Suu Kyi Remains People's Champion: McConnell

By Lalit K Jha
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
WASHINGTON — Noting that Aung San Suu Kyi is in good spirits and remains a vigorous champion for the people of Burma after talking to her by phone, a US senator expressed concern for her safety following the latest threat to her from the country's military junta.
“She is in good spirits and remains a vigorous champion for the people of Burma. Nonetheless, I am deeply concerned about the junta’s recent threats to her wellbeing and those of her National League for Democracy colleagues,” Senator Mitch McConnell said.
“Such efforts at intimidation are an outrage and should be universally condemned by those around the world who value freedom and democracy,” McConnell said.
“Along with my colleagues in the senate, I will continue to closely monitor Suu Kyi’s safety and the situation in Burma,” he said. This was his first call to the popular Burmese leader after she was released from house arrest last year.
During their conversation, McConnell and Suu Kyi discussed her personal safety, US policy toward Burma, and prospects for the future of the country, said a statement issued by the senator’s office.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listed Burma among the few countries of the world that suppresses Internet freedom.
“In China, the government censors content and redirects search requests to error pages. In Burma, independent news sites have been taken down with distributed denial of service attacks,” Clinton said in her speech on Internet freedom at the George Washington University.
“In Cuba, the government is trying to create a national intranet, while not allowing their citizens to access the global Internet. In Vietnam, bloggers who criticize the government are arrested and abused. In Iran, the authorities block opposition and media websites, target social media, and steal identifying information about their own people in order to hunt them down,” she said.
“These actions reflect a landscape that is complex and combustible, and sure to become more so in the coming years as billions of more people connect to the Internet. The choices we make today will determine what the Internet looks like in the future. Businesses have to choose whether and how to enter markets where Internet freedom is limited,” Clinton said.
“People have to choose how to act online, what information to share and with whom, which ideas to voice and how to voice them. Governments have to choose to live up to their commitments to protect free expression, assembly and association,” she said.
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