Monday, June 20, 2011

Suu Kyi’s birthday prayer for peace

Monday, 20 June 2011 15:39 Ko Pauk

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Sunday, her 66th birthday, that peace was the most important thing as more fighting has broke out in Burma.

NLD General-Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi, 66, delivers remarks
during her birthday ceremony at the headquarters of the
National League for Democracy in Rangoon on Sunday,
June 19, 2011. Photo: Mizzima
National League for Democracy (NLD) General-Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi gave a five-minute speech at her birthday party at NLD headquarters in Rangoon.

‘In order to develop and prosper, the first thing a country need is peace. So my birthday prayer is that we all can live in peace', Suu Kyi said.

She also said that to establish peace, neither a person nor an organization could do it alone. She called for cooperation.

‘The most valuable birthday gift you can give to me is making yourself to want our country to be peaceful', she said.

Her supporters called her birthday ‘Burma Women’s Day’.

‘When wars or acts of violence break out, women and children are the worst sufferers, hence women want peace more than men want it', Suu Kyi said.

Her birthday party attracted a large turnout. Foreign diplomats also attended.

‘There are about 1,500 to 2,000 participants. The road was also very crowded’, NLD youth wing leader Myo Nyunt told Mizzima.

Suu Kyi, who has been dubbed ‘Mom’ by Burmese youth, seemed active and happy at her birthday party, Myo Nyunt said.

‘The youth network formed by Mom’s advice actively participated to hold her birthday party and it was extraordinary. Not only NLD members but also new generation students, 88-generation students including Phyo Min Thein, Khin Moe Aye and Toe Kyaw Hlaing, musicians and poets helped to celebrate her birthday ceremony’, Myo Nyunt said.

A birthday cake in the colors of the Burmese flag arrives
at a party in Rangoon at the National League for Democracy
headquarters to celebrate Aung San Suu Kyi's 66th birthday.
She made a speech in which she wished everyone to give
a gift of peace to Burma, which has experienced civil strife
and ethnic wars in recent decades. Photo: Mizzima
On Sunday morning, a song contest was held to mark her birthday and young people from Sanchaung Township won first prize singing the song, ‘Refresh yourself, Mom’.

‘I’m very glad to meet with Mom in the real world and participate in arranging her birthday party. Mom often wears a smile. She smiled many times today’, Kyaw Htoo Lin, who attended the party, told Mizzima.

NLD leaders including Tin Oo and Win Tin, prominent politicians including Thakhin Thein Pe and leaders of the Committee Representing People's Parliament including Aye Tha Aung and Pu Chin Sian Thang attended the birthday party.

Birthday celebrations were also held in Ahlone, Thanlyin, Twante and North Okkalapa townships in Rangoon Division as well as in Mandalay and Sagaing Divisions.

Although Suu Kyi’s birthday ceremony is held each year, she could not participate for many years because she was under house arrest.

In April 1988, Suu Kyi returned to Burma to look after her sick mother, Khin Kyi. She led a nation-wide failed pro-democracy uprising the same year and was put under house arrest on July 20, 1989.

She was released on July 10, 1995, but was placed under house arrest again on September 23, 2000.

The former junta released her on May 6, 2002, but a short while later following the Depayin Massacre, she was put under house arrest again on May 30, 2003, and was released on November 13, 2010.

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