Posted by: jkirkby8712 | November 14, 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma

I was pleased with the news this weekend that Burma’s most famous democracy campaigner had been released by the country’s military from her seven years of house arrest, from a total of almost 15 of the past 21 years that she has been under such restrictions. Aung San Sun Kyt ha been a world symbol  against the oppression and rule in that country for two decades, and while this latest act of ‘generosity by the country’s rulers comes with no apparent guarantee that her ‘freedom’ will last, or whether there will remain restrictions imposed upon her by the regime, it at least gives the appearance of a move in the right direction.  Of course, there are still over 2000 ‘political’ prisoners which she wants to see released but it is difficult to swee the regime bowing to that kind of demand.

Aung San Suu Kyi was the daughter of Burma’s independence hero, General Aung San, who was assassinated in 1947 and after being educated at Oxford University, she returned to Burma where she was caught up in a revolt against the country’s dictator leader at the time, and in 1989, was first put under house arrest when the Burma junta declared martial law. Various periods of release and re-arrest followed for this woman who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Strangely, for a country that has been so dominated by the cdurrent regime for so long, she has massive support base throughout Burma. Even so, just last week, the regime in Burma, in conducting socalled free elections for the people, once again managed to manufacture a landslide victory for the ruling junta.  But I guess one can only continue to hold out hope that the kind of world pressure that the Burmese leaders have so refused to acknowledge and ignored, will begin to eventually take affect.

On matters not so world shattering or serious, the two rugby matches I mentioned were taking place overnight, resulted in defeats on both occasions to the Australian teams. In the Rugby League Four Nations final,  New Zealand eventually got up to defeat the Kangaroos 16-12, while over in the UK, it was a more convincing win by England over the Wallabies 35-18 in what was a rather surprising outcome. The English team looked inspired.  As for Mark Webber’s chances of winning the F1 Motor Racing Championship they took a bit of a dive yesterday, when he qualified only 5th on the starting grid for tonight’s final championship race – it looks at though he will need his best drive of the year, to have any hope of achieving his ambition. I might see the race later tonight!

On an even lighter note, I had a very pleasant two hours on the radio this afternoon – with a local resident and his Thai wife – Jack and Orr spend 6 months in year in Thailand [our winter months] and the other six months here in Australia, the best of both worlds it might appear. They joined me in my ‘musical matinee’ program today – with a collection of cds featuring star Thai singers, as well as a collection of jazz and blues music, as composed and created by none other than the King of Thailand [great stuff, I could play that all night!!], much of  it sung in English, as I gather he has a great music market in the USA. As well as playing some of their music for our listeners, my guests had plenty to say [well, mainly Jack, as Orr was a little shy earlier on, though as the program moved on, her on air confidence grew] and some great stories about both their lives in Thailand [the Land of Smiles] and about the country itself, and it’s peoples.  Next time I bring them him, I must make sure, that ‘they’ are familar with what is on their cds!! Before we went on air, I was removing the original wrapping from the discs, lol, so we did have the occasional difficulty in informing the listeners as to who or what they were listening to!! Hopefully, I was the only one who noticed that ‘problem’, and soon adjusted to the flexible nature of the program [rather different to my normal structured and organised to the minute planning!!].  We are actually trying to get Jack interested in presenting his own program – he’s interested, just needs to get around to the enquiry and training part!


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