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British Magazine Readers Call Burmese Democracy Leader 'Greatest Living Hero'


Readers of a British political magazine have overwhelmingly selected Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as the world's greatest living hero.

The New Statesman announced the poll results in its most recent issue. It called the 60-year-old opposition leader "a true hero of this or any other time." Aung San Suu Kyi has spent much of the past two decades under house arrest.

The political party she founded, National League for Democracy, won popular elections in 1991, but the military junta never handed over control of the government. The imprisoned Aung San Suu Kyi has become a rallying point for Burmese democracy supporters.

The New Statesman admits reader surveys such as this one are, in its words, "arbitrary and entirely unscientific." But it says they are also indicative of the climate of the times.

Former South African president and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was the second highest vote-getter in the magazine poll.

Others who made the top ten are former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

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