Thursday 18 January 2018

Lise Hand: Butterfly with will of steel flapped her wings and the world listened

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi after receiving the Freedom of the City of Dublin at a special outdoor concert. Photo: PA
Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi after receiving the Freedom of the City of Dublin at a special outdoor concert. Photo: PA

THEY tried with all their might and main to break the fragile butterfly on the steel wheel of the military state. For 23 years the junta locked her away, silenced her, closed her off from precious basic human rights such as dignity and freedom and love.

But the fragile butterfly was strong. She beat her wings against the bars of her Burmese cage and the lonely sound made waves in distant corners of the world. The name Aung San Suu Kyi became a cause, an inspirational symbol of indomitability against oppression.

Yet it was such a slight figure which climbed on to the stage of the Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin last night amid a tumultuous ovation, an iron rod clad in yellow and black.

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