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Letter to Burmese Opposition Leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

February 10, 1994

Dear Daw Aung San Suu Kyi:

Let me take the opportunity to express again my deep concern about your welfare and to applaud your remarkable courage in pursuing human rights and democracy for the people of Burma. Despite your four and one-half years of detention, your determination and courage continue to inspire friends of freedom around the world. Recent resolutions adopted in the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Commission make clear the international community's outrage over your continued detention as well as that of all other prisoners of conscience in Burma.

I also want to assure you of the United States' continuing support for the struggle to promote freedom in Burma. The 1990 elections handed your party an overwhelming mandate from Burma's people and firmly rejected military rule. Obviously, the path to democratic change must be worked out by the Burmese themselves who have assigned you a key role in bringing about such a democratic transition. We strongly condemn the effort to deny you the right to participate freely in the political life of Burma.

You have my utmost admiration for your stand. Like your courageous father, you symbolize the authentic aspirations of the Burmese people. History is on the side of freedom throughout the world and I remain confident that your cause will prevail.

Please accept my warmest personal regards.



NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content of this letter. The letter was attached to the following statement by the Press Secretary which was released on February 15:

President Clinton has sent a letter to detained Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to offer his support for her efforts on behalf of democracy and human rights in Burma. Congressman Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Deputy Majority Whip, was invited by Burmese authorities to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi on February 14 and has delivered the President's letter to her. He met with her again today. Congressman Richardson is the first person outside of Aung San Suu Kyi's immediate family to meet with her since she was placed under house arrest in July 1989.

The United States urges Burma's military leaders to build on this small step by beginning a dialog with Aung San Suu Kyi and moving toward genuine democratic reform. The Burmese people made clear their desire for an end to more than three decades of military rule and the establishment of democratic government in the 1990 elections, but the government continues to thwart implementation of the results. The President regards the continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and all other prisoners of conscience in Burma as unacceptable and renews his call for their immediate and unconditional release.

William J. Clinton, Letter to Burmese Opposition Leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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