Aung San Suu Kyi and Burmese Democratic Activists Making Appearance at Forum 2000Published: Aug 27, 2013 Reading time: 2 minutes
Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese opposition leader, the Nobel Prize winner and above all an iconic figure of democracy movement, is coming to the Czech Republic for the first time. She is going to make an appearance at the Forum 2000 international conference which is held in Prague from the 15th to 17th September.
“We would invite Suu Kyi to Forum 2000 every year although it was clear that this act was merely symbolic as she was placed under house arrest. However, this was the reason why we wanted to support her in her struggle for democracy and respect for human rights in Myanmar,” Jakub Klepal, Forum 2000 Executive Director, says.
Nowadays, Myanmar is a country undergoing unforeseen political and social transformation. Therefore, the conference programme devotes this country considerable attention. Apart from Suu Kyi, who is going to deliver a keynote speech at the opening ceremony on Sunday, the 15th September, there are other participants from Myanmar visiting. They are Khon Ja, a human rights activist belonging to the Burmese ethnic minority of the Kachins, and also Susanne Hla Hla Soe, Karen Women Empowerment Group director. They are going to make a joint appearance within the panel Burma’s Transition: The Need for New Approaches by the International Community that Forum 2000 prepares in cooperation with People in Need. The session takes place on Tuesday the 17th September at 1.00 p.m. in Evropský dům in Jungmannova Street. What is more, Igor Blaževič, a founder of the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, and Robert Templer, an expert on conflict resolution from Central European University in Hungary, will also participate on the panel.
The whole conference programme can be found here.
At present, Suu Kyi is holding the post of a chairwoman of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and represents the party in the lower house of the Burmese Parliament.
Under the rule of junta, Suu Kyi as the main representative of political dissent always used to defend the values of liberal democracy, human rights and policy of non-violence. In 1990 her party won the Burmese parliamentary election, which had been approved for the first time in the past 30 years. However, after her victory, she was detained and then placed under house arrest, where she spent almost 20 years in total. It was only in 2010 when she was released and when the junta adopted a new constitution, transformed into a civilian government, began implementing certain pro-democracy reforms and approved to hold elections. This year Suu Kyi has announced her intention to run for the country president in 2015. Notwithstanding, the repressive constitution does not allow her to do so.