Introspect: Walk On: Bono and "The Lady"*

May 28, 2004

By Debbie Kreuser

To Bono, she is "a modern icon of moral courage;" to her supporters, she is simply known as "The Lady." We know her as Aung San Suu Kyi – the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner and the person to whom Bono and U2 dedicated their inspirational song "Walk On." And as we approach the one-year "anniversary" (May 30) of her latest detention by the military government that illegally rules Burma, it’s an appropriate time to remember her and the struggle for Freedom and Justice in Burma – especially since Bono has stepped up his advocacy for her in the last few months.

Aung San Suu Kyi was born in 1945, the daughter of Independence hero General Aung San who led a successful revolt against Japanese occupation during WWII. General Aung San was assassinated in 1947 when a military dictatorship took power in Burma. Suu Kyi moved to the U.K. where she spent most of her young life (and met her husband, Michael Aris). She returned to Burma in 1988 to care for her sickly mother.

But 1988 was a time of turmoil for Burma with student protests and worker demonstrations in the streets. As her "father’s daughter"(her own words), Suu Kyi felt an obligation to join the protests and speak out for democracy in Burma. That led to her first detention in 1989. In 1990, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won a landslide victory (82 percent of the popular vote) with Suu Kyi as their candidate but the military government ignored the results of the election and refused to give up power.

Suu Kyi was released from detention in 1995 and resumed her pro-democracy activities in Burma. But her movements were always monitored by the military government and she was constantly harassed by them. In 1999, Suu Kyi faced one of the most difficult decisions of her life when she refused to leave Burma to be with her two sons and ailing husband, who was dying of cancer. Her well-founded fear that she would not be allowed back into Burma if she went to the U.K. led to her decision to stay in Burma and elevated her in the eyes of the world – including Bono’s:

"You could have flown away – a singing bird in an open cage who will only fly, only fly for Freedom."

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May 18, 2004

By Remo Zaccagna

The sky was cloudy and seemed poised to open up and release buckets of rain. The wind was picking up and it seemed like the stage would tip over at the slightest provocation. Despite all that, and tighter security than they had last year for Archbishop Desmond Tutu, graduates of the class of 2004 from the University of Pennsylvania were in a partying mood. And why shouldn

Special Report:

May 17, 2004


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