The Iron Butterfly

Bhaya-gati is the worst of all.

She demanded of her future husband: “I only ask one thing, that should my people need me, you would help me to do my duty by them.”

And they and her mother did need her, so she went back… and was put under house arrest because of her political activism.

She was offered her freedom, if she left…  But she is a Diplomatic Contender, and

“… Contending entails competition. Thus to contend with another’s work one must hold one’s ground, hang onto one’s position, stick to one’s intention, tend to one’s business, stay the course, in a word, be tenacious. It is not so much that one is bent on overtaking or outdoing others, as it is having one’s way. Contenders will have their way if at all possible.” Personology, page 77.

She would not leave…

So Aung San Suu Kyi, a Counselor Idealist, spent 15 years out of 21 years under house arrest. She could not see her husband or her kids.

Burma’s Iron Butterfly, Daw Suu (Madame Suu), has Soul Power

It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it. Most Burmese are familiar with the four a-gati, the four kinds of corruption. Chanda-gati, corruption induced by desire, is deviation from the right path in pursuit of bribes or for the sake of those one loves. Dosa-gati is taking the wrong path to spite those against whom one bears ill will, and moga-gati is aberration due to ignorance. But perhaps the worst of the four is bhaya-gati, for not only does bhaya, fear, stifle and slowly destroy all sense of right and wrong, it so often lies at the root of the other three kinds of corruption. — Aung San Suu Kyi

Fear paralyzes.

The courage to stand up, to take a stand, non-violently was articulated and practiced by Mohandas Gandhi, the last century. Having no fear, Dr. Suu Kyi has stood her ground, like her spiritual predecessor Gandhi, to put pressure on Burma’s military junta, marshaling the international attention and awareness of the plight of Burma’s people, who were being repressed by the corrupt and authoritarian regime. Many countries treat Burma as a pariah state because Suu Kyi staying in Burma keeps the pressure up. Suu Kyi received the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. In 1992 she was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding by the government of India and the International Simón Bolívar Prize from the government of Venezuela. In 2007, the Government of Canada made her an honorary citizen of that country. In 2011, she was awarded the Wallenberg Medal.

“I believe in human rights and I believe in the rule of law. I will always fight for these things,” she told the crowd. “I want to work with all democratic forces and I need the support of the people.”

But she also urged her followers to work for national reconciliation, despite her personal loss, having her father, Aung San, being murdered in 1947. A British colony, Burma, was one of richest SouthEast Asian countries. After the devastation of World War II, it was Democratic Republic from 1948 to 1962, when the military took over. It now is one of the poorest.

“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,” she cautioned.

With the economy slowly but surely going from bad to really, really bad, the aging Generals finally have appeared to conceded to have start reforming. Suu Kyi was released from house arrest on 13 November 2010.

Her husband died in 1999. Since 1989, when his wife was first placed under house arrest, he had seen her only five times, the last of which was for Christmas in 1995. She was also separated from her children, who live in the United Kingdom, however, starting in 2011, they have visited her in Burma.

In November 2011, following a meeting of its leaders, the Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy announced its intention to re-register as a political party.

With the visit of United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the world is encouraged at the possibilities of Burma joining the international community again. Time will tell if the situation will continue improve.

For Aung San Suu Kyi stood her ground, she would not leave, she had her contentions — but now The Iron Butterfly is free to fly.

Quote1.pngYou should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right.Quote2.pngAung San Suu Kyi

8 thoughts on “The Iron Butterfly

  1. Michael December 20, 2011 / 12:34 pm

    Thank you for a post that doesn’t reference a film or movie stars.

    Like

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