Suu Kyi prepares route for peaceful revolution

First the euphoric, then the mundane. Having been at the centre of a thrilling, dizzying 36 hours of cheering crowds and flashing cameras, Burma's democracy icon yesterday had to get practical with issues such as the drains and rent.

While she had first spoken to diplomats and old colleagues, yesterday saw Aung San Suu Kyi meeting with the landlord of her National League for Democracy's (NLD) offices and turning to the maintenance of her crumbling home.

Both were issues that have been neglected during her seven years in detention. The slow, solitary days of her house arrest have been replaced with constant meetings at a frantic pace to meet the many demands placed upon her time since she was freed on Saturday. Her priority is to consult as widely as possible as she resumes her struggle to overturn nearly half a century of military rule through peaceful means.

"She has so much to do now – she is trying to fit it all in," said her close ally Win Tin. "First the landlord, then she is meeting with the party's central committee again and leaders of the NLD district offices who have come to Rangoon."

Ms Suu Kyi will no doubt have consulted her party colleagues about the issue of Western sanctions against Burma, having said she is anxious to study the issue to see whether they are hurting ordinary Burmese people more than the junta leaders and the business cronies it is intended they target.

Her word on the matter would heavily influence policymakers in Europe and the US who in the past have looked to Ms Suu Kyi for guidance on how to deal with Burma's military regime. Two weeks ago, the party made clear that it believed it was time to end its call for a tourist boycott of the country, a flashpoint of controversy among activists and campaigners.

Amid the weighty duties of the day, Ms Suu Kyi, 65, also made time to celebrate the wedding anniversary of her deputy U Tin Oo and his wife, look at her correspondence and even write some letters, by hand, to her closest friends and most loyal supporters, including Gordon Brown.

"She wanted to write to Mr Brown because he has been such a firm supporter of hers. She wants to show her appreciation," Win Tin said.

Mr Brown has spoken of his intense admiration for Ms Suu Kyi, written her letters and devoted a chapter of his 2007 book Courage to her, comparing the Nobel laureate's struggle against the Burmese junta with Nelson Mandela's fight to end apartheid in South Africa.

Win Tin, one of the founding members of the NLD, was arrested in 1989 and spent 19 years in Rangoon's Insein jail, most of them in solitary confinement, where he was beaten and tortured. He was reunited with his leader on Saturday for the first time since his arrest.

"I was happy to see she was the same Aung San Suu Kyi, active and alert and full of energy," he said. Ms Suu Kyi was arrested a few months after Win Tin and has spent 15 of the past 21 years in detention, most of them under house arrest. In the coming weeks, everything Ms Suu Kyi does and says will be closely watched for an indication of her tactics for dealing with the junta, headed by the senior general Than Shwe.

"I don't want to see the military falling. I want to see the military rising to dignified heights of professionalism and true patriotism," she told the BBC.

"I think it's quite obvious what the people want; the people just want better lives based on security and on freedom. I think we also have to try to make this thing happen. Velvet revolution sounds a little strange in the context of the military, but a non-violent revolution ... let's put it that way," she said.

"Every time that Suu Kyi has been released, she has tested the limits of her freedom, and one assumes she will continue to do so. As long as Than Shwe is around and has power it will be more difficult," said Professor David Steinberg, a long-time Burma watcher.

"She has no party but has personal charisma. This is obvious on the international stage, but we are not quite sure how far it extends internally."

He added: "We also must remember that the censorship laws are still in force, so what she says and does may not find its way into the local media."

Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Rodgers showered praise on Balotelli last week, which led to speculation he could sign the AC Milan front man
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Arts and Entertainment
Arctic Monkeys headline this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, but there's a whole host of other bands to check out too
music(who aren't Arctic Monkeys)
Lizards, such as Iguanas (pictured), have a unique pattern of tissue growth
Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Digital Project Manager/BA

£300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Digital/Ecommerc...

Creative Content Executive (writer, social media, website)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...

Test Lead (C#, Java, HTML, SQL) Kingston Finance

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...

Access/Teradata Developer, Banking, Bristol £400pd

£375 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Access / Teradata Developer - Banking - Bristol -...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home