Politicians, rights activists demand Suu Kyi’s release

May 27th, 2009 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) Political leaders, rights activists and filmmakers from Indian and Myanmar Wednesday condemned the house arrest of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and demanded her immediate and unconditional release.
The pioneer of the democratic movement, Suu Kyi was under house arrest for almost two decades in Myanmar and to be released Wednesday but is being now tried for violating the terms of her detention. She faces up to five years in jail, if convicted.

The leaders (including ex-MPs) and activists accused India of being a dormant neighbour for not playing a proactive role in the matter.

“The Indian government is silent and indifferent to the needs of Burmese people,” said Tint Swe, a ex-MP of Myanmar, at a conference here.

Emphasising the importance of public opinion in a democracy, Swe demanded strong response from the people and support for the immediate and unconditional release of Suu Kyi.

Thin Thin Aung, of the Women League of Burma, urged UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to press the Myanmar military regime to release Suu Kyi.

“She is the saviour of the people and without her Myanmar will not see an all inclusive political process and democratic progression,” said Aung, expressing herself disheartened at the “passivity” of the Indian government.

“The Indian government is not exercising its moral obligations and it is extremely sad that that they are engaging in trade with the ruthless junta,” she said.

Calling Suu Kyi’s trial illegal and unethical, an ex-MP Surendra Mohan said the generals of Myanmar junta “sit above the law”.

Even though the international community is clamouring to support the Burmese movement and vociferously demanding Suu Kyi’s release, the Indian government has conspicuously maintained silence, he said, adding it had “abandoned that role in order to maintain commercial and trade relations with the energy rich Myanmar”.

Samata party’s former chief, Jaya Jaitly called upon all Nobel laureates to stand for Suu Kyi.

“It is high time that people, instead of organising discussions and meetings, start to act. The Nobel laureates from all across the world should speak out against the travesty of justice in Myanmar,” she said.

Former defence minister George Fernandes also called for immediate action in the matter.

“If we are not to make a mockery of our beliefs, we must immediately put diplomatic and public pressure to release her,” said Fernandes, a long time supporter of the Burmese cause, in a statement.

Bollywood actress and social activist Nandita Das was also present at the conference to show her solidarity and demand freedom of Suu Kyi.

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