THE release of Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from years of house arrest has been greeted with elation by campaigners and church leaders.
In Bradford, where a large number of refugees from the Burmese Rohingya community now live, the Revd Chris Howson, a Mission Priest in Bradford archdeaconry, said there was a “great party. . . But the reality is that, despite the joy, this community still are not free to go back: there is a long way to go. We urge all churches to join the Free Burma campaign.”
The Rohingya people have been victims of ethnic cleansing at the hands of Burma’s military junta.
Ms Suu Kyi (seen at Yeway Cemetery, Myanmar, last Sunday, above, after attending a funeral service) was released last weekend after spending 15 of the last 21 years in detention.
A Nobel peace laureate, Ms Suu Kyi has been lauded by international and religious leaders for her enduring commitment to a democratic Burma. Her National League for Democracy (NLD), which was cheated of its victory at the polls in 1990, is now defunct, however, and its members are divided.
In her first interview since her release, with the BBC, Ms Suu Kyi, aged 65, called for a “non-violent, peaceful revolution”.