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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (DASSK)
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Organization
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Reviewed by:
Robert DeCaroli
George Mason University
August 2003

This modest site is dedicated to presenting current information about the Nobel Peace Prize-winning advocate of democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi. Ms. Suu Kyi has been an active and visible proponent of democracy in Burma (Myanmar) in the face of constant threats and mistreatment by the current military regime. The organization that maintains this page takes its name (DASSK) from hers (Daw Aung San Suu Kyi) and is dedicated to promoting her message to an international audience. The content is available in both English and Burmese.

Because this site is dedicated to current events, it presents a unique type of primary evidence. On the one hand, it offers more than 50 photographs, transcripts of speeches, and interviews, as well as 23 audio and video recordings. On the other hand, the entire site is a type of primary document that records the daily developments in the life of an important political leader. The site can be appreciated on both of these levels.

The sidebar menu is easy to navigate quickly. Much of the material presented on the website involves background information about the struggles in Burma, bibliographic information, a broad selection of current news articles, and forums for public discussion. These sections do not necessarily contain primary evidence, but can provide background context. The English is not always perfect, but it is generally not difficult to understand.

The primary source materials can be found under the headings: “Speeches,” “Photos,” “Interviews,” “Letters from Burma,” “NLD (National League for Democracy) Statements,” “Press Releases,” “Letters to DASSK,” and “Sounds and Video.” Most of the content is material written by, spoken by, or written to Ms. Suu Kyi and as such comprises a fine record of her public statements. This is a growing collection and material is added as new situations develop within Burma and abroad.

Of particular interest are the transcripts of two short speeches and 12 interviews in which the main points of Ms. Suu Kyi’s position are laid forth. A list of those detained, imprisoned, or killed during recent political events is a grim reminder of the stakes involved in taking a stand against the current government in Burma. There are also four letters written to Ms. Suu Kyi by foreign political leaders and 23 video and audio clips taken from various speeches, reports, and interviews related to contemporary events in Burma. I also recommend the “Letters from Burma Section” that contains 20 short letters written by Ms. Suu Kyi. These open letters address specific circumstances, but they also succinctly set forth the central issues of her political and social reforms.

These materials are recent and relate to a specific political struggle, but they can serve as a wonderful entry point into a larger discussion on political reforms and freedom through a well-documented modern example. The heroism and nonviolent tactics employed by Ms. Suu Kyi are also a way to begin a discussion of the challenges and problems facing modern Burma (Myanmar) and other postcolonial countries in the grip of military or dictatorial regimes.

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