Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Quote of the Week of January 29, by Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi, who should have become prime minister of Burma (Myanmar) in 1990, has been under house arrest or detention in that hapless country most of the time since then by Burma's corrupt military dictatorship. But she has always continued the struggle for freedom and justice despite the abuse and oppression so widespread against both her and all advocates for real democracy in Burma. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in 1991, which, if nothing else, has made it harder for the generals to eliminate her. Despite all her pain and suffering at their hands, she remains a commited apostle of Gandhian non-violence and an advocate for fearlessness in the face of oppression. The following quote is from her famous "Freedom from Fear" speech ( ):


"Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of man."

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