‘Because of my father I feel a deep responsibility for the welfare of my country’

In this personal account, Aung San Suu Kyi reveals why she became so entwined with a nation’s cry for democracy

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The Independent Online

12 September 1988

... People ask me how I came to be involved in the nationwide movement for democracy. As the daughter of a man regarded as the father of modern Burma, it was inevitable that I should be closely attuned to the country’s political currents … My father died when I was only two years old, and it was only when I grew older and started collecting material on his life that I began to learn how much he achieved in 32 years. I developed an admiration for him as a patriot and statesman. Because of this strong bond I feel a deep responsibility for the welfare of my country…

When I came to Burma last April, I found that the mood of the people had changed and that the time for a popular anti-government movement was approaching. The massacre of peaceful demonstrators last August precipitated such a movement and decided me to come out in support of the people’s aspirations. I have a responsibility towards my country, both as my father’s daughter and by my desire to prevent further bloodshed and violence … I am frequently asked how long I intend to stay in Burma. It has always been my intention to come back and live in my country some day, to set up a chain of public libraries and organise scholarships for students. Whether or not I continue to engage in political activities after a transition to a democratic system, I hope to fulfil these aims. Another question that is often put to me is whether I believe that the people’s movement for democracy will succeed. The answer is an unequivocal yes … I cannot help but feel that the future of Burma is assured.

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