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Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Open Letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

19 May 2009

Dear Daw Suu,


The Burmese regime continues to resist the righteous clamour from your people and from the international community for your release. As you and the Burmese people are denied your democratic rights and freedoms the only way for me to communicate with you is through this open letter.

I wanted to publish it to let you know that you are not alone - that people are standing with you not just here in Britain, but everywhere that democracy and freedom are upheld.

We are heartened by your tremendous courage, your inspirational leadership, and by the knowledge that no oppression is so great that the forces of liberty cannot prevail The history books are full of stories of injustice. But they are also full of stories of hope, resistance and the victories that satisfy the deep human yearning to be free. I am confident that your story will stand prominently among those that show that from the deepest wells of despair can come the greatest triumphs of human endeavour.

Inspired by and in solidarity with you, the British Government will continue to work with our international partners to support Burma’s path to stability, peace and economic recovery. The UN Security Council has set out the steps necessary for a return to democracy in Burma. I have worked with our partners in the EU to maintain sanctions that are tough and targeted against those individuals who wish to deny the Burmese people their rights. And I will continue to press your neighbours in Asia to work even harder for your release and that of all political prisoners in Burma.

My message to the Burmese regime is clear the people of Burma have suffered nearly half a century of conflict and isolation, it is time to embrace a new beginning. So I say to the Generals who imprison you: the time for a transition to democracy is now. By excluding you from that future, by silencing and imprisoning you, they condemn your country to further decades of poverty and exclusion.

Your continued imprisonment reminds all of us that we should not take for granted the institution of democracy for which you campaign That we should not rest until you are able to play your rightful role in a free and secure Burma. And that our place is alongside all those who face imprisonment, repression and despair in their battle to build democracy, confront poverty and protect human rights. Daw Suu I want you to know: you are not alone.

Yours sincerely

Gordon Brown
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