The Patriotic Heart of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi addressing her supporters before house arrest.

Were you imprisoned, do you think that upwards of five thousand people would come to see you on the day of your release?

Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, is free.
She is the face of the yearning for true freedom in Myanmar – under military rule.

Here is a highly educated woman, (whose influence was far-reaching) imprisoned in one way or another for more than 15 years. A woman separated needlessly from her family by a hard-hearted regime that was intimidated by her zeal, her energy, her charisma. She had the power to influence many and she did.

Suu Kyi was apparently as influential as her father, Aung San, who negotiated Burma’s independence from Britain. She passionately fought for the cause of her fellow citizens despite violent attempts to quiet their voices, and her own.

The people of Burma love her. Fourteen days after demonstrations for democracy began in 1988 she gave a speech to half a million people where she encouraged the adoption of democratic rule.  After an election where her party won, the regime refused to hand authority over to her (She would have been Prime Minister) and curiously found that she had broken several “laws”, having her arrested.  Since that time she has been a prisoner on and off as stated above.

She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, as the world was watching the events unfold.  This prize her eldest son accepted in her stead, as she was imprisoned.  She was separated from her family for years and years.  Her husband and sons were denied visas to see their dearest wife and mother over and over again. 

There were times when she was offered the opportunity to leave her country and she would not for fear they would not let her return.
Are you thinking what I am thinking?
You can go!
You can be free!
You can kiss your babies again, sleep in your husband’s arms again…GO!!!

Yet she would not. Her freedom would have not been true freedom. She could not leave hundreds of thousands of her beloved sisters and brothers behind.
She would not abandon them, their cause, their fight for freedom. Oh, precious American sisters and brothers, our freedom is so very expensive.

For Suu Kyi – lying in the same bed as her beloved would not mean true rest. Sleep would evade one as loyal as she. Her conscience would not allow her to dream while her people suffered a world away.  It was a matter of principle. The military regime stole the election, she deserved to be Prime Minister, and she knew it. The citizens deserved the government they voted for.  Suu Kyi and others paid a price (many gave their lives) to achieve something precious – so she refused to budge.

Suu Kyi’s heart’s desire is for her people to enjoy the most basic of freedoms – the freedoms we take for granted here in America. There are more than two-thousand political prisoners even now.

Her heart is golden. Many are not aware that she risked herself to shelter an American and paid the price of eighteen more months house arrest.

It boggles my mind that men and women in this country can be so filled with pride, and lift themselves up to such a place that they glorify themselves and their own intellects because they have the power to make decisions that will alter the lives of this nation’s citizens.

I am talking about civil authorities.
Judges make decisions that alter lives of Americans. Mayors, Governors, Representatives, Senators, the Speaker of the House, the Vice-President, the President himself…
Here are men and women that we put our trust in.  Here are men and women that we sent to Washington to be our voices, to rule well, and few love us like Suu Kyi loves her people.

I wonder how many power-hungry men and women in Congress would give their lives for us – submit to imprisonment and house arrest for us. We all see how they live for themselves, waking each day to a new opportunity to take advantage, tax one more thing, give themselves one more raise, take lavish vacations, hold meetings in the Ritz about how little money we have to work with…oh, I could go on, but why repeat what we already know? They live on our heartbreak.

I have one question.
Where is the true American in the halls of Congress?
Do we have a Suu Kyi speaking for us in Congress?
We held an election and sent representatives of ourselves to Washington to be our microphones, to be our hands when voting, to deny themselves, allowing our hearts desires to become their own while making decisions for our future.

I think of Suu Kyi who lives for the freedom of her people and I ponder her loyalty.  Her passion for liberty is something we can’t understand because we’ve never suffered the lack thereof.

There are some that look ahead and see the limiting of these liberties.  There are voices in America that emit a warning cry. We would do well to pay attention.

Suu Kyi lives to gain freedom for her beloved Burma.  Her love for her country is an example to us all.
She knows the meaning of sacrifice. She knows what it is to give herself to a nation.

I can only pray that there are more like her.
I look toward Washington and can only hope that we chose well.
Almita Palomita

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