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Democracy tentatively rises in the East

Monday, April 16, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi (A Biography) by Jesper Bengtsson is a timely book, taking into account that Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the main opposition party, National League for Democracy (NLD), contested for the seat of Kawhmu, which she won, and her party won in 43 of the 44 seats they contested (out of a total 45). In 1990, the NLD won 59% of the national votes and 81% (392 of 485) of the seats in parliament, but Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested before the elections. She remained under house arrest in Myanmar (Burma) for almost 15 of 21 years from 20 July 1989 until her most recent release on 13 November 2010.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remarked: The results of the April 1st parliamentary by-elections represents a dramatic demonstration of popular will that brings a new generation of reformers into government. This is an important step in the country’s transformation, which in recent months has seen the unprecedented release of political prisoners, new legislation broadening the rights of political and civic association, and fledgling process in internal dialogue between the government and ethnic minority groups.

The Nobel Laureate is soft-spoken and very optimistic, and could end up being at the helm of affairs in Myanmar, given the ruling junta’s recent relaxing of the iron grip it had on the country.

This book, while examining Aung San Suu Kyi life from close quarters, looks at the years she spent in prison, the years she spent in India and the deep influence of Mahatma Gandhi on her lofe and values, and the atrocities perpetrated by the junta in that country.
 
Aung San Suu Kyi by Jesper Bengtsson Amaryllis Rs.495
 

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