Obama “Welcomes” Aung San Suu Kyi’s Release

Aung San Suu Kyi speaks with supporters outside her home, where she was placed under house arrest for seven years, in Yangon
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi speaks with supporters outside her home, where she was placed under house arrest for seven years, in Yangon November 13, 2010. Military-ruled Myanmar freed the Nobel Peace Prize-winner on Saturday after her latest period of house arrest expired, giving the country a powerful pro-democracy voice just days after a widely criticised election. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun (MYANMAR - Tags: POLITICS)

President calls opposition leader’s freeing “long overdue,” Burmese government “to release all political prisoners, not just one.”

Bill Clinton: “I am thrilled by the news of her release… and I hope this signals a new direction for life within the country and for the country’s relations with others beyond their borders.”

John Kerry: “I am thrilled to hear that Aung San Suu Kyi has finally been released from house arrest… But the joy of her release is tempered by the continuing hardships confronting the people for whom she has sacrificed so much.”

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

November 13, 2010

Statement by the President on the release of Aung San Suu Kyi

While the Burmese regime has gone to extraordinary lengths to isolate and silence Aung San Suu Kyi, she has continued her brave fight for democracy, peace, and change in Burma. She is a hero of mine and a source of inspiration for all who work to advance basic human rights in Burma and around the world. The United States welcomes her long overdue release.

Whether Aung San Suu Kyi is living in the prison of her house, or the prison of her country, does not change the fact that she, and the political opposition she represents, has been systematically silenced, incarcerated, and deprived of any opportunity to engage in political processes that could change Burma. It is time for the Burmese regime to release all political prisoners, not just one.

The United States looks forward to the day when all of Burma’s people are free from fear and persecution. Following Aung San Suu Kyi’s powerful example, we recommit ourselves to remaining steadfast advocates of freedom and human rights for the Burmese people, and accountability for those who continue to oppress them.

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Statement by President Bill Clinton on the Release of Aung San Suu Kyi:
November 13, 2010

“I am thrilled by the news of her release. People who love freedom everywhere admire her and the long sacrifice she has made for her people. I was honored to present Aung San Suu Kyi with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000 and I hope this signals a new direction for life within the country and for the country’s relations with others beyond their borders. In light of recent elections, I also hope that Aung San Suu Kyi’s release will lead to the rapid inclusion of her and the Burmese citizens in governance.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA):

“I am thrilled to hear that Aung San Suu Kyi has finally been released from house arrest. The leadership, grace, and perseverance that she demonstrated during her many years of detention has been inspiring. But the joy of her release is tempered by the continuing hardships confronting the people for whom she has sacrificed so much.

“I look to the new government of Burma to release the hundreds of other political prisoners who remain unjustly behind bars. And I call on the authorities to allow Daw Suu and other democracy advocates to speak freely and move about the country.

“Last week, the Burmese government staged national elections, trumpeted by the generals who run the country as part of a ‘roadmap to democracy’. The international community rightly condemned these elections as undemocratic in design and execution.

“In the coming weeks and months, the world will watch closely to see whether Burma’s new leaders begin the journey toward genuine democracy, peace, and respect for fundamental human rights, or whether they remain mired in the failed policies of the past. A shift toward more inclusive, responsive, and democratic governance will allow the long-suffering people of Burma to better their lives, and, over time, will create opportunities for the government of Burma to improve relations with the United States and begin to repair its much-tarnished international reputation.”

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