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Aung San Suu Kyi

  • 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.

  • We must all work together if we are all to live together in unity and harmony.

  • Calamities that are not the result of purely natural phenomena usually have their origins, distant and obscure though they may be, in common human failings.

  • The act of willingly subtracting from one's own limited store of the good and the agreeable for the sake of adding to that of others reflects the understanding that individual happiness needs a base broader than the mere satisfaction of selfish passions. From there, it is not such a large step to the realization that respecting the susceptibilities and rights of others is as important as defending one's own susceptibilities and rights if civilized society is to be safeguarded.

  • While it is undeniable that many have been driven to immorality and crime by the need to survive, it is equally evident that the possession of a significant surplus of material goods has never been a guarantee against covetousness, rapacity and the infinite variety of vice and pain which spring from such passions. Indeed, it could be argued that the unrelenting compulsion of those who already have much to acquire even more has generated greater injustice, immorality and wretchedness than the cumulative effect of the struggles of the severely underprivileged to better their lot.

  • As the twentieth century draws to a close it has become obvious that material yardsticks alone cannot serve as an adequate measure of human well-being. Even as basic an issue as poverty has to be re-examined to take into account the psychological sense of deprivation that makes people feel poor.

  • While the concept of human development is beginning to assume a dominant position in the thinking of international economists and administrators, the Market Economy, not merely adorned with capital letters but seen in an almost mystic haze, is increasingly regarded by many governments as the quick and certain way to material prosperity. It is assumed that economic measures can resolve all the problems facing their countries. ... When economics is regarded as 'the most important key to every lock of every door,' it is only natural that the worth of man should come to be decided largely, even wholly, by his effectiveness as an economic tool. This is at variance with the vision of a world where eocnomic, political and social institutions work to serve man, instead of the other way round ...

  • The value systems of those with access to power and of those far removed from such access cannot be the same. The viewpoint of the privileged is unlike that of the underprivileged. In the matter of power and privilege the difference between the haves and the have-nots is not merely quantitative, for it has far-reaching psychological and ideological implications.

  • Some of the best indicators of a country developing along the right lines are healthy mothers giving birth to healthy children who are assured of good care and a sound education that will enable them to face the challenges of a changing world.

  • It is the love of ordinary people, in Burma, in Japan or anywhere else in the world, for justice and peace and freedom that is our surest defense against the forces of unreason and extremism ...

  • Agreeing to disagree is a prerogative only of those who live under a democratic system.

  • To view opposition as dangerous is to misunderstand the basic concepts of democracy. To oppress the opposition is to assault the very foundation of democracy.

  • There is nothing to compare with the courage of ordinary people whose names are unknown and whose sacrifices pass unnoticed. The courage that dares without recognition, without the protection of media attention, is a courage that humbles and inspires and reaffirms our faith in humanity.

  • Those who have to face persistent political persecution become highly politicized. Our lives take on a rhythm different from those who, on waking up in the morning, do not need to wonder who might have been arrested during the night and what further acts of blatant injustice might be committed against our people later during the day. Our antennae become highly sensitive to vibrations barely noticed by those whose everyday existence is removed from political struggle.

  • Religion is about increasing peace and harmony in the world. ... People of all different religions should be given the opportunity to pursue good in their own way.

    • Aung San Suu Kyi,
    • in Whitney Stewart, Aung San Suu Kyi: Fearless Voice of Burma ()
  • We should not be ashamed about talking about loving kindness and compassion in political terms. Values like love and compassion should be part of politics because justice must always be tempered by mercy. We prefer the word 'compassion.' That is warmer and more tender then 'mercy.'

    • Aung San Suu Kyi,
    • in Whitney Stewart, Aung San Suu Kyi: Fearless Voice of Burma ()
  • I look upon myself as a politician. That isn't a dirty word.

    • Aung San Suu Kyi,
    • in Ms. ()
  • If you are feeling helpless, help someone.

    • Aung San Suu Kyi
  • The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.

    • Aung San Suu Kyi
  • Peace, development, and justice are all connected to each other. We cannot talk about economic development without talking about peace. How can we expect economic development in a battlefield?

    • Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition politician, longtime house detainee

(1945)