Suu Kyi's Silence Troubles Followers

Nobel peace prize winner doing nothing as country slides further into squalor
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2008 3:26 PM CST
Protesters from Burma's National League for Democracy rally for the immediate release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi near the Myanmar Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 4, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Aung San Suu Kyi, who’s spent 20 years under house arrest, is an almost sainted symbol of democracy to the people of Burma, the Guardian writes. But since 2003, the Nobel Peace Prize winner has  offered no practical leadership for her party, the National League for Democracy, and has remained inexplicably silent as a monks' uprising was brutally crushed, and a cyclone killed 170,000 Burmese. Some within the party are seriously questioning her legacy.

The NLD’s strategy of self-isolation squandered its opportunities, and international sanctions didn’t seriously affect the junta. Suu Kyi, who now communicates only with cryptic messages on a signboard outside her house, recently posted, “All martyrs must finish their mission.” The message is widely interpreted as acknowledgment that she now more a symbol than a leader of the Burmese struggle.