Release of Aung San Suu Kyi a first step in Burma

6 May 2002

The Socialist International welcomes the freeing of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest as a first step toward bringing democracy to Burma, and hopes that the military regime will abide by its commitment to place no conditions on her release and no restrictions on her movement.

The International has always stood in support of the democratic aspirations of the Burmese people and for the full respect of their human rights, especially since the imposition of military rule and the overturning of the 1990 elections, which were won in a landslide by Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy.

The International therefore strongly urges the military regime to take further measures toward real political change, to move ahead "to a more significant phase," as expressed by Aung San Suu Kyi after her release.

As reiterated at the recent meeting of the SI Asia-Pacific Committee in Manila in April, such measures should include the release of all political prisoners, the full restoration of political freedom for all Burmese people, and the transformation of the talks between Aung San Suu Kyi and the regime into a formal, substantive political dialogue in order to ensure that the process toward democracy is transparent and irreversible.