The Fourteenth Dalai Lama has released this statement in light of recent events:
I welcome the release of fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and extend my appreciation to the military regime in Burma. I extend my full support and solidarity to the movement for democracy in Burma and take this opportunity to appeal to freedom-loving people all over the world to support such non-violent movements.
I pray and hope that the government of the People’s Republic of China will release fellow Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and other prisoners of conscience who have been imprisoned for exercising their freedom of expression.
After the jump: President Obama and others weigh in. And in other important news: what’s this about a new threat to the ancient Buddhist artifacts of Afghanistan?
Additional thoughts about the release of Aung San Suu Kyi came from US President Obama via statement while in Japan (where he also visited the famous Kamakura Buddha):
“While the Burmese regime has gone to extraordinary lengths to isolate and silence Aung San Suu Kyi, she has continued her brave fight for democracy, peace, and change in Burma.
“She is a hero of mine and a source of inspiration for all who work to advance basic human rights in Burma and around the world. The United States welcomes her long overdue release.
“It is time for the Burmese regime to release all political prisoners, not just one. The United States looks forward to the day when all of Burma’s people are free from fear and persecution.”
“Whether Aung San Suu Kyi is living in the prison of her house, or the prison of her country, does not change the fact that she, and the political opposition she represents, has been systematically silenced, incarcerated, and deprived of any opportunity to engage in political processes that could change Burma,” Obama said.
“Following Aung San Suu Kyi’s powerful example, we recommit ourselves to remaining steadfast advocates of freedom and human rights for the Burmese people, and accountability for those who continue to oppress them.”
The government of Thailand offered this statement:
The Royal Thai Government warmly welcomes the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on 13 November 2010. Her release marks another important step in the national reconciliation and democratization process in Myanmar. The Royal Thai Government hopes that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will have a constructive role to play in Myanmar’s nation building process.
The Royal Thai Government reaffirms its commitment to cooperating with the new Government of Myanmar in these endeavours for peace, development, and prosperity of Myanmar as well as for the well-being of the Myanmar people.
And, quite interestingly, UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay on Monday offered that perhaps Suu Kyi’s freedom is in fact not just a PR move, but a positive step for democracy in Burma.