Aung San Suu Kyi’s public address on 14 Nov

Aung San Suu Kyi’s public address at the NLD Headquarters on 14 November 2010. (unofficial translation)

I have to begin by thanking you for your support. We haven’t seen each other for a long time but I am happy to see that our mutual faith remains strong, it fortifies me. In order to do our work, we must know what the people want – you do know what you want, don’t you? Well it’s fine to know what you want but you must also know how you are going to achieve what you want. I believe that politics must be learned. I have often said, in my talks with the youth, I don’t believe there is such a thing as good people or bad people, or smart or stupid people, I only believe that there are people who can learn and people who can’t (Applause). I believe that we, the people, can learn very well. It’s not enough to know what you want but also to know how to achieve it with integrity. I say this not to patronize, I say from experience that no matter what the goal, if the path is without integrity, it will lose its way and be destroyed. This is why we must achieve what we want with integrity.

I know you have lots of questions to ask me and I want to hear the voices of the people but I can’t hear through the cacophony. I believe that I will now have the chance to listen to the voices of the people. While under restriction, I listened to foreign radio broadcasts to hear what the people are saying. Its very tiresome to listen to the radio for five to six hours a day but I do this out of regard for the people (Applause). So I believe that I am, to a degree, aware of the wishes of the people. I don’t believe I know everything. This is not possible. So the people must make their voices heard by us. This will help us help the people. I believe that the people now realize that nothing can be accomplished without the participation of the people (Cheers and applause). Because nothing can be accomplished without the people’s participation, we would like to create a democracy network across the world, of the people and by the people. It is only when we strive with this mentality, can we serenely achieve our democratic goals. In short, it means we have a lot of work to do. You will not get anything without working for it. We Burmese blame it all on luck. But do you know what luck means? Luck means you reap what you sow. So if there is anything you want, you have to work to achieve it. We cannot simply bribe the people and promise them the impossible (Cheers and applause). We will try hard and pave the road that the people want. We will pave it together and we will take that road together. It’s not right that one person paves the road while the other stands idly by. Speaking of paving roads, maybe I picked an inappropriate analogy (laughter and cheers). It was a slip of the tongue. What I mean is that we will walk the road that leads to the democratic goals. We will walk on it together, we will pave it together. It is only this way, can we reach our goals. Don’t wait for others to do it for you. We will not “force” you to do it (alluding to forced labour). If you do not put your mind and soul into achieving it, otherwise, who knows whether it will end up with the tar being stolen (alluding to the shoddy quality of the roads being built because of corruption – loud cheers and applause follow).

I know that your show of support is not without expectation. The burden of these expectations is great and the responsibilities are immense. But I am not one to shy away from responsibility. But I am afraid of not being able to live up to my responsibilities (Applause). I will do my utmost to live up to these responsibilities and call on the people to help us, to advise us, to point out our shortcomings. Pointing out shortcomings, if done in sincere goodwill, is very helpful. It will help us help the people achieve their aspirations.

I would like to ask the people to please communicate with us openly and courageously. Please don’t have any qualms about talking to us. We won’t do anything to you (cheers and applause). If we are not in agreement, we will let you know. This is the basis of democracy – that of freedom of speech. But freedom to speak is not the same as freedom to be abusive (cheers). Well, there may be a bit of admonition (she laughs). It is very important to be able to achieve mutual understanding. To be able to exchange views. We have to practice this and improve on this.

Upon my release, the main change that I have seen is that there is a proliferation of camera –phones. I see camera-phones all over the place. This shows the development of communication. This development must be used for the good of the majority. Communication brings understanding. Please use communication to foster mutual understanding and unity. Show me your phones; let’s see how many there are (cheers). My, there are so many. I used a phone like this for the first time yesterday. Six years ago these did not exist here. I did not even know where to talk into – the phone was so.. (she laughs) (sound drowned out by cheers and laughter). I will have to put up a sign for those who cannot hear me (cheers and applause. Sign that DASSK displayed not seen. Loud chants of Amay Suu or Mother Suu).

But it is not enough just to say you love me, you have to work. So I thought what love means. Love means the desire for mutual happiness and the implementation of that desire. It is not enough to keep repeating “I love you” (cheers). If you want to give me that bouquet, pass it on. Why are you holding on to it? (Cheers when DASSK receives the bouquet).

I want to ask the people, to tell us what’s on your mind. You can deliver the letter here, if you don’t trust the postal service (laughter). I want to know what’s on your mind. What has been in your mind over the past six pears, what has changed. I can’t know all of this at once. I have to study it. It’s not feasible to speak to all of you individually. If possible, I’d like to hand over the mike to you and listen to what each of you has to say. It’s not going to end. But I like that. It’s so boring to be the only one to speak. If there is an exchange of dialogue, it creates harmony and is more beneficial. I feel that it is not democratic if one person does all the talking. Let’s try it out. I will simply point to one of you in the crowd and ask you say a few words.

Persons from the crowd: 1. Together with Amay (Mother) Suu, we want to have a free democracy (cheers). 2. Unintelligible screaming ending with “ I love Amay Suu. 3. We love Amay Suu.

Aung San Suu Kyi returns to mike: It looks like we will need a “Speakers corner”. To be able to hear the voices of the people.

Addressing a commotion in the crowd: “What is the problem over there? Can I help?” Is it because people at the back are pushing? Crowd chants loudly “Please have discipline,” referring to DASSK’s first historic speech at the Shwedagon in 1988. Don’t be so impatient. There will be other opportunities for us to talk. This will not be the only occasion. There will be many others. That is why. Let’s be patient.

I thank you for your patience. As I said just now, there is so much to do so you must save your strength. Well, it’s been twenty years of having a hard life, so you must be used to it. I don’t want you to continue to have a hard life. Having a hard life isn’t the point. The point is that the hard life must be worthwhile, and then one can have endurance. So you must save your strength to make it all worthwhile.

I want to tell you not to be dejected. Sometimes there may be some things in our country that will make you feel dejected. Surely you must feel that we have not gotten anywhere or that there has been no development (applause). But there is no reason to feel dejected. We must strive hard. Perseverance is important. We must continue to persevere from the start to the finish. The work is never done. Even if something is finished, there will be something else. Building a nation is like this, one thing after the other has to be done. There will never be full satisfaction of the people but we must strive to achieve a measure of satisfaction. I cannot promise this, but with the trust, dependence and support of the people, I will be fortified because I cannot do it alone. I don’t want to do it alone. Doing it alone is not democracy (cheers). I have no intention to do it alone. I will do it with the majority, with the people of this country, and with the global community that have shown us goodwill and support. We will do it with everybody. We have to keep this firmly in mind.

Courage means is not what some people think, to be up in arms and being a hero. Courage means the resolve to achieve ones goals. We must have this kind of courage. Go to the movies if you want a hero. Courage is a daily task. Don’t we people have to muster the courage to face each day? We have to use this courage beneficially and effectively for our country.

It’s not enough to think only of oneself or one’s own family. I want to reiterate this. Please don’t have the attitude that politics do not concern you. My father has said that before, that you may not be concerned with politics but politics will be concerned with you, you can’t avoid this (applause). Everything is politics. Politics is not just coming here and supporting us. The housewife, who is cooking at home, also has something to do with politics because she is struggling to feed her family with the money she has (cheers). Struggling to send children to school is politics. Everything is politics. No one is free of politics. So saying that politics does not concern you and that you do not wish to be involved in politics is a lack of awareness of politics. So I ask the people to try and understand politics and to teach us. We must teach one another. Unless the people teach us what democracy is, we will not make mistakes.

What is important in a democracy is that the people at the back must be able to keep those who are working in the front, under control. This is democracy (applause). The people, who are the majority, must have the right to keep the rulers, who are the minority, under control. This is democracy (applause). So I will accept it if the people keep me under control. But of course, I do not like it if those, who are not of the people, keep me in control (cheers and applause). But then, I only say this in passing. During the time of my detention I had a lot of interaction with the people who were in charge of my security. They have been good to me. I have to say what the truth is. Since one must show appreciation to those who are deserving, I say with sincerity that I am grateful to those who were in charge of my security. I want the people to be able to have mutual understanding and gratitude. A revered monk once said when I was young, that those who were worthy of gratitude and those who showed gratitude were hard to find. I found the latter hard to accept. I thought that human beings were capable of showing gratitude. But that is not true. There are some who show ingratitude (applause). What does showing gratitude mean? It means just to have mutual recognition.

To commotion in the crowd: Well, you have to have a little forbearance. There is no question why you have to be angry just because someone stood up. As I said in front of my compound (yesterday) those in front must have forbearance and understanding of those at the back and likewise, those at the back must have forbearance and understanding of those in the front (applause).

So now I want to know how the people are going to embark on a journey of politics. So if we have to depend on the people, we must have an exchange of views. I will continue to work for national reconciliation among the people, among all of us. There is no one that I cannot work or talk with. If there is a will to work together, it can be done. If there is a will to talk to one another, it can be done. I will take this path. On taking this path, I declare that we need the might of the people. I ask you to support us with the might of the people. Whatever we decide, we will let the people know.

I haven’t finished consulting with the NLD, but I will not only work with the NLD. I will work with all democratic entities and I would like the people to encompass us. We will tell the people, explain to them what our decisions are. There may be things that we decide which the people may not like. But this is natural. Not everyone can be of the same opinion. Accepting that there can be a difference of opinion is a democratic principle. Why do we do this? We must gain the trust of the people not the votes of the people (applause and cheers). We will gain the understanding and support of the people. I apologize that I cannot clarify this further at this stage but it would be reckless of me if I were to start announcing one activity after the other, just after my release.

In the meantime, we would like to hear the voices of the people. We will decide how to proceed after listening to the voices of the people. But as I have said, we will use the might of the people and work with all the democratic forces and we will work for national reconciliation. In doing so, we will do it in a way that would bring the least damage to the people. I can’t guarantee that there will be no damage at all. If I were to do so, it’s another form of bribery to say that by following us, there will be no sacrifice. But we will find the least damaging way. There may be some sacrifice, we have suffered, our colleagues have suffered, so I ask you for a little forbearance if you have to sacrifice anything. You can’t simply want something without sacrifice.

Responding to someone in the crowd: If you say you had forbearance for too long, what was it that you had to forbear? It is important to differentiate between right and wrong and to have the courage to stand by what is right, but what is right can be relative to the occasion. My father used to say that he was not afraid to stand before the court of his conscience (cheers). Since I have stood before the court, I am not afraid to stand before the court of my conscience every day. I ask the people to stand before the court of their conscience to find the answer as to whether one is undertaking what should be done. If you can do this, your might will increase immensely. Remember if might is not used rightly, it is a menace. Might that is used rightly cannot be overcome by anyone (applause).

Let us now have a little test of your empathy, understanding and forbearance of one another. The people over there are complaining that they cannot hear. I am about to finish speaking. So can I suggest that the people in front make way for the people on the other side? (Chants of “Daw Suu” during crowd movement) … So now you can hear can’t you? So if one group of people were to always remain in one place – that’s not good. (Crowd bursts into laughter as they catch the double meaning of the remark and the exercise). Now that’s fair isn’t it? (After crowd has managed to re-arrange themselves) (Further comments on crowd jostling removed.)

So now I would like to thank all of you who took the trouble to come here and to show your support. We have repeatedly said that we depend on the might of the people and we cannot succeed without the might of the people. This might of the people must be used systematically. When the people in front stand up for too long the people in the back get annoyed. The people in the front shouldn’t be standing up for too long. The people in the back should also have a little forbearance if they are standing up for just a while. Well, so what, but it’s different if they are standing up too long of course (crowd catches double meaning of the remark and laughs).

I would like to repeat what I said that we have to work together to achieve success. You will not succeed just by wishing and hoping. You must be able to know how to achieve your aspirations and have the courage and ability to do so. We will find the best way. That is to find a way that avoids bringing suffering to the people as much as possible to achieve these goals. I am a fervent believer in national reconciliation. I believe that this is the path we should take. Let me openly tell the people here that I have no grudge against the people who kept me under restriction (cheers). I believe in human rights and the rule of law. I will always strive for this. I don’t harbor hatred of anyone. I have no time for this. I have too much to do to harbor any hatred. The people in charge of keeping me under restriction were good to me. This is the truth and I value this and I am grateful.

Likewise in every aspect I would like everyone to have good interaction with one another. How wonderful would it be if the people were also treated as nicely as I was (cheers and applause)? But of course I don’t mean that the people should be put under house arrest. So I would like to plead, “Please don’t put the people under house arrest like I was, but please be nice to the people just as you were nice to me.” (Cheers).

We must value the good things and be grateful things that are worthy of gratitude. Just because one doesn’t like it, it does not mean that everything is bad. There are good things and there are bad things. So don’t be angry if people say you are doing bad things. If you don’t want the people to say this, then just don’t do anything bad (cheers and applause). Just as I value what is good and am grateful, I am not hesitant to say so. It’s so rewarding to be able to be able to give recognition to someone worthy of gratitude. I want to do this. I want to be so grateful so just do things that are worthy of gratitude and I will sing your praises all day. So I want to thank each and every one of the people. Of course, I would end up with a sore throat.

So let me say thank you. Keep up your strong resolve. People say that the courage of the Burmese is like straw fire. I don’t like this. This shouldn’t be so. A human being must have all its manifestations and live in human dignity. Do you want human rights? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins by saying that everyone is born with inherent dignity. This dignity must be upheld (applause). The dignity commensurate with these rights must be upheld. I don’t wish to make a one-sided statement by repeating what should be done for the people. There are also things that the people must do. Everyone must know his or her responsibility and be able to fulfill them. Only then will our country develop. So it goes without saying that whether or not our country has developed, is something that the people will know more than I do (cheers). But rather than blaming who is at fault for this lack of development, I would only like to ask for the opportunities for us to work together hand in hand (applause).

I don’t like the people having to hold out their hands to beg. I shall not hold out my hands to beg and I believe that my people do not wish to hold out their hands to beg (applause). I believe that people want the right to development so we must work to give the people the right to development. (Inaudible remark). There must be opportunities for people to be able to feed themselves to the full (applause).

We shall proceed in consultation with democratic entities and the NLD shall not go it alone but hand in hand with majority. Furthermore, the majority must be encompassed by the people. We cannot do it without the people and we ask for their assistance. I ask for your faith and support (cheering). So keep up your strength. I feel bad to ask you to eat up (to keep up your strength) since I hear that you do not have enough to eat (laughter). I ask you to keep up your physical and mental strength. It is with this strength we shall work together to reach our goal. I would have to say that there are some of us who have lost sight of that goal. But to have to walk the path to reach this proper goal is priceless. Man is mortal. One day it will all be over, but before it is over, how one has led one’s life is the most important. So I take this opportunity to honour those of our colleagues and comrades who have given their lives to the cause for democracy; to honour our colleagues and comrades who are still in prison. Let us pray that they will be released as soon as possible (cheering).

PRESS BRIEFING at the NLD HQ in Yangon, Myanmar on 14 Nov

Q: Inaudible

A: I am a little wary of the expression ‘moral authority’. I hope that what I do for this country is not simply on moral authority. I like to think that I am part of an effective movement. And I would certainly not like to use whatever authority I have, morale or otherwise, to incite people to do what they should not do. I am for national reconciliation. I am for dialogue. And whatever authority I have I would like to use towards that end. And I think – I hope – that the people will listen.

Q - Inaudible

I’ve always believe in compromise. I don’t where the people get the idea that we have not r
compromised. I would like to give specific examples (inaudible).

Q – What is your next step?

A – My next step is actually to get this press conference over with.

Q – (John Simpson (BBC)) You talk a lot about reconciliation. How is it possible to reconcile with – be in peace with – a government that has treated you so brutally, and so many of your

A –Actually, we have to get this straight. They haven’t been treating me, personally, brutally at all. In fact, I have to be honest to say that throughout these years of detention, they have treated me well on a personal basis. They have not acted in accordance with the rule of law and that I shall always fight against. Because I don’t think that any country can survive as a prosperous and dignified nation unless there is rule of law. The people cannot have security unless there is rule of law. So for that I shall always struggle. And I believe that to this day that my detention and the detention of those many prisoners of conscience, are not in accordance with the norms of justice. But that does not mean that I have been ill-treated personally. During the years of detention I have been treated well. I must – I do – appreciate that on a personal level, but that is not enough. It is not for one person alone that we move towards democracy, it is for all of us. So I don’t see why we can’t be reconciled. As I said earlier, I don’t know if any of you were upstairs when I was talking with diplomats, but reconciliation means that you recognize that there are differences. If there weren’t any differences there would be no need for reconciliation. So because there are differences, we are very well aware of the necessity for reconciliation.

Q – What messages would you like to send to the western nations that have imposed economic sanctions on our country? And what message would you like to send to those parties and candidates who took part in the November 7th elections?

A – My message is not for Western nations in particular. And my message is not for those
parties that took part in the elections in particular. It is for all those who are interested in seeing democracy in Burma. I think we all have to work together. We all have to try to find a way of helping each other. There are times for all of us when we need help, and this is a time for Burma where we need help. And we need help to go forward and we want everybody to help us in this venture. Western nations, Eastern nations, Northern nations and Southern Nations, the whole world.

Q – But how are you going to make a difference, especially after these elections, where your
party was dissolved, technically. How much power do you still have to change anything, when
they are trying to sideline you in this point of time?

A – I don’t think it is my influence or my power that it is of importance. It is the influence and the powers of the people. We have always thought that one of the most important duties of the National League for Democracy was teach how the people can empower themselves, how to work with themselves, (inaudible).

Q- In what way do you see the political opposition in this country after the elections? Is it as weak as ever before or even weaker?

A – It depends on what you mean by weak and it depends on what you mean by political opposition. (inaudible) So you could say they are weak if they are not in a position that you would like them to be.

Q - There was an election one week ago here. The government backed party won, they say it was fair. What do you say?

A – The National League for Democracy is (inaudible) in practices of unfairness in the election and they will be coming out officially. Until then I cannot say anything because I have not yet participated in the meetings of the CEC.

Q- You’re now free, Daw Suu Kyi, your people aren’t. What are you going to do next?

A –some people are not free, how can you say that I am free. Either we are all free together or we are all not free together.

Q - Some people say that during your years under house arrest, you are out of touch with this country (inaudible). How can you now get back t reality?

A – I want to listen to the people. Unfortunately it is very difficult to listen to the people when they are all shouting at the same time. But I have encouraged people to write to us, to tell us what they feel, what they think ought to be done. Some of the suggestions may be just vague hopes and aspirations. But I think we must listen, I must listen, well I’ve listened to the radio for six years. I think I’d like to listen to human voices.

Q - Our countries resources are stolen by China. Do you have any word for the Chinese Government?

A – Are you from China?

Q – I’m not from China, I am a Burmese. Repeats question.

A - I would not like to use the word “stolen”. I think that there many of our resources that should no have been sold unadvisedly. There should have been more restraint and more care in (inaudible) our resources. But I do not look upon China as an enemy and I think we must not think of China as an enemy of those who want democracy in Burma because China and Burma are neighbours and will always be neighbours as long as this world stands. As to be good neighbours, one has to work hard.

Q - If you were to speak directly to Senior General Than Shwe, what would you say to him?

A – I would say, “Let’s speak to each other directly.”

Q - How long would the government allow the people to stay on the streets, do you think?

A - Well I hope they won’t stay till after lunchtime. I hope they will be able to go home to have lunch.

Q – Do you think there is going to be a crackdown, is what I am asking.

A – I hope not, because I don’t see any necessity for a crackdown. As you can see, the people do make a lot of noise, but there is no violence (inaudible)

Q – Were there any restrictions imposed on you?

A – No there were not.

Q – What about your son, waiting in Bangkok?

A - He’s still in Bangkok. I haven’t seen him for 10 years and it would be lovely to see him right now.

Q – After seeing all these mobile phones what (inaudible) and what is the difference in these past six years?

A – (Inaudible) I haven’t been out, but I do notice that there are a lot of mobile phones.

Q – Will you own one very soon?

A - Well, I used one for the first time yesterday. I didn’t know where the mouthpiece was.

Q- You’ve been freed from house arrest. But your people aren’t free. What are you going to do to help them now?

A – Well we’ve got to help each other, that’s what I’ve told them. I cannot do it alone. One person alone cannot do anything.

Q – According to the law, the NLD is illegal. So (inadible)

A – What is illegal? Oh, this party is not illegal according to the law. The case is going to be heard in court on the 18th. The fact that the court has agreed to hear the case means that there is a question as to the legality of the case.

Q – What is your opinion of the Nobel Peace Prize for Liu Xiaobo?

A - I don’t know very much about him, but as I have been given a Nobel Peace Prize myself, I do appreciate the Nobel Peace Prize and I think that it means that he has done something or many things to deserve it.

Q – When are you going to take full control of this party again? When are we going to see you lead?

A- I don’t quite know what you mean by “taking full control of this party”. Do you seem to think that I come in and tell the party members what to do, is this your point? It doesn’t quite work out like that. (Inaudible) Its not utterly impossible, because, for example, we cannot organize our village and township (inaudible) so we are not as democratic as I would like it to be. But we do try to be as democratic as possible. For example, yesterday we had an EC meeting to discuss what I might say at this press conference. I told them what my views are and what I would like to say, and whether they all agree, and we were all in agreement. I don’t believe in one person dominating the whole party. That’s not democracy. How can we bring democracy to this country, if we don’t try to practice as much as possible in my own party. So you mustn’t say when I am going to take control of this party. I hope –

Q – Are you planning to go back to Depayin?

A – I’ve no plans to go but I hope to go back some time.

Q - (inaudible) on the state of the elections?

A – No not at all, we decided not to participate in the elections for certain reasons which are spelled out in our official statements. First of all, because we did not it was a free and fair election, secondly because we did not think that it is right to just write off the 1990 elections (inaudible)and thirdy because we did not think it was right to sacrifice our comrades for the sake of the party.

Q – (Inaudible)

A- First of all, let me take a look (inaudible)..the landscape is invisible

Q – (In Burmese) How do you plan to interact with the parties that participated in the 2010 elections?

A (in Burmese) Our door is always open to all those who wish to work for democracy. This has always been our principle and remains so.

Q - What is your relationship with the National Democratic Force?

A - It is one party like many others. It is a different party from ours, and there are many different parties.

Q – (in Burmese) Can you comment on the clashes with the ethnic groups on the border?

A – (in Burmese) The clashes with the ethnic groups are a matter of concern and is saddening. This should not be happening. But we believe in resolving differences through peaceful means so it very saddening that conflicts have to be addressed through battles.

Q - What’s your opinion about the 1990 election results?

A- (inaudible)

Q – I am from Korea and we Koreans have suffered under a military government for 25 years. We could move out from this situation because of the brave younger generation. My question is – what do you think of the young generation in Burma now?

A - I don’t think the young generation in Burma are any less brave than the Koreans were. But our young generation now, has fewer opportunities than you had then and we need to give our young people more opportunities.

Q (in Burmese) Is the NLD proceeding as an NGO?

A – (in Burmese) The NLD is not an NGO. This is a political party. We have never said that we will become an NGO. We said that we will work in humanitarian affairs. Humanitarian affairs cannot be separated from politics. At this time, our people are in need, they are poor, in trouble, in need of help. We will help them in this respect, but this is nothing new, since 1995, we have been involved in humanitarian affairs.

Q - Do you think your liberty will be short-lived if the junta feels threatened by you?

A - Well, I don’t know them as well as that. I hope that they don’t feel so threatened by me. After all (inaudible)

Q – Not threatened by you, by your popularity I mean.

A – Oh, popularity is something that comes and goes. I don’t think anybody feels threatened by it.

Q - (in Burmese) What is your first step for the people?

A – (in Burmese) I want to hear the voices of the people, but as you saw, it was difficult (because of the noise). So I encourage them to write what they feel. I want to hear, know what is in their minds. Some of them may not be plausible, impossible dreams, but I wanted to hear the voices of the people upon my release, but it turned out that the people wanted to hear me speak.

Q - (in Burmese) What comments do you have regarding the so-called democratic “third force”?

A – (in Burmese) What they call the third, fourth or fifth forces are not important. What is important is how the democratic forces can come together to work for the people. These are just names.

Q – When did you hear that you were to be released?

A – Yesterday. At one o’clock, they came to tell me that they would be coming to see me at five o’clock.

Q – (inaudible)

A – My next political move? I’ve been moving all the time. (inaudible)

Q – (inaudible question in Burmese regarding calls for second Panglong Conference)

A –(inaudible)… I would like to call this the Panglong Conference of the 21st Century. I would like this to be a conference that reflects the feelings of the ethnic groups in the 21st Century.

Q - What is your message to Min Ko Naing and all the other political prisoners?

A – I am always with them. They are always in our hearts and minds.

Q – (in Burmese) I heard that U Tin Oo has been in discussions with U Thu Wai of the Democratic Party. What is the party, that has lost in this election, going to do together with the NLD?

A – (in Burmese) I don’t know about this, but as I said earlier, our door is always open regardless of whether there is participation in the elections. We stand ready to work together with all entities working towards democracy.

Q - (in Burmese) What arrangements have been done for your security?

A – (In Burmese) Nothing. My security is, equally with the rest of the people, the responsibility of the rulers of the State.

Q – (in Burmese) What is your foreign policy, regarding sanctions? Is there any change?

A – (in Burmese)I have not discussed with the CEC and therefore there is no change.

Q - (in Burmese) If the government extends a hand to you, what are your intentions?

A- (in Burmese) I am ready to cooperate with anyone for the good of the country.

Q - (in Burmese)There are rumours that you will be given the post of foreign minister.

A - (inaudible answer).

Q - (inaudible question in Burmese) on the elections.

A – (in Burmese) Regarding the 2010 elections, the NLD is forming a committee to draw up a report. I will comment once the report is out.

Q - (in Burmese) There are some parties that lost the election who will be protesting against the results of the elections. How is the NLD going to cooperate with them?

A – (in Burmese )We did not participate in the elections so we have no reason to protest against the results. But as I said earlier, a report will be prepared on the results of the election in respect to the rule of law and equality of justice.

Q - (in Burmese) What is your opinion regarding the participation of women in politics?

A - (in Burmese) There should be more participation of women. Not only in this country but across the world … (inaudible)

Q – What is the worst and best moment in your detention? Some good news?

A – (inaudible) Oh the good news is my release.

Q - (in Burmese) What inspired you to sacrifice for the people?

A - (in Burmese) I don’t see this as a sacrifice. It’s embarrassing when people say that. I chose this path and I took it. To say that it is a sacrifice is like asking to be indebted. I chose this path and I will face the consequences and I do not expect anyone to be in my debt.

Q - (in Burmese) The parties say during the 2010 elections that the people lack political education. What do you say?

A- (in Burmese) Our whole people is behind in education. So it does not come as a surprise that they lack political education.

Q - (in Burmese) Were you asked to sign any conditions to your release?

A - (in Burmese) No. I was not and if asked, I will not.

Q - (in Burmese) The people are saying that you always look so young and healthy and they want to know the secret to your lifestyle.

A - (in Burmese) It is the requirement of my work that I remain healthy until we achieve democracy. After that, I will indulge in becoming an old lady.

Q – (in Burmese) The government has said that the NLD will be dissolved. Will you continue as the NLD?

A - (in Burmese) On the 18th there will be court hearing as to whether it is legal to dissolve the NLD. We will know then. But this will the ruling of the court. As to whether the NLD shall continue to exist, the answer lies in the hearts of the people.

Q - (in Burmese) The NDF used the Shwe Khamauk (Golden hat) symbol and so does the NLD. What do you say to that?

A – (in Burmese) We have never called ourselves the Shwe Khamauk party, but even if we were to call ourselves to be called “Khamauk” we’d rather be known as the Bamboo Khamauk.

Q - (in Burmese) What is your son’s visa status?

A - (in Burmese) He still hasn’t got it. But today is Sunday. Let’s see tomorrow.

Q - (in Burmese)Regarding sanctions, you said you will listen to the voice of the people. If the people wish the sanctions to be lifted, wil you call for it?

A - (in Burmese) If the people should provide concrete justification for the lifting of the sanctions, I will do so, but they must be concrete justifications.

Q - Inaudible question on border dispute.

A – These problems are not going to be resolve overnight. We’ve all go to learn the meaning of reconciliation. We don’t want conflicts to be resolved through armed battles. It has always been our policy. We want them to be resolved through dialogue and reconciliation and I am very very saddened that our country is still at a point where conflicts are to be resolved through force of power.

Q – Will you form an alliance with the ethnic political parties?

A – Some of the ethnic political parties are our allies. The CRPP (Committee Representing People’s Parliament) is made up of ethnic political parties and the NLD.

Q – What are you going to do tomorrow?

A - I’ve got a full day of appointments. I wish I knew what I was going to do tomorrow.

Q - (in Burmese) If they disband the NLD, what banner will you be operating under – how will you continue?

A - (in Burmese)Whether the NLD is perpetuated is not the issue, the issue is the perpetuation of the people. We would like to have a democracy network throughout the country, throughout the world, by the people – for the people. From the beginning, we have not worked for the perpetuation of this party alone. But to attain democracy and to uplift the morale and qualities of the people.

Q – Do you have any plans to have further public speeches to the people?

A – Not for the moment. We will let you know.

Q - What are your plans for the youth?

A – The youth will be our successors. So we have to nurture them.

Q – What do you think of the new flag?

A - Frankly speaking, I didn’t like the BSPP flag either. I like the flag when we got our independence the best.

Q – Is the NLD symbol , does it mean you are working together with the NDF?

A – It may look similar but it is different (inaudible). I believe they have a pom pom on top or something.

Q - (in Burmese) Are there plans to meet the NDF?

A - (in Burmese) We do not have any plans to meet any parties as yet because we have not time to make arrangements.

Q - (in Burmese) What do you say to Kalay Declaration on the second Panglong Conference?

A - (in Burmese) As I said earlier and in 1989, we need a Panglong Conference that is in line with the 21st Century.

Q – (in Burmese) What are your plans for the (NLD) youth?

A - (in Burmese) I have to consult with them first.

Q – (in Burmese) What is your message to Senior General Than Shwe?

A - (in Burmese) We can talk about anything so let’s just talk.

Q - (in Burmese) Please give a message to energize the people.

A - (in Burmese) The people are my strength – so they must remain strong. I can’t go it alone. I have just said democracy cannot be achieved alone. This is a valuable thing that involves a lot of sacrifice. If it is done alone, it is not democracy. If the people want democracy and want Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to attain it for them, they are not going to attain it. There will only be Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the dictator. Everyone has to have a hand in it.

Q - (in Burmese) What if there is no press freedom after the elections?

A - (in Burmese) Then I must say, what is the use of the elections?

Q - inaudible question on whether there were any conditions to her release.

A – No, not at all. It was an amicable parting of ways.

Q – How would you define the existence of the NLD.

A – I would define it to be in the hearts and minds of the people. I would define it to be a party per se I found it as a movement for democracy, as an organization that will achieve democracy and as long as the people want democracy in Burma, this organization (inaudible). This organization will continue to exist.

Q – How long do you think your aim to achieve democracy last?

A – I just want say that I am not a believer in astrology, although a lot of astrologers are very supportive of our cause. How soon we achieve democracy depends very much on how much support (inaudible)

Press conference ends.

Thank you very much. It is

Thank you very much. It is important to have the full text available to be able to understand not only what Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said but how the crowd listening to her reacted.

There are many questions marked as being in Burmese. Surely the whole speech was given in Burmese, and translated, was it not?

Thanks again. Very good read.

It’s not enough to know what you want but also to know how to achieve it with integrity. I say this not to patronize, I say from experience that no matter what the goal, if the path is without integrity, it will lose its way and be destroyed. This is why we must achieve what we want with integrity.

I believe that the people now realize that nothing can be accomplished without the participation of the people (Cheers and applause). Because nothing can be accomplished without the people’s participation, we would like to create a democracy network across the world, of the people and by the people.

How can we bring democracy to this country, if we don’t try to practice as much as possible in my own party.

There's a message there for would be democrats the world 'round.

Isn't she fantastic! At

Isn't she fantastic! At first, with her saying the word 'people' every few seconds, that maybe she was a bit rusty - and I felt shamed for having the pettiness to notice something like this.

But then she just kicked it into overdrive, and I was awed. The appropriate stern, firm diplomacy when pressed about the appalling treatment she's been forced to endure - and the perfect combination of humble / honest fears of inadequacy due to the immense nature of the seemingly impossible task, mixed with delightfully wry humour and brought home strongly with the inspiring, steeled determination tempered just a fraction by the pragmatic acceptance of the momentous mountain ahead...when talking to her fellow oppressed Burmese. Glorious stuff.

Boy, if they harm her...

It’s not enough to know what you want but also to know how to achieve it with integrity. I say this not to patronize, I say from experience that no matter what the goal, if the path is without integrity, it will lose its way and be destroyed.

I don’t think that any country can survive as a prosperous and dignified nation unless there is rule of law. The people cannot have security unless there is rule of law. So for that I shall always struggle.

If we are not in agreement, we will let you know. This is the basis of democracy – that of freedom of speech. But freedom to speak is not the same as freedom to be abusive.

Please don’t have the attitude that politics does not concern you. My father has said that before, that you may not be concerned with politics but politics will be concerned with you.

Q- You’re now free, Daw Suu Kyi, your people aren’t. What are you going to do next?

A –Some people are not free, how can you say that I am free. Either we are all free together or we are all not free together.


I don’t believe in one person dominating the whole party. That’s not democracy. How can we bring democracy to this country, if we don’t try to practice as much as possible in my own party. So you mustn’t say when I am going to take control of this party. I hope –

Speaking of Daw Aung San Suu

Speaking of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's interview with him today, John Simpson of the BBC

...She said that she wanted a peaceful revolution... and that she wanted the generals to lay down their powers...

That's all that's wanted in Thailand as well.

Call for second panglong

Call for second panglong conference

Aung San Suu Kyi told reporters a day after her release that she would like to call for a second Panglong Conference that is appropriate to 21st century concerns.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s idea of a second Panglong conference is not a knee-jerk reaction to journalists’ questions on minorities, but a plan worked out before her release.

[Shan intellectual Khuensai] Khuensai [Jaiyen] said a way to materialise the new Panglong conference was for Aung San Suu Kyi to take her ideas to junta paramount leader, Than Shwe. The international community needed to help her by mounting pressure on the regime, he said.

Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD have dreamed of a second Panglong since 1989, he said. This time she was more confident, but it would take time to make it come true, [NLD member] Win Hlaing said.

Ethnic Shan woman Charm Tong said Aung San Suu Kyi could play a role in reconciliation, but at first many political prisoners like her should be released.

Prisoners like Khun Htun Oo of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, serving a 106 year jail term, must first be freed, and a nationwide cease-fire established, before there can be any meaningful dialogue to resolve the political problems of the ethnic peoples in Burma, she said.

Thailand, too, needs the release of Darunee and other political prisoners and then a conference on autonomy and the decentralization of power from the military/"elite" in Bangkok.

There will be the usual amount of help from the international set... zero... in real support of the democracy movements in either country.

I'm not sure about Aung San

I'm not sure about Aung San Suu Kyi. I mean, whilst I respect the fact many differ with my understanding of the bloodless coup that, whilst technically illegal, seemed to be required due to Thaksin resigning, then realising he had support (both domestic and perhaps from international powerful types) and simply reversing his resignation to announce his indefinite return to power. Indefinite because the 3 highest courts in the land all invalidated his election win. So whilst the coup might have been technically unconstitutional, I'm yet to hear an argument for how Thailand was supposed to address the fact that a resigned PM had simply hijacked the position clearly unconstitutionally? If someone can correct me if I'm wrong, I'm more than willing to change my stance on that.

Anyway, didn't Aung San Suu Kyi, without addressing the issues above, simply rant out against "military coups" - even though they arrested nobody, and quickly returned democracy to the people? Leading some in government to wonder if she'd been paid by Thaksin?

I don't for one second believe it was due to anything like that. I think it was due to her using the coup as an opportunity to take a shot at Burma's junta (who Thaksin supported). I mean, it's an understandable mistake if it was a mistake, but until she corrects it...I'm not convinced she's all she's cracked up to me (adoration above notwithstanding).

Thailand, too, needs the release of Darunee and other political prisoners and then a conference on autonomy and the decentralization of power from the military/"elite" in Bangkok.

Without being fully aware of the details of Darunee's offence/s (I accept largely perhaps due to closed court and other unavoidable issues), I also think if she's only guilty of a drunken rant or whatever, that she has probably been punished enough. And that releasing her can't possibly be as 'dangerous' as keeping her locked up - I mean, was it just a drunken rant? I'm MORE than capable of stupid, misinformed, drunken rants. As such, I think if that's all she's guilty of (no matter how offensive or no matter how 'seditious' her comments were deemed....just seems unfair. But I strongly suspect there is more to the story? I dunno...there were far worse radio broadcasts on 19 May calling for a total uprising and the end to the monarchy. I haven't heard anything about those media personnel facing charges?

There will be the usual

There will be the usual amount of help from the international set... zero... in real support of the democracy movements in either country.

For Burma, I could not possibly agree more. If 20 years of pressure with sanctions and at levels of pressure probably only superseded by an invasion (which will NEVER happen - if Somalia / Darfur / Zimbabwe / generic genocides can't trigger a foreign intervention from the US or anyone due to their being no $ to be made), there will be zero foreign help. Granted the pressure from Burma's near neighbours has been non-existent (even heavily supported by former Thai Pm's and their 5 billion baht 'loans'), but yeah, I can't understand why they'd release her now - as they're clearly immune to international pressure, which I think has reached it's zenith (at least for Western 'interest' levels)

Which, whilst I can understand the sentiment, leads me to believe your opinion that they must overthrow the junta to be illogical, if you don't mind me saying so. I ranted about this on New Mandala, censored of course - though I firmly believe it's valid until someone explains why my logic is invalid (rather than censor)...but what is the point in encouraging or calling for a peasant revolution against armed military clearly unafraid of crushing dissent. We all know what they did to the monks in the Saffron peaceful revolution. And the world did nothing.

What possible purpose can carnage and slaughter serve? And that's the certain result if an unarmed uprising against armed military without compunction occurs. Where is the logic in encouraging them to get slaughtered, when Western nations will only do what they did in Darfur? Sweet. F. All.

Oh maybe they'll make a tragic Hotel Rangoon movie which makes us all cry. And 99% of whom forget about it in a week.


As for Thailand and international support, I have some different suspicions. But cannot argue them intelligently due to lack of knowledge or specific evidence beyond that suggested by very powerful media conglomerates clearly supporting Thaksin despite all the evidence that, if there is even a requirement for it (and I'm yet to understand how there is), Thaksin is so so SO not the horse to back.

On a completely unrelated and

On a completely unrelated and possibly drunk am I posting on Prachatai right now? I live in Thailand, my IP is Thai - I was searching something completely different and clicked and have commented. I believe my first ever?

I've read before! It never occurred to me but isn't this website supposed to be banned in Thailand? How am I able to view it (apologies if this is all explained somewhere - but I was under the impression Prachatai was the poster website for the 100,000 websites supposedly blocked in Thailand)?