I originally wanted to write something in Burmese about Aung San Suu Kyi, but I felt intimidated by the many excellent writers in the Burmese blogosphere. My Burmese spelling is subpar and I lack the vocabulary of people raised in Burma. So I will write it in English.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, born on June 19, 1945, turned 62 yesterday. She spent her birthday confined in her house at No. (54) University Avenue Road, as she has done for her last five birthdays. The Rangoon NLD headquarters celebrated her birthday by releasing doves and offering food to monks (hsun kyway).
She is arguably the most iconic Burmese person in the world today. Aung San Suu Kyi was even included in my high school curriculum. Articulate, beautiful and educated, Suu Kyi is popular among Burmese throughout the world. She is an ardent supporter of human rights and believes in a democratic Burma. Even though some would disagree with her views on certain issues, all would agree that Suu Kyi is truly a woman of steel. She has continued to persevere, overcoming a series of blows, including routine house arrests, the death of her husband, and most importantly, helping the NLD win an overwhelming majority in the Parliament but never seeing the changes that the NLD envisioned.
Democracy. Freedom. Liberty. This is what all Burmese want. But when will it come and at what price? Will it take compromising with the military junta and following its Road Map to Democracy? Will change come from within the ranks of the military? Unfortunately, these are all questions that cannot be answered.
We can see the ongoing detention of Daw Suu as the failure of the SPDC in cooperating with the international community, or we can go on blaming the world for failing to do more to release her. But, where ever the blame may go, the fact of the matter is that Suu Kyi is still under house arrest and may face her 63rd birthday inside the moldy walls of her family home.