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Aung San Suu Kyi: From a prisoner to crowd puller
It is rebirth for the political star of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi. She vigorously campaigns in the capital and in the surrounding areas of her constituency and enjoys thunderous popularity after her release from the house arrest - she promises democracy in a country that has seen only military regimes.

THE SIXTY-six-old Aung San Suu Kyi is in the news again. From nowhere to now-here image, she is on the calendars, on T-shirts, on key chains, on coffee mugs, The Lady – the big screen version of Suu Kyi’s life is the best selling DVD. It is an unthinkable leap into the mainstream of Myanmar’s political and social life. She had been an icon during the decades of the military rule as she has been seen as the savior and the solution to problems of the country.

Now she is going to be an elected official. She is contesting for the April 1 vote and her presence is electrifying. She has a great ability to mesmerise people and now people wait to see if the massive public support can be translated into a concrete change. In 2010 her party boycotted the polls. The free and fair elections , if ensured, her win is certain. She is a huge crowd puller everywhere in Myanmar. She promised improvements in health, education and transportation. The whole of Myanmar is resonating with the slogan “Long live Mother Suu!” By 2015 the country may start the reforms in full swing in her leadership with the positive support from the US.

In her speeches, she passionately advocates change from the military dictatorship to genuine democracy. She wants to restore respect for rule of law and human rights and national reconciliation, encompassing the Burmese majority and minority ethnic groups. If elected , she herself will be the Minority representative. Suu Kyi wants the amelioration in the living conditions of the people. The greatest challenge of Myanmar is poverty. She promises to eradicate it. The Burmese democracy icon is on her hectic campaign in an unlikely convoy of shiny Land Rovers, ancient Jeeps, tractors, motorcycles, trishaws and even the occasional oxen cart to the township of Kawhmu reminding us of Raoul Wallenberg , Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and many others who fought for democratic rights of the people all over the world. People thronged her ways in thousands in the sweltering day ignoring the dog heat of the season only to show their worshipping heart as if they were waiting for a goddess. The eagerness has the same spiritual intensity. For the first time in her life, the longtime opposition leader is directly participating in the democratic process. This has roused great expectations in the minds of the countless multitude. The military junta tried hard to crush the popularity of Suu Kyi, but all efforts went in vain of the Thein Sein government, which came to power with the support of the military linked Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) .

In a message to the military establishment , Suu Kyi, the Nobel Laureate said that she welcomes the Tatmadaw (military) servicemen of her constituency and will not confront them if they are accepted by the people. She wants the Tatmadaw to be respected in the world. She wants them to be modern in their outlook and approach. Aung San Suu Kyi passed the golden years of her life, nearly the last two decades under house arrest as the prisoner of the country’s former military regime. Still she does have no particular grudge against them if they respect democratic values.

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