Thursday, 5 July 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi - beautiful people do not just happen

I had been wanting to blog about one person whom I respect a lot for a while. In fact, my unfinished post was lying in draft mode for a few months.  Since the release of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, 67, from house arrest last November, I had wanted to write about her but just did not get about to doing it. She has spent 15 of the past 20 years under arrest.
  
A couple of weeks ago, on 20 June 2012, the two of my most favourite persons, Aung San Suu Kyi met His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the very first time in London, on her 67th birthday. Both are Nobel Prize icons. 
HHDL to Aung San Suu Kyi, "I have real admiration for your courage. I am very happy we've been able to meet."

His Holiness presented a Buddha statue to Aung San Suu Kyi. What an honour for Aung San Suu Kyi to receive a Buddha from the Living Buddha of Compassion! And what an apt gift for a deserving recipient. 
I love this photo very much - the two faces of Humanity.  His Holiness told Aung San Suu Kyi that just as her late father had shown great dedication, he was confident that she too would be of great service to humanity.
 
The wax statues of both Aung San Suu Kyi and His Holiness the Dalai Lama standing side by side at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Bangkok. Welcoming her release, the Dalai Lama had said: "I welcome the release of fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. I take this opportunity to appeal to freedom-loving people all over the world to support such non-violent movements."


Aung San Suu Kyi accepted an honorary civil law doctorate from Oxford University. "During the most difficult years, I was upheld by the memories of Oxford".  She said young people in Burma were not able to have a similar college experience like her because their university life had been "shattered". She received a two-minute standing ovation at the end of her minute speech.

Aung San Suu Kyi met Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall before planting a Magnolia tree in the gardens of Clarence House on June 21, 2012 in London, England. “Every kindness I received, small or big, convinced me that there could never be enough of it in the world. Kindness, can change the lives of people.”- Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi with husband Michael Aris and sons in London in early years. They were separated for most part of their marriage, and she did not get to see him for the last time when he passed away.

Aung San Suu Kyi was detained in her own country in 1989 and spent 15 of the next 21 years in detention before finally being released from house arrest in 2010. During the brief times she was not being held, she refused to leave the country because she feared she would not be allowed back. The mother-of-two did not even travel to Britain to be with her husband when he was dying of cancer in the 90s.

Aung San Suu Kyi: "As I travel through my country, people often ask me how it feels to have been imprisoned in my home --first for six years, then for 19 months. How could I stand the separation from family and friends? It is ironic, I say, that in an authoritarian state it is only the prisoner of conscience who is genuinely free. Yes, we have given up our right to a normal life. But we have stayed true to that most precious part of our humanity--our conscience."


Dedicating this quote to Aung San Suu Kyi. May her aspirations to benefit her people succeed immediately.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” - Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

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