Thursday, June 7, 2012

“Laureate Lights”: Aung San Suu Kyi

I'm looking forward to the new feature by the Nobel Peace Prize Forum which will highlight the current work of Nobel Peace Prize winners. Given all of the news surrounding her political victory in Myanmar, they have decided to begin with a profile of Aung San Suu Kyi , who will be traveling to Oslo in June to deliver her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech (she was awarded the prize in 1991 but was under house arrest until November 2010).  On the first of April 2012,  she was elected to the  Pyithu Hluttaw, which is the lower house of the Burmese parliament, representing Kawhmu.

"It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it."

Aung San Suu Kyi has been placed under house arrest for 15 of the past 21 years,  since beginning her political career.  The Burmese government detained her as someone "likely to undermine the community peace and stability" of the country, using both Article 10(a) and 10(b) of the 1975 State Protection Act (granting the government the power to imprison people for up to five years without a trial),[1] and Section 22 of the "Law to Safeguard the State Against the Dangers of Those Desiring to Cause Subversive Acts" as legal tools against her.[2] She continuously appealed her detention, and many nations and figures continued to call for her release and the 2,100 other political prisoners in the country.[3][4]  Days after the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) won elections conducted after a gap of almost 20 years, the junta finally agreed to sign orders to end the house arrest.

On Saturday, June 16 at 1:00 PM (Oslo time) she will finally be able to give her formal Nobel Peace Prize address, which I hope the Nobel Institute will live stream. For a taste, watch the video address  during the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Forum.