Happy Birthday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi!

On June 19, 2010, Burma’s democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Aung San Suu Kyi turned 65. It was yet another birthday that she spent as a political prisoner of Burma’s dictator Than Shwe. While her birthday may have been a quiet affair in repressive Burma, around the world hundreds of avid supporters gathered together in a show of solidarity and support for the Lady.

In Washington, DC, on Saturday June 19th, hundreds of Americans and Burmese including many ethnic minorities came together in front of the Capitol building to mark Aung San Suu Kyi’s 65th birthday and rally the US government to support a UN-led Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma.

Across the globe, hundreds of birthday events in honor of our Burmese hero, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, took place. In Ireland, a special tribute concert was attended by over 300 people. Some of Ireland’s leading music, literary and media personalities performed songs and recited birthday messages honoring the imprisoned Burmese leader.

Even amidst growing repression inside Burma, as the military regime preps itself for the upcoming sham elections, brave youth from the now disbanded National League for Democracy decided to commemorate their elected leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, by planting 20,000 trees in 386 townships across the country. Burma is a country tightly ruled by the military junta led by one of the world’s most brutal dictators, Than Shwe. Under current circumstances, to own an unregistered photocopy machine, a camera or a recorder is a crime punishable with a sentence up to 65 years or longer. Such courageous act of defiance by the Burmese youth to honor Aung San Suu Kyi on her 65th birthday, as they brave possible arrest, torture and imprisonment,  is truly remarkable and inspiring for millions around the world.

Thanks to all the wonderful efforts and inspiring dedication of hundreds of supporters around the world, this will definitely be a memorable 65th birthday for our leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Come next year, we hope that she will be free so that she can govern the people who elected her.

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