Aung San Suu Kyi calls for peaceful revolution in Myanmar

Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi called for a "non-violent revolution" in Myanmar after being freed.

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010, 00:19 AM IST

Yangon: Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi
called Monday for a "non-violent revolution" in Myanmar after
being freed from years of house arrest.

The 65-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner told the BBC
in an interview at the headquarters of her National League for
Democracy she was sure democracy would eventually come to
Myanmar, although she did not know when.

She added that she would take any opportunity for
talks with the ruling military junta, which she wanted to
change rather than fall.

"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 said.

"I think it`s quite obvious what the people want; the
people just want better lives based on security and on
freedom."

Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest on Saturday, less
than a week after a controversial election that cemented the
junta`s decades-long grip on power but was widely criticised
by democracy activists and Western leaders as a sham.

She said in the interview, published on the BBC
website, that she wanted a non-violent end to military rule.

"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.

Suu Kyi, who has been locked up by Myanmar`s regime
for 15 of the past 21 years, spent several hours at the NLD
headquarters in meetings with regional party members, ending
her first day back at work with a trip to a Yangon monastery.

She told the BBC she was not subject to restrictions
on her freedom but would take the consequences if the junta
decided to lock her up again for what she said or did.

The opposition leader gave her first political speech
in seven years on Sunday, appealing to thousands of her
jubilant supporters for unity.

She also told reporters she was willing to meet junta
chief Than Shwe and talk through their differences.

Suu Kyi swept her party to victory in a 1990 election,
but it was never allowed to take power.

Her struggle for her country has come at a high
personal cost: her British husband died in 1999, and in the
final stages of his battle with cancer the junta refused him a
visa to see his wife.

Australia was the latest country to offer support to
Suu Kyi on Monday, with Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd saying he
had spoken with her and promised that his country would
continue to be her "reliable friend" in the future.

PTI