Aung San Suu Kyi was freed ! -With soft power of Asian women’s vitality

      2014/10/23

Japanese(日本語)

Aung San Suu Kyi is now highly celebrated by Asian women. On November 13, 2010 Suu Kyi was released from house arrest by the Myanmar military after almost 15 years. Consequently, her confinement meant that she was unable to meet her son who lives abroad and also she could not attend her husband’s deathbed. She has now returned as a Myanmar democratization leader and as a Diet member after an interval of 24 years.

In 1991, she won the Nobel Peace prize, but was unable to participate in the presentation award ceremony. Finally, on June 17 2012, Suu Kyi was able receive her award in Oslo, where she gave a commemorative speech, pledging to continue the battle for democracy….”Myanmar has accomplished an amazing and sudden change now, but we must not fall into optimism here”. “Our ultimate purpose is to build up a world where anyone can live in freedom and peace and to wake from sleep happily in peace. When bound together I would take a hand to make the world”. She received a standing ovation from the audience which seemed to continue for more than five minutes.

At the 1995 International Women’s Conference in Beijing. I saw a video message from Aung San Suu Kyi, She informed the delegates; “I cannot go to all of you. It was hard to send this video message”, and she continued to say, “generosity and security are on both sides of the coin. The common hope that has tied us together is to clear the obstacles against our progress and to eliminate them. At that time, if we are free from our leg irons, there can be peace everywhere in the world.” Hillary Clinton was also in attendance at this video speech. I was deeply moved by Suu Kyi’s impressive speech. I introduce the translated version of the video speech of Aung San Suu Kyi to the “Women and Work Journal” No3, 1995 (NGO Forum: Japanese only).

In June 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi said in another speech, “Myanmar needs to appeal not only for the democratization of its politics, but also for economic reform. It is a sense of impending crisis with the high unemployment rate of the young in Myanmar and the necessity to call for investment in Myanmar for job creation”. She participated in a discussion on women and emphasized that “women played an important role” with a political aspect and promoted her entrance into politics. While she always wears a flower in her hair and looks like a softly spoken woman, she always expresses big ideas and decisions. It seems that she makes good use of the “soft power” of being a woman.

Myanmar has rich natural resources including oil, but incurred long-term economic sanctions from the U.S. and other countries which has left the country as an undeveloped market. Myanmar was freed by American companies as they have made a line and watched business opportunities develop. However I think it is not enough that democratization and the security of human rights be established in order for the people of Myanmar to live in peace, and for investment leading to job creation.

 - 海外事情

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