Burma's Suu Kyi Turns 65 in Confinement

Supporters mark yet another birthday under house arrest

By Newser Editors and Wire Services Suggested by Disillusioned

Posted Jun 19, 2010 7:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi marked her 65th birthday today locked in her dilapidated lakeside compound as calls for her freedom erupted around the world. President Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded Suu Kyi's release in statements echoed at rallies and prayer vigils across the globe. Supporters at home threw a birthday party attended by more than 300 people—but not the guest of honor.

Holding candles and yellow roses, they lit a birthday cake with 65 candles and released 65 doves into the sky while chanting, "Long Live Daw Aung San Suu Kyi." Suu Kyi has now spent 15 birthdays in detention over the past 20 years, mostly under house arrest. She is the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner. Confined to her home, Suu Kyi planned to celebrate by providing a lunch of chicken curry and an Indian-style flat bread for the three dozen workers renovating her crumbling mansion. "It is very sad that she cannot celebrate her birthday in freedom," said her lawyer.

A protester eats a birthday cake during a rally outside the Myanmar Embassy at Manila's financial district of Makati, Philippines, Friday, June 18, 2010.
A protester eats a birthday cake during a rally outside the Myanmar Embassy at Manila's financial district of Makati, Philippines, Friday, June 18, 2010.   (Bullit Marquez)
A refugee from Myanmar wears a T-shirt with a print of Aung San Suu Kyi as she sings during an event to celebrate the 65th birthday of Suu Kyi in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, June 18, 2010.
A refugee from Myanmar wears a T-shirt with a print of Aung San Suu Kyi as she sings during an event to celebrate the 65th birthday of Suu Kyi in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, June 18, 2010.   (Lai Seng Sin)
British Ambassador to Indonesia Martin Hatfull speaks to the media against a background of a large banner of Aung San Suu Kyi during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, June 18, 2010.
British Ambassador to Indonesia Martin Hatfull speaks to the media against a background of a large banner of Aung San Suu Kyi during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, June 18, 2010.   (Tatan Syuflana)
Refugee children from Myanmar hold posters of Aung San Suu Kyi as they sing a song during an event to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Suu Kyi in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, June 18, 2010.
Refugee children from Myanmar hold posters of Aung San Suu Kyi as they sing a song during an event to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Suu Kyi in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, June 18, 2010.   (Lai Seng Sin)
Birthday candles are lit  in front of an image of Aung San Suu Kyi during a party for her 65th birthday on Friday, June. 18, 2010 in Yangon, Myanmar.
Birthday candles are lit in front of an image of Aung San Suu Kyi during a party for her 65th birthday on Friday, June. 18, 2010 in Yangon, Myanmar.   (Khin Maung Win STF)
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To the international community I want to reiterate her words: 'Please use your liberty to promote ours.' - Win Tin, who co-founded Suu Kyi's opposition party and himself spent nearly 20 years jailed as a political prisoner.

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