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Aung San Suu Kyi's Message to Asian Social Forum - 2003-01-08


Nobel Peace Laureate and leader of Burma's democratic movement Daw Aung San Suu Kyi conveyed message to Asia Social Forum held in Hyderabad, India on Janurary 7, 2003. Her message is as follows: It is a great pleasure for me to be able to address all of you who are there. I am sorry I was not able to speak the other day. I think my telephone was cut off deliberately. I may be mistaken of course.

But when you consider that it makes all realize how important it is to change the world. You believe in change. You believe that another world is possible. Not only should we believe that another world is possible, I think we have to say that another world must be created in order that we may be able to live in dignity as human beings.

I would especially like to address a few words to the Youth Camp. Because in my recent travels across Burma I have been very struck by the situation of our young people. And I want a new world for them. I want to be able to see them grow up in a Burma, that is a changed Burma. That is a country, which will provide them with freedom, security and with the opportunity to develop their potential. So I would like all of you, the young people at the Forum to do whatever they can to help our young people.

I have to confess that it is a little bit difficult for me to speak off the cuff because I left my speech at home. So this is a very informal conversation that I am having with the members of the Conference.

In any case, it is a great pleasure to be in contact and I would like you to be aware of the difficulties of the people of Burma. You talk about anti-neo liberalism. I think we have yet to get to the stage in Burma when there is such thing as liberalism.

We are trying to achieve a more liberal society. We would like you to do what you can to help us create a more liberal society. I think first we have to learn what liberalism is before we can learn about the dangers of neo-liberalism.

Occasions like the World Social Forum help all of us to focus on the problems of this world. I know that this is the social forum. But I do not think the social matters can be separated from political matters. I do not think that economic matters can be separated from political matters. Politics is a thread that runs through everything that we do. Because whether we like it or not we are political animals.

Because we live together in societies as society has to become in some way or the other that there may be order. I don’t think we should put too much emphasis on the order. As you know, in 1988 after the beginning of the movement for democracy, the military took over under the name of the State Law and Order Restoration Council. We do not want law and order to be misused to oppress people. Which is why we want the people to understand what exactly we mean by ordered society.

An Ordered Society is one in which there is a healthy balance between striving for our rights and protecting those of others. Where the citizens are aware of their rights as well as their responsibilities. Where social and economic values are not separated artificially from political ones.

I am glad to have opportunity to say these rather hap hazard words that we may be able to keep in contact. I hope that the time will come when we in Burma are allowed to participate freely in such forums.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the World Social Forum-India for having invited me to address the conference. I am very sorry that I was not able to do it in the way in which I had intended but still perhaps sometimes it is better that we speak to each other informally as friends. And I hope that this is what we are going to be friends all over the world that this world will be a better, a newer one for everybody concerned.

Information for this report is provided by Mizzima News.

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