Tuesday 24 April 2018

U2's 'cautious joy' over release of leader

Allison Bray

ROCK band U2 led tributes for the release of Burmese opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi following 15 years of detention.

The group had strenuously campaigned for the release of the democratically elected leader, and devoted part of their 360 tour to her plight.

They responded to news of the release of the woman known affectionately as 'The Lady' in Burma from house arrest on Saturday with what frontman Bono described as "cautious joy".

"I'm very excited, very thrilled at the possibility that this might be the beginning of some sort of rational discussion," he said. "At the same time, it's sort of a cautious joy, because though she's out in the world in a way we need her to be, she's perhaps more vulnerable, if they should want to take advantage of her being outside her own four walls."

The leader of the National League for Democracy won the Burmese election in 1990 but the country's military junta refused to hand over power and kept her under house arrest for 15 years.

In a statement posted on the band's website, U2 also wrote: "For a life denied the basic freedoms, she has lived so vividly in the minds of her people and supporters and accomplished so much.

"By putting the people of Burma's interests above her own, she has lived in stark contrast with her oppressors. Her struggle has become a symbol for all humanity, of what we are capable of -- best and worst."

Irish Independent

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