Myanmar: Brute Force Vs A Brave Burmese Lady

 Aung San Suu Kyi

An ailing 63-year-old Nobel laureate, who happens to be the most popular leader of Myanmar (Burma), is being further traumatized by the brute military junta that has locked her up in her house for most of the past two decades.

The Burmese democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, faces as long as five years in the country’s most notorious jail after new charges were brought against her over a bizarre intrusion earlier this month at the lakeside home where she lives under house arrest, reports The Times of London.

“Ms Suu Kyi, whose detention without charge was due to expire in a fortnight’s time, now faces a criminal trial after an American man dodged the security cordon surrounding the house by secretly swimming across the Inya Lake in central Rangoon.” More here…

She has already spent more than 13 years – including the past six – in detention without trial for her nonviolent campaign to restore democracy in Burma. Despite international pressure for her release, the military junta has looked the other way.

“The news of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, is still vague; she is reported to be on an intravenous drip after suffering dehydration and difficulty eating at the end of last week.

“There is no website, no speeches, pamphlets or communiqués — just the image of the lean, unsmiling, silent woman with the flower behind her ear whose National League for Democracy (NLD) won 80 per cent of the seats in Burma’s only fair election in 1990. But the stubborn simplicity of Ms Suu Kyi is the great strength of herself and her movement.” More here…

(Photo above courtesy Aye Aye Win/AP)

Author: SWARAAJ CHAUHAN, International Columnist

Swaraaj Chauhan describes his two-decade-long stint as a full-time journalist as eventful, purposeful, and full of joy and excitement. In 1993 he could foresee a different work culture appearing on the horizon, and decided to devote full time to teaching journalism (also, partly, with a desire to give back to the community from where he had enriched himself so much.) Alongside, he worked for about a year in 1993 for the US State Department's SPAN magazine, a nearly five-decade-old art and culture monthly magazine promoting US-India relations. It gave him an excellent opportunity to learn about things American, plus the pleasure of playing tennis in the lavish American embassy compound in the heart of New Delhi. In !995 he joined WWF-India as a full-time media and environment education consultant and worked there for five years travelling a great deal, including to Husum in Germany as a part of the international team to formulate WWF's Eco-tourism policy. He taught journalism to honors students in a college affiliated to the University of Delhi, as also at the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication where he lectured on "Development Journalism" to mid-career journalists/Information officers from the SAARC, African, East European and Latin American countries, for eight years. In 2004 the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) selected him as a Trainer/Mentor for India under a European Union project. In 2008/09 He completed another European Union-funded project for the BBC WST related to Disaster Management and media coverage in two eastern States in India --- West Bengal and Orissa. Last year, he spent a couple of months in Australia and enjoyed trekking, and also taught for a while at the University of South Australia. Recently, he was appointed as a Member of the Board of Studies at Chitkara University in Chandigarh, a beautiful city in North India designed by the famous Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students there. He loves trekking, especially in the hills, and never misses an opportunity to play a game of tennis. The Western and Indian classical music are always within his reach for instant relaxation. And last, but not least, is his firm belief in the power of the positive thought to heal oneself and others.