House Of Reps Honors Aung San Suu Kyi With Award
House Passes Crowley-manzullo Bill To Honor Imprisoned Burmese Human Rights Leader With Congress' Highest Award
Washington, DC - Congressmen Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Don Manzullo (R-IL), secured unanimous passage of their legislation (HR 4286) to honor the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Aung San Suu Kyi. The measure was passed 400-0 by the House of Representatives.
"For three decades, Aung San Suu Kyi has valiantly led the nonviolent movement in Burma for democracy and human rights," said Crowley, a member of both the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Human Rights Caucus.
"Her work and dedication to the cause of freedom
and individual liberty has earned her recognition throughout
the world, including the Nobel Peace Prize. Aung San Suu
Kyi's passionate and nonviolent commitment to a free
democratic Burma, has won the hearts and minds of the
Burmese people. Today, the U.S. House of Representatives
showed her and the world that she has also won the hearts
and minds of the U.S. Congress."
The American people are outraged by the continued detention of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of Burma's revolutionary hero and one of the most honorable advocates for democracy and human rights the world will ever know," said Manzullo, lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global
Environment. "It is time for the junta to recognize the will of the Burmese people and open the door for true reconciliation.
By awarding Ms. Suu Kyi with the Congressional Gold Medal, we send a strong message that enough is enough."
Reps. Crowley and Manzullo co-authored the legislation to award Suu Kyi with the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of her efforts to end military rule and establish peace and democracy in Burma. HR 4286 is co-sponsored by 292 members of the House of Representatives. Suu Kyi's long crusade to end the human rights-abusing military dictatorship in Burma began in the 1980s. In 1988, she helped form the National League for Democracy (NLD), which advocates non-violence.
She is currently the NLD's General Secretary. However, since the time she began campaigning for the NLD, the junta has consistently kept Suu Kyi under house arrest. In 1990, despite being under house arrest, she led her political party to a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, gaining 82 percent of the seats in parliament. The military junta snubbed the will of the Burmese people by nullifying the results and, subsequently, cracking down on all political expression.
Despite being offered her freedom if in return she would leave the country and give up politics, Suu Kyi chose instead to remain in Burma - despite her personal safety not being guaranteed by the government. She has consistently maintained that the way forward for the people of Burma is through peaceful negotiations between the military regime, the National League for Democracy, and the country's ethnic nationalities. For her efforts on behalf of the Burmese people, she has won over 60 international awards, including the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Union, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the United States, and the Nobel Peace Prize.
She is the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, spending more than 12 of the past 17 years under house arrest. Even while under house arrest, she continues to fight on behalf of all the people of Burma - recently meeting with foreign leaders and junta officials to work for a peaceful way forward after the bloody nationwide crackdown.