Letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

A letter to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Dear Daw Suu

It was a great privilege to hear you speak in Singapore and your delightful and charming personality enchanted all of us who were present. You have persevered over many years in the pursuit of increased democracy for your beloved country. You have had the support of the world in your patient and forbearing journey. Your countrymen and women love you, the world respects you.

But life moves on. Although you are a beautifully young 73, there is, for all of us, a limit to the time we can work. You probably have only some 20 years more in which to bring real democracy to Myanmar. That is a time that will flash by – I don’t need to tell you that. Where do all the years go to? They go to the Repository of Things Not Done.

The rights and wrongs of court cases are always more complex than the popular media interpretation of them. I will not comment on the imprisonment of two young journalists. Their job is a difficult one too and they are on your side. As a great leader and a person with a passion for right, you, too will be reluctant that a member of the Executive comments on, or implicitly criticises, the Judiciary. Due process must be made to work and there are inevitable casualties in the process of doing so. But silence on such an issue as their reporting is seen as connivance.

It dampens the world’s support, so very important for Myanmar right now. It leaves an impression of absent compassion, of relegating fellow humans’ suffering to a trivial matter, of not using the power you have. That power is partly internal. Most of us do not understand the limitations of it. They are considerable, for sure. But the world’s power is considerable, too. For the path you have chosen for your people every tool, every leverage, every support has to be marshalled.

You understand power because you are a powerful person. You understand politics because you are a political person. You understand suffering because you have suffered. No imagination is needed to say you certainly understand justice. Most thinking people would come to that conclusion, I believe. Sadly, the number of thinking people is small. The majority need clear and unequivocal actions to confirm the pursuit of justice and the insistence on a moral code.

Many people, you included, have their lips pressed against life’s bitter cup most of the time. That is why we do not criticise without trying to help. Our help possibilities in your situation are limited. We can only encourage you to show the bravery for which you are renowned. We are waiting for your sign. Non-believers can pray. At this time we pray for the young men imprisoned that they may be released quickly, we pray for the cause they reported on and for the thousands of displaced people involved in it, we pray for your magnificent country that it may prosper and grow.

Most of all we pray for you, that you will find it possible to speak out and act swiftly. May your arm that holds the torch of light to democracy be strengthened. May your charm that gives you such persuasive power work its magic for the suffering. May your calm enable the impossible to happen as it has in the past.

And may you be the leader you are, the leader we all love and care about so much.

With affectionate confidence,

John Bittleston
Terrific Mentors International