Suu Kyi: In Arab Spring, Burma's Revolution

Previous BBC lecturers; Bertrand Russel, J. Robert Oppenheimer
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 28, 2011 9:41 AM CDT
FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2010 file photo, Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks to the supporters as she stands at the gate of her home in Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar's pro-democracy leader...   (Khin Maung Win)

(Newser) – Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has delivered a prestigious annual BBC radio lecture, telling an international audience that her compatriots are envious of people in Tunisia and Egypt, where long-serving dictators have been toppled. On recordings smuggled out of Myanmar, also known as Burma, and broadcast today, Suu Kyi discusses the parallels between the uprisings shaking the Arab world and her own country's struggle under military rule. "In Tunis and in Burma, the deaths of two young men were the mirrors that made the people see how unbearable were the burdens of injustice and oppression they had to endure," Suu Kyi said.

But she warned of two big differences: Unlike in Tunisia and Egypt, where soldiers largely stood aside and let their governments fall, Myanmar's military crushed the revolution. And the Internet and social media weren't around to record that revolt in real time. Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy opposes Myanmar's military-backed government, has spent about 15 of the past 22 years under some form of detention. She was freed from house arrest seven months ago, and has made several public statements since. (Click to read an interview she gave last week on her 66th birthday.)

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