Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs on the 10th anniversary of the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern T.D., recalls that as of today, Monday 24 October 2005, Aung San Suu Kyi has spent a total of ten of the last fifteen years detained under Burma's military regime. Burma Action Ireland and other friends and supporters throughout the world are holding events to mark this day.
The Minister states:
“My message to Aung San Suu Kyi today is that the Government and people of Ireland have not forgotten her and will not forget her. The suffering that she continues to endure evokes keen interest and concern in Ireland. This is evidenced by the rare honour bestowed on her as a Freewoman of the cities of Dublin and Galway.
Aung San Suu Kyi has shown remarkable courage in resisting attempts to intimidate her into silence. Her ongoing detention highlights the Burmese régime's contempt for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. To be isolated from family and friends for a total of ten years is a huge personal sacrifice and displays her unstinting dedication to Burma and to the Burmese people.
In my address on behalf of Ireland at the 60th Session of the UN General Assembly last month I referred to the continuing denial of human rights and democracy in Burma. I stated that this was most acutely symbolised by the continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and that her ordeal was not forgotten by the people of Ireland. I will continue to avail of future opportunities to highlight her plight.
The Irish Government's position on Burma is clear. Our goal, together with our EU partners and other members of the international community, remains the return of democracy to Burma, an end to human rights violations, the release and restoration of liberty to Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, and the realisation of peace and prosperity for the long suffering people of Burma.
Aung San Suu Kyi's struggle to bring democracy and human rights to Burma through peaceful means has been a source of inspiration for people everywhere. It is my sincere hope that she will be released without delay”.
24th October 2005