Today Aung San Suu Kyi addressed her supporters assembled outside the headquarters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Yangon, speaking in conciliatory terms as she called for freedom of speech and Democracy, reaching out to all people who support those goals and to the government.
"I believe in human rights and I believe in the rule of law. I will always fight for these things."
Read more after the fold.
Following are excerpts of her speech collected from various sources interlaced with news videos. As yet I have been unable to find the entire text or a video in Burmese or English which may take some time since press coverage is at the stage of breaking stories still.
In opening she said "I want to hear the voice of the people, after that we will decide what we want to do. I want to work with all democratic forces and I need the support of the people. I have no intention of going my own way."
Later, as she was overwhelmed by the cheers of the crowd, she quipped, to their delight "I know I said I wanted to hear what the public is thinking, but now that there are so many voices and so much noise, I don't know what is being said anymore."
"The basis of democratic freedom is freedom of speech. If we want to get what we want, we have to do it in the right way; otherwise we will not achieve our goal however noble or correct it may be."
"Please let us know what you are thinking, what is on your mind. I would like to know over the last six years what changes have taken place in the people and what they are thinking."
"Democracy is when the people keep a government in check. I will accept the people keeping me in check."
"Please do not give up hope. There is no reason to lose heart."
And ended, by simply stating "We must walk together."
Later, speaking with reporters she stated:
"The only thing is that if you talk to a large crowd, it's difficult to listen to them. You have to do all the talking. But that's not what I want to do. I want to listen to what the people want. I want to listen to what the other countries want, what they think they can do for us, what we think then that they could do for us, and to work out something that is acceptable to as many people as possible."
And in an exclusive interview with the BBC indicated her willingness to meet with the Junta, stating "We have to sort out our differences across the table".
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Some people who are impatient for change might be dissapointed by Suu Kyi's moderation. They might have expected her to speak more stridently and critically.
But that would be misunderstanding the qualities that make her such a great leader and ultimately, a threat to the Generals - her reason, dignity and iron will to change her country for the better, following the long but straight path of non-violence.