Nobel laureate Suu Kyi to address U.S. Congress on Myanmar conditions

Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to testify via video about conditions in her nation.
By the CNN Wire Staff(CNN)
— Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will address members of the U.S.
Congress this week, a rare foray into American politics for a woman who is
lauded internationally even as she struggles to be heard in her native Myanmar.

Suu Kyi will not be in Washington for Wednesday’s hearing of the U.S. House of
Representatives’ subcommittee focused on Asia and the Pacific. But she will
testify via video about conditions in her nation, including on recent elections
that drew widespread criticism, U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo said Monday in a
statement. Myanmar is also known as Burma.

“This hearing will highlight these sham elections and Burma’s difficult road
ahead,” Manzullo, R-Illinois, said. “I am excited to share the videotaped
testimony of (Suu Kyi) so everyone can hear of the junta’s continued military
offenses against ethnic groups and the dire human rights situation in Burma.”

The daughter of Gen. Aung San, a hero of Burmese independence, Suu Kyi repeatedly
challenged Myanmar’s long-time military junta and promoted democracy over the
years. Her efforts helped her win the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, while making her a
target of Myanmar’s regime and leading to her decades-long detention.

Last November, Myanmar held its first elections in 20 years. The vote drew fire
from critics who said it was aimed at creating a facade of democracy. The regime
had refused to allow international monitors or journalists into Myanmar for the vote.

Members of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party were among those who
boycotted the vote, describing it as a sham.

But shortly afterward, on November 13, the Nobel laureate was released from house
arrest — having spent most of the past 20 years under house arrest or in prison.

Since being freed, Suu Kyi has largely remained in Myanmar with some exceptions
— like an address last January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,
in which she urged the world’s political and business elite not to forget the people of
Myanmar as they rebuild the global economy.

Earlier this month, Sen. John McCain traveled to Asia and met with Suu Kyi — whom
he called “a personal hero of mine for decades.” During his talks, he said that he
promised U.S. support for her efforts to promote democracy.

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