Freedom?

The world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

As I write this shortly after midnight on Saturday, still no word on the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. If you have been following the news and her story, then you are aware that she has been detained for 15 of the last 21 years by Burma’s military rulers.

It’s being suggested that she may not accept a conditional release if it excludes her from political activity. I hate to hit the sour note, but I wonder if Aung San Suu Kyi will ever be free. The last time she was physically free was in 2003. However, the generals put her under house arrest for the fourth time since 1989 following “The Depayin Massacre” in May 2003, when at least 70 people associated with the National League for Democracy (Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party) were killed by a  government-sponsored mob. No one really understands the true story of the 2009 trespass incident. So, this time will the government use some trumped up charges to arrest her again? Will they provoke another incident and hold her to blame? Will they just decide to get rid of her?

Aung San Suu Kyi's dilapidated lakeside home in Yangon, Burma (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

Life for Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest is not at all easy. She is not allowed visitors, except for her doctor. She lives with two assistants in an old house that had its roof blown off in May 2008, after Cyclone Nargis hit Burma. She also lost her electricity and the only light she has had at night is candlelight. Plans to repair the house were announced in August 2009. From what I understand, so far very little has been done. I believe that is in the general’s hands as well.

I’m not into a lot of mystic stuff, but I do believe in good vibrations. So, regardless of whether she is released or not, I think it would be nice if many people sent her warm thoughts of loving-kindness, and good vibes for her continued safety and for her health and happiness.

Yesterday’s post was about rebels. Aung San Suu Kyi is not a rebel. She is a revolutionary. There’s a difference. She captures the spirit of what I mean in this from her book Freedom from Fear:

The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation’s development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution of the spirit, the forces which produced the iniquities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance and fear.

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