Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi
1945

Burmese Political Leader, Chairman and General Secretary of the National League for Democracy in Burma, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Rafto Prize and Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

Author Quotes

Sanctions and boycotts would be tied to serious political dialogue.

Revered monks and people. This public rally is aimed at informing the whole world of the will of the people... Our purpose is to show that the entire people entertain the keenest desire for a multiparty democratic system of government.

Repressed human beings are not the same as those who are free and secure.

Please use your freedom to promote ours.

People often ask me how it feels to have been imprisoned in my home… How could I stand the separation from family and friends? It is ironic, I say, that in an authoritarian state it is only the prisoner of conscience who is genuinely free. Yes, we have given up our right to a normal life. But we have stayed true to that most precious part of our humanity — our conscience.

Peace as a goal is an ideal which will not be contested by any government or nation, not even the most belligerent.

Part of our struggle is to make the international community understand that we are a poor country not because there is an insufficiency of resources and investment, but because we are deprived of the basic institutions and practices that make for good government.

Once serious political dialogue has begun, the international community can assume that we have achieved genuine progress along the road to real democratization.

Often lack of wisdom can result in deeds lacking compassion. The philosopher Karl Popper was asked in an interview if he believed in evil. No, he answered, but I believe in stupidity. His reply struck me as remarkably Buddhist: often in Buddhist teachings, the wise are associated with righteousness and the foolish or ignorant with evil-doing. As sweet as honey is an evil deed, so thinks the fool... Lack of wisdom blinds men to attitudes and actions that deny the basic humanity that should unite all peoples, regardless of race, language, creed or class. Once set on a course which emphasizes differences and exacerbates conflict, there is little room left for compassion. Wisdom can thus be seen as important not just for making compassion effective, but for generating compassion itself.

I've never been particularly concerned about my own freedom as such. This is not what we are working for. What we are concerned about is the freedom of political parties and the freedom of all the people of Burma.

I've always thought that the best solution for those who feel hopeless is for them to help others.

I've always thought that the best solution for those who feel hopeless is for them to help others.

It would be difficult to dispel ignorance unless there is freedom to pursue the truth unfettered by fear. With so close a relationship between fear and corruption it is little wonder that in any society where fear is rife corruption in all forms becomes deeply entrenched.

It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it. Most Burmese are familiar with the four a-gati, the four kinds of corruption. Chanda-gati, corruption induced by desire, is deviation from the right path in pursuit of bribes or for the sake of those one loves. Dosa-gati is taking the wrong path to spite those against whom one bears ill will, and moga-gati is aberration due to ignorance. But perhaps the worst of the four is bhaya-gati, for not only does bhaya, fear, stifle and slowly destroy all sense of right and wrong, it so often lies at the root of the other three kinds of corruption. Just as chanda-gati, when not the result of sheer avarice, can be caused by fear of want or fear of losing the goodwill of those one loves, so fear of being surpassed, humiliated or injured in some way can provide the impetus for ill will. And it would be difficult to dispel ignorance unless there is freedom to pursue the truth unfettered by fear. With so close a relationship between fear and corruption it is little wonder that in any society where fear is rife corruption in all forms becomes deeply entrenched.

It cannot be doubted that in most countries today women, in comparison to men, still remain underprivileged.

Investment that only goes to enrich an already wealthy elite bent on monopolizing both economic and political power cannot contribute toward égalité and justice — the foundation stones for a sound democracy.

In an age when immense technological advances have created lethal weapons which could be, and are, used by the powerful and the unprincipled to dominate the weak and the helpless, there is a compelling need for a closer relationship between politics and ethics at both the national and international levels. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations proclaims that 'every individual and every organ of society' should strive to promote the basic rights and freedoms to which all human beings regardless of race, nationality or religion are entitled. But as long as there are governments whose authority is founded on coercion rather than on the mandate of the people, and interest groups which place short-term profits above long-term peace and prosperity, concerted international action to protect and promote human rights will remain at best a partially realized struggle.

I'm a cautious optimist. I'm cautiously optimistic about everything.

I would therefore like to call upon those who have an interest in expanding their capacity for promoting intellectual freedom and humanitarian ideals to take a principled stand against companies that are doing business with the Burmese military regime. Please use your liberty to promote ours.

I was surprised by the response of young people because there is a perception that those younger than the 1988 generation are not interested in politics.

I think I should be active politically. Because I look upon myself as a politician. That's not a dirty work you know. Some people think that there are something wrong with politicians. Of course, something wrong with some politicians.

I think by now I have made it fairly clear that I am not very happy with the word hope. I don't believe in people just hoping. We work for what we want.

I saw many aspects of the country which I needed to see in order that I might know what we need to do.

I have been free for more than a month. Some people may think that that is long enough. Others may think that that is not quite long enough.

I don't think you can say that the talks between us and the military have not yet resumed. I think you could say that dialogue has not yet started.

Author Picture
First Name
Daw Aung San Suu
Last Name
Kyi
Birth Date
1945
Bio

Burmese Political Leader, Chairman and General Secretary of the National League for Democracy in Burma, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Rafto Prize and Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought