Thursday, September 27, 2007

Freedom from Fear

Regimented minds cannot grasp the concept of confrontation as an open
exchange of major differences with a view to settlement through genuine
dialogue. The insecurity of power based on coercion translates into a need
to crush all dissent.

-Aung San Suu Kyi, In Quest of Democracy

Aung San Suu Kyi wrote these words nineteen years ago. The people of Burma still long to live in a democracy, where they can be free from fear.

It is heartbreaking to think of the thousands upon thousands of people who have taken to the streets this week, only to be fired upon by their own government. The photographs make the hairs on my arm stand on end--the bravery of the monks in their maroon and orange robes, the masses of citizens standing alongside them, filling the streets despite the risk of injury or death.

It is man's vision of a world fit for rational, civilized humanity which
leads him to dare and to suffer to build societies free from want and far.
Concepts such as truth, justice, and compassion cannot be dismissed as trite
when these are often the only bulwarks which stand against ruthless power.

- Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom from Fear

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