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Media statement by DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) on the long-awaited release of Burma's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 15th November 2010:

The Lady is free!

DAPSY welcomes the release of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday and hopes that it marks the start of renewed efforts to bring about democratic change, peace and progress for the long-suffering people of Burma.

As US president Barack Obama said upon her release, she is "a source of inspiration for all who work to advance basic human rights in Burma and around the world".

The courage and conviction of "The Lady" (as she is also known) is unsurpassable and much admired by even her detractors. By choosing to be denied of all her rights as a free human being, she kept the struggle of the people of Burma in the international spotight and was the glue that held political and student leaders, activists and her millions of supporters together.

DAPSY supports Daw Suu's call for all concerned to work together in unison to achieve a free and democratic nation.

Although we receive the news of Daw Suu's release with joy, we must exercise cautious optimism, as her release is seen by some quarters as a "public relations" exercise by the military junta, in light of the recent elections which was considered a sham by democracy advocates. Apart from the threats and intimidation from the authorities, many minorities in parts of the country were deliberately excluded from the electoral process.

DAPSY urges ASEAN leaders to be firm with the military regime and pressure for reforms immediately, as ASEAN has dragged its feet for far too long. Free and fair elections are a crucial part of the democratic process.

There are approximately 2,200 other political prisoners -- including monks and over 400 NLD members -- still in jail and the country infamous labour camps. ASEAN should step up the pressure on the military regime to free all political prisoners as soon as possible to enable the reform process to start.

* DAP Socialist Youth



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