Aung San Suu Kyi was 67 years old Tuesday, June 19th. and was sworn in earlier this year to serve in the Parliament of Burma, where she has devoted her life to human rights and democracy. For 15 years – almost a fourth of her life – she was under house arrest for her political opposition to the military regime that imprisoned her and other members of her party in their country. She was ultimately released in November, 2010. She is the recipient of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize and numerous other awards in recognition of her bravery but because of her arrest was unable to deliver an acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize until this past Saturday, June 16th. Msmagazine.com reprinted the full transcript of Suu Kyi’s speech, and her moving words of hope for world peace and inclusion and plea for kindness resonate across time and geographic boundaries. Her understanding that the cause of human rights transcends national borders and specific dictatorships and her commitment to alleviating forms of suffering wherever they exist make her a worthy Nobel winner.
“…our aim should be to create a world free from the displaced, the homeless and the hopeless, a world of which each and every corner is a true sanctuary where the inhabitants will have the freedom and the capacity to live in peace. Every thought, every word, and every action that adds to the positive and the wholesome is a contribution to peace. Each and every one of us is capable of making such a contribution. Let us join hands to try to create a peaceful world where we can sleep in security and wake in happiness…” ——Aung San Suu Kyi
Happy Birthday to The Lady from Burma!