Suu Kyi tells Egypt protesters: 'We're all with you'

1st February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi told anti-regime protesters in Egypt on Tuesday that "we're all with you", as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Cairo.

In a live question and answer session on BBC World Service radio, the Nobel peace laureate, who has fought the military regime in Myanmar for decades, said she was "very interested" in the situation and urged protesters to stay strong.

"It's necessary to keep cool heads and strong hearts and not ever to lose hope and to keep on going," she said, in response to a caller from Cairo who asked her advice as he faced a "very scary moment of transition" in Egypt.

She added: "And I would want you to know that we're all with you -- that people all over the world who want freedom, somehow or the other feel connected to other people who are struggling for freedom."

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won a 1990 election in a landslide but the result was never recognised by Myanmar's military regime and she has spent most of the past 20 years in detention.

She was released from her latest period of house arrest in November, less than a week after a widely criticised election that cemented the military regime's decades-long grip on power.

Continuing on Egypt, Suu Kyi said: "I think it's normal that people should after some years get tired of authoritarian regimes.

"And I think what the Egyptian situation has proved is that people nowadays have much better means of getting in touch with each other and arranging mass public demonstrations such as they have done in Egypt."

Asked whether mass protests on the scale seen in Egypt were the best way to bring about democracy in Myanmar, she said: "I don't think you can say that it's the best way forward.

"It's just one way of bringing about change, but I don't think one can say that it is the best way because we haven't exhausted all the possibilities."

© 2011 AFP

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