house arrest. We hope for her to be reunited with her family, and her people, who have been waiting for her. We hope that the Burmese dream of freedom and democracy, as expressed by tens of thousands of brave Burmese men and women three years ago, will be realized.

Sincerely yours,

Lobsang Nyandak

Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Americas