Myanmar's junta Saturday released opposition leader Aung San Suu
Kyi from house arrest, almost a week after staging a general
election widely criticized by the international community for not
being free, fair or inclusive.
Suu Kyi appeared briefly outside her house looking happy and
relaxed, prompting the crowds to break out in a joyous rendition
of the national anthem. "Mother, mother," cried one young woman,
tears streaming down her face.
"I am very happy to see you all," Suu Kyi told the crowd. "I want
to advise you to make noise at the suitable time, not now," she
The Nobel Peace laureate and pro-democracy icon promised to talk
to her supporters at noon Sunday.
After briefly addressing the crowd she returned to her compound
for a meeting with the executive committee of the National League
for Democracy (NLD) opposition party, which she leads.
Supporters drifted home in a state of bliss.
"I love her," said one young man. "This is genuine love."
Police cars arrived at Suu Kyi's compound at about 5.00 p.m. (1130
GMT) and officials were sent in to deliver her release papers.
Thousands of Suu Kyi supporters, members of the opposition
National League for Democracy (NLD) party and reporters had waited
outside her house-cum-prison in Yangon since Friday in
anticipation of her release.
Security personnel did not prevent the crowds from gathering,
which is unusual in the military-controlled state.
Suu Kyi was serving an 18-month house arrest handed down by a
criminal court in July 2009 for breaking the terms of her previous
incarceration by allowing an uninvited US national to swim to her
The sentence expired Saturday because it began on May 13, 2009,
when she was last arrested.
Suu Kyi, the daughter of Myanmar independence hero Aung San, has
spent 15 of the past 20 years under house arrest.
Myanmar's junta chief, Senior General Than Shwe, is the only
person empowered to order Suu Kyi's release.
The international community has been calling for her release -
along with that of 2,100 other political prisoners languishing in
Myanmar jails - both before and after the country's first election
in 20 years, held Nov 7.
The proxy party of the junta, the Union Solidarity and Development
Party (USDP), has won by a landslide, although the final results
have yet to be announced.
The polls have been widely condemned for not being free, fair or
inclusive, with the USDP accused of tampering with advance votes
and using inducements and intimidation to win its seats.
Suu Kyi was kept under house arrest during the election, while her
party decided to boycott the polls in protest against registration
regulations that would have forced them to drop Suu Kyi from the
party in order to run.
It is widely believed that the regime has agreed to release Suu
Kyi to deflect international condemnation of the election, which
may - despite its many flaws - signal a step forward for the
country. Myanmar, also called Burma, has been under military rule
Suu Kyi now has much to do.
"Daw (Madam) Aung San Suu Kyi will have to do a lot of jobs,
including looking into the complaints from states and divisions
about the unfair elections," said HIV/AIDS campaign leader Phy Phy
Suu Kyi will also need to address divisions among her political
supporters. A faction of the NLD, the National Democratic Force,
broke away to contest the elections.
It performed poorly, partly because of the rigged polls but also
because of lack of support from the NLD, who chose to boycott the
polls and urged people not to vote, analysts said.
keen to learn from Indian elections: Zambian poll chief
African countries are increasingly looking at India as a model
democracy and an example to emulate, says Zambia's poll panel
chief, Justice Florence N.M. Mumba, who is here to study electoral
1890, going for Haj in 2010: India's Munni Begum ready for
Munni Begum is 120 year old and is all set to go for Haj, after
special permission as her name didn't figure in the draw of lots.
The old woman who gave birth to
Why Indians are Succeeding But Not Indian Muslims ?
In the recent
elections in US another Indian-American, Nikki Haley, formerly
Nikki Randhawa, daughter of Sikh immigrants from India made
history when she was elected to the
Suu Kyi to be set free -- finally
Pro-democracy leader, Nobel Laureate and India-educated Aung San
Suu Kyi is to be set free, most probably Saturday, after Myanmar's
military junta Friday
Israeli premier Sharon returns home five years after stroke
Former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon
was Friday transferred to his home, Israel radio reported, nearly five
years after he suffered a massive stroke and went into a coma in the
midst of a re-election
Jahan Case: Supreme court upholds special probe team
The Supreme Court Friday dismissed an appeal by the Gujarat
government challenging the setting up of a Special Investigation
Team (SIT) to probe the killings of Ishrat Jahan and three