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DASSK's Message of Hope to the Asah

Subject: DASSK's Message of Hope to the Asahi Shimbun and Wiesel Foundation International Conference in Hiroshima

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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's Message to the Asahi Shimbun
and Wiesel Foundation International Conference being held
in Hiroshima, Japan


Excerpts from a message relayed to the conference from
Rangoon, Burma, by Aung San Suu Kyi, 1991 Nobel Peace
Prize laureate, and general secretary of the National League
for Democracy.

Asahi Evening News, December 6, 1996

What is hope?  It is that spark in all of us that reaches out to
the light even at times when it seems darkness must prevail
forever.  It might be asked if hope is not after all self.
deception, a foolish persistence in believing good can still
come out of a situation that seems wholly fashioned from the
ingredients of despair.  I would like to make a distinction
between meaningful hope and wishful thinking.  There is to
hope a positive force that calls for intelligent action.  Mere
wishfulness unaccompanied by endeavor cannot qualify for
the honorable epithet of hope.

Hope is the prerogative of those who strive continuously to
go beyond the barriers of complacency and ignorance, of
hate and fear, of resignation and apathy.  Those who have
lived under long years of authoritarian rule understand best
the unquenchable spirit that insists on the sacred nature of
human dignity in the face of brutal repression.  It is because
there are always great minds and hearts which hold out hope
for the downtrodden and oppressed that the world has turned
again and again from the brink of disaster, that humanity has
again and again risen, phoenix - like from man-made

The hope of the great majority of people in Burma today is a
very simple one - We want a secure, dignified existence,
protected by the rule of just laws and a political system that
guarantees the basic human rights recognized by the United
Nations as indispensable if the future is to be free of
'barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of
mankind.' As the party which received the mandate of the
people through free and fair elections, the National League
for Democracy of which I am the general secretary has a
duty to work for national reconciliation and the restoration
of Burma to full and early democracy, guided by the will of
the people and the dictates of the highest political and
humanitarian values.

There are no problems that cannot be surmounted if all
concerned are prepared to look for solutions together in
mutual good will and trust.  The National League for
Democracy and all others working to bring peace and justice
to Burma will continue to strive for conditions that will
promote a substantive political dialogue through which the
aspirations of the people can be realized.  The way ahead
may be fraught with difficulties and dangers, but we will
perservere, strong in the knowledge that we have behind us
the moral force of all right - thinking men and women.