Posts Tagged ‘aung san suu kyi’
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, ushered in a new era on Wednesday when opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi capped a tenacious, decades-long struggle from political prisoner to office holder.
The only daughter of General Aung San, who led Burma to independence, was sworn in as a lawmaker for the first time, a key step in the country’s recent shift toward democracy after decades of repressive military rule.
After two decades of persecution as Myanmar’s most prominent dissident, Aung San Suu Kyi, who was awarded the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her opposition to military rule, and nearly three dozen members of her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), took the parliamentary oath of office.
The NLD won 43 of the 44 seats they contested in the April 1 by-elections and will remain a small, though highly symbolic, minority of the parliament. That could change dramatically come the next scheduled elections in 2015 if Burma remains on the path toward democratic reform.
The beautiful country – and it’s previously precarious political situation – remains close to my heart after a visit in January this year, which happened to coincide with Independence Day.
You can read more about my visit to the extraordinary country, and the music that I discovered there, in the current issue of Songlines (#84, June 2012).
Following guest directors Anish Kapoor in 2009 and Brian Eno in 2010, Brighton Festival is set to make waves this year with guest direction of the festival’s arts programme by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Burmese political leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Twenty years on from her Nobel Prize, Suu Kyi has recently been released from house arrest, yet Burma (Myanmar) continues to live under a repressive military junta.
From May 7-29, the Brighton Festival will include a special one-off show created by Asian Dub Foundation in response to the situation in Burma, entitled The Music of Resistance. There will also be newly commissioned work by Turkish artist Kutluğ Ataman, the UK debut of two shows by leading Mexican theatre company Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes and classical music from Beethoven, a personal favourite of Suu Kyi.