Suy Kyi is free — five days after Obama’s Delhi speech

Saturday, November 13, 2010

NEW DELHI - Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s release in Yangon Saturday comes five days after US President Barack Obama denounced the Myanmar military junta while addressing the Indian parliament.

In his stirring Nov 8 speech here, Obama underlined that while every country could follow its own path, democratic rights of the people need to be always respected.

And he made a pointed reference to Myanmar, where the military junta has repeatedly locked up the New Delhi-educated Suu Kyi.

“When peaceful democratic movements are suppressed - as in Burma (Myanmar) - then the democracies of the world cannot remain silent,” Obama said.

“For it is unacceptable to gun down peaceful protestors and incarcerate political prisoners decade after decade. It is unacceptable to hold the aspirations of an entire people hostage to the greed and paranoia of a bankrupt regime. It is unacceptable to steal an election, as the regime in Burma has done again for all the world to see.”

Obama had a word for the Indian leadership.

“Faced with such gross violations of human rights, it is the responsibility of the international community - especially leaders like the US and India - to condemn it.

“If I can be frank, in international fora, India has often avoided these issues,” he said.

Obama added: “Speaking up for those who cannot do so for themselves is not interfering in the affairs of other countries. It’s not violating the rights of sovereign nations. It’s staying true to our democratic principles.”

Filed under: Diplomacy

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