Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Auckland dinner for Burmese leader’s birthday


Auckland dinner for Burmese leader’s birthday

Fifteen years after she was denied the right to take her place as the democratically elected leader of Burma, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi will mark her 60th birthday on Sunday (19 June), still under house arrest.

About 200 people in Auckland will join other supporters around the world to mark the occasion – locally with a fundraising dinner at Auckland University’s Waipapa Marae on Sunday night.

Some of New Zealand’s 300 refugees from Burma will provide food, music and dances by the Burman, Karen and Mon ethnic groups. Speakers will include former New Zealand Ambassador Rene Wilson, Green MP Keith Locke, NZ Burma Support Group founder Fiona Thompson and the president of the United Democratic Burmese Community (NZ), Aung Htay Nyan.

Aumg San Suu Kyi, born in Rangoon on 19 June 1945, is the daughter of Burma’s independence leader, Aung San, who was assassinated in July 1947 just a few months before the country finally became independent from Britain.

She went to Britain in the 1960s to study at Oxford University, where she met her husband Michael Aris, a scholar of Tibetan culture. They had two sons, Alexander and Kim.

She returned to Burma in 1988 to care for her dying mother and found herself caught up in the democratic movement opposing the military junta led by General Ne Win, who had seized power in 1962. Student protests and anti-government riots in 1988 forced Ne Win’s resignation, but hundreds of people died as the army brutally fired at demonstrators in Rangoon.

Aung San Suu Kyi became leader of the National League for Democracy and was placed under house arrest in July 1989. She was offered freedom if she would leave the country, but refused.

In 1990 the regime allowed elections for the first time since 1960. Aung San Suu Kyi was banned from taking part and kept under house arrest, but the NLD won 60% of the vote. However, the military ruled that the NLD was “not ready to rule” and arrested its other leaders.

Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in 1995, but was arrested again in 2000 and again in 2003, when she was on a speaking tour in northern Burma. Some of the supporters who were with her on the tour were killed and Aung San Suu Kyi herself required hospital treatment.

Heavily influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, Aung San Suu Kyi has argued consistently for non-violent action. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Her husband, Michael Aris, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997 but was denied a visa to join her in Burma, and the junta made it clear that Aung San Suu Kyi herself would be barred from re-entering the country if she joined him in Britain. She refused to leave, and never saw him again. He died in 1999.

Proceeds from the Auckland dinner will go to the Burma Relief Centre in Thailand, which sends “barefoot doctors” into Burma to help people who have been displaced from their villages by the military.

The dinner starts at 7pm. Tickets are $35 and are available from Fiona Thompson, 09 828 4855.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news