To save Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, A Courageous Freedom Fighter
In the last two centuries unfair treatment of society by other groups or by their government has improved greatly. This has been due to campaigners and freedom fighters of the world. They resisted and rebelled against dictatorial governments and fought for liberty and freedom. In the face of danger and suffering they have changed society not only in which they lived but in the entire world.
9 September 2008
To name but a few, George Washington was the Commander in Chief of the US Army who fought to free America from the British rule. Gandhi was a major political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian Independence movement. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the greatest freedom fighters who led the Civil Rights Movements in the sixties and fought for equal rights of the black and white Americans, thus removing some colour prejudices in the world.
Nelson Mandela was one of the prominent leaders who with his nationalists fought to overthrow the Apartheid Government in South Africa and replaced it with a multiracial government
The Suffragettes both in the UK and USA fought for the right of women to vote. In Britain, Representative of the People Act of 1918 was passed in Parliament, granting limited voting rights to women. Two years later similar rights were given to women in the USA under the amendment of the US constitution, and in 1928 British women were granted the same voting rights as men.
The French Resistance fighters were one of the most courageous freedoms fighters during World War II. They were individuals and groups who resisted being ruled by Nazi Germany. The French Government collaborated with the Germans but part of the population felt they could not live and be part of the Nazis. They campaigned and resisted the Nazi rule through out the war. They formed resistance or ganisations and many groups sprang up, and did everything within their power to sabotage the Nazi regime: there were armed groups who attacked road and rail networks, helped prisoners to escape, printed underground newspapers and spied on the Germans to help the British and Americans. Those caught engaged in these activities were shot or imprisoned for many years. Despite these dangers many brave men and women joined the French resistance and fought to liberate France from the brutal Nazi oppression.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is Burma’s Freedom Fighter and has become an icon of the world. She has suffered and sacrificed her life for the peoples of Burma . As far I can gather she stands for freedom without violence, equality, democracy, truth and power from kindness.
Than Shwe and his generals cannot stand “The Lady,” because there are enormous polarities in their vision f or Burma . The regime believes in oppression, totalitarian rule, dictatorial regime, hiding the truth with lies, disregard for justice and human rights, and power with the use of weapons.
Only people who have been brainwashed, threatened or bribed will support such a cruel, greedy, selfish and inconsiderate regime Unconsciously some of such people later or sooner adopt the same identity and act and think like their dictators.
In her struggle for freedom f or Burma Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said she had followed the footsteps and tradition of her father. Unlike Than Shwe and his generals who continually deceive and lie to the people, she strongly believes in political integrity.
The people of Burma love Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. They have a very high opinion of her and think that she is a lady of conscience. The people have complete faith in her ability and believe that when she is free she will lead them to victory. But all must realise that no matter how hard she tries or how deep her commitment, like all freedom fighters she cannot succeed on her own. In order to save her it would be good if the peoples of Burma were to fully understand what Daw Aung San Su Kyi is fighting for, her ideology and her vision for Burma . She needs people who have the same ideology and conviction as herself to support her. It does not mean that they have to meet up with her, because this would not be possible under the watchful eye of the junta. The freedom fighters could use her ideology, vision and hope as an inspiration and spread the message around. The recent downfall of the President of Pakistan, General Musharraf has been successful because the opposition had the support of the ordinary civilians.
Most Burmese people recognise and look up to Bogyoke Aung San and his colleagues as great heroes and martyrs because they fought for independence and were assassinated for their beliefs in democracy and equality. The people also respect and honour Daw Aung San Suu Kyi f or her principles.
But we should not for get all the unsung and unrecognised heroes of Burma : the resistance armies whose motives are often misunderstood and are labelled as secessionist, rebels, terrorist , drug traders but in reality they are fighting for the freedom of their peoples; the 1988 university students, many of whom were murdered, and those alive been imprisoned, yet still active in their struggle; all human rights campaigners, and democracy activists; members of NGO; the Sanghas who demonstrated f or the suffering and welfare of their people- to mention all will be impossible. If Burma is to be free from an illegal and dictatorial government and become a democratic country these or ganisation need support and help from the ordinary citizens.
In Burma there is a great need to unite and strengthen civil society which is completely destroyed by the junta. The majority of people have become mentally and physically fatigued and paralysed. This is what the junta demands. Those who are courageous enough and who have a deep conviction to change the face of Burma’s society must encourage and instil self-worth into all citizens and make them become involved in changing the face of Burma society.
In the modern 21st century citizens cannot leave their welfare and decision in the hands of activists. They must be wise about politics and the voting system. It does not mean that they should all become politicians. With their own judgment they should be able to vote for a government, whose members will work for the people and not just for their own selfish self. Citizens of Burma must rebuild and strengthen their voice and action and together fight f or what they believe in. They must play a part in encouraging each other and become a society with courage, determination and hope for the present as well as f or future generations. The voice of the people is very important in creating democracy. If you just want a leader to tell you what to do, then you are asking the leader to be a dictator.
Besides strong civil societies, Burma also needs a team of fair and just policemen to protect citizens from criminals and to enforce the law laid down in the Constitution, a constitution approved and accepted by the people.
Burma also needs strong Armed Forces, whose officers and soldiers take pride in serving their country and its peoples; and whose officers and soldiers do not take the advantage of their position and bully and do what they like to those weaker than them. In this way the Armed Forces and civilians will live in harmony and gain each other’s trust and respect. In a democratic country the legally elected government controls and instructs the army what to do and not visa versa.
The author is from the former illustrious State of Lawkzawk in the Federated Shan States, as today's Shan State of Burma was known until 1948. Opinions expressed here are those of the author – Editor