Suu Kyi Recounts NLD History in BBC Lecture

Posted July 5th, 2011 at 5:40 am (UTC-5)
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Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi explores the recent history of her National League for Democracy and the what drives people to dissent in a BBC lecture recorded for broadcast Tuesday.

The lecture is the second of two to be secretly recorded in Burma by the British broadcasters and smuggled to London for airing. The broadcast comes as Aung San Suu Kyi is visiting with her son Kim Aris in the Burmese pagoda city of Bagan.

It is her first trip outside Rangoon since she was freed from house arrest in November. While she is not conducting any political activities in Bagan, the trip is seen as a test of the limits to her newfound freedom.

In the BBC broadcast, Aung San Suu Kyi describes the unique nature of the NLD and its struggle to find an appropriate role for itself. The party overwhelmingly won elections in 1990 but was never permitted by the Burmese military to assume power.

In the lecture, the Nobel Peace laureate also discusses what drives a person to dissent even knowing the sacrifices involved. Aung San Suu Kyi has spent most of the time since the 1990 elections under house arrest.

In the first lecture aired a week ago, Aung San Suu Kyi compared development in Burma to the Arab Spring protests in the Middle East.

She called those uprisings an “inspiration” to her people and said the Burmese envy the people of Tunisia and Egypt for their “quick and peaceful” transitions.