Thursday, Apr 09th, 2020 - 13:19:58

Aung San Suu Kyi

Davos Report: Bernie Sanders on "The Crystal World" of Burma

'Daw Aung San Suu Kyi did not appear at the ceremonial State breakfast party. When U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders arrived at the Suu Kyi bungalow in Rangoon and was shown into the dining-room by the houseboy, the ghost of Karl Marx greeted him with a raised forefinger. "Aunty Suu is sleeping," he told Sanders. "She had quite a night, poor dear--a lot of natives are hanging around in the bush, hoping to reap themselves a harvest of diamonds, I suppose. They've brought their sick with them, incurables for the most part. What about you, Bernie? How do you feel this morning?" "Well enough," Sanders said. "Thanks for the suit, by the way." "Your own is dry now," Marx said. "One of the boys pressed it earlier this morning. If you want to change--?" "That's all right. This one is warmer, anyway." Sanders felt the blue serge fabric. The darker blue material in some way seemed more appropriate to his present meeting with Suu Kyi than his red cotton tropical suit, a fitting disguise for this nether world where, under house arrest, she had slept by day and appeared only to greet foreign visitors at night. Marx ate his breakfast with relish, working with both hands at his grapefruit. Since their meeting the previous night he had relaxed completely, almost as if Suu Kyi 's prayers gave him his first chance to lower his guard with Senator Sanders.'

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi: "In Quest of Democracy" (1989)

'The Buddhist view of world history tells that when society fell from its original state of purity into moral and social chaos a king was elected to restore peace and justice. The ruler was known by three titles: Mahasammata, 'Unanimous Consent of the People'; Khattiya; 'Dominion over Agricultural Land'; and Raja, 'Affection through Observance of the Dhamma (Virtue, Justice, the Law)'. The agreement by which their first monarch undertakes to rule righteously in return for a portion of the rice crop represents the Buddhist version of government by social contract. The Mahasammata follows the general pattern of Indic kingship in South-east Asia. This has been criticized as antithetical to the idea of the modern state because it promotes a personalized form of monarchy lacking the continuity inherent in the Western abstraction of the King as possessed of both a body politic and a body natural... The Buddhist view of kingship does not invest the ruler with the divine right to govern the realm as he pleases. He is expected to observe the Ten Duties of Kings, the Seven Safeguards against Decline, the Four Assistances to the People, and to be guided by numerous other codes of conduct such as the Twelve Practices of Rulers, the Six Attributes of Leaders, the Eight Virtues of Kings and the Four Ways to Overcome Peril."

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi: Nobel Peace Prize Speech (2012)

'We are fortunate to be living in an age when social welfare and humanitarian assistance are recognized not only as desirable but necessary. I am fortunate to be living in an age when the fate of prisoners of conscience anywhere has become the concern of peoples everywhere, an age when democracy and human rights are widely, even if not universally, accepted as the birthright of all. How often during my years under house arrest have I drawn strength from my favourite passages in the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

+ "Disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspirations of the common people..."

+ "It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law..."

If I am asked why I am fighting for human rights in Burma the above passages will provide the answer. If I am asked why I am fighting for democracy in Burma, it is because I believe that democratic institutions and practices are necessary for the guarantee of human rights... The peace of our world is indivisible.'

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