Report from Bhikkhu Gunaratana:
Today I had the good fortune of being able to hear this extraordinary lady, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, address the Burmese community here in Los Angeles,CA. This event was held at the LA convention center where over 2,000 people were in attendance. Daw Suu, as she is lovingly referred too at times, was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and has been at the forefront of the democracy movement in Burma since the 1980’s. As this event was for the Burmese community 98% was spoken in the Burmese language, although some things were translated for me by the Burmese monk that I was with. The format for the event was for audience members to write down questions that would be chosen at random and answered by Daw Suu. This Lady can be quite comedic from all of the laughter that I heard from the audience at times, especially when she was talking about her dogs. The majority of the questions & answers were of a more serious and mature nature, mostly dealing with politics, economics, and the democracy movement in Burma. One question that was written in English so it was answered in English was: ” Will the transition of democracy in Burma be like the transition of democracy in other countries that have made this transition recently? ” Daw Suu was very quick to answer that Burma is Burma and the problems Burma has are unique to Burma, while other countries each had there own unique obstacles to overcome – basically different karma. One thing that I did notice throughout the Q&A was the constant use of Pali words in her answers. She was constantly incorporating Buddhist terms and words to convey her ideas and beliefs to help guide Burma and the Burmese people to better days. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has definite signs of a long-term Buddhist meditator and practitioner by not only the way she speaks, words that she uses, ideas that she expresses, the way that she carries herself, and the things that she is trying to do for the future of Burma and the Burmese people. This extraordinary lady expresses very wholesome, loving & compassionate activity. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is almost 70 years old now and hopefully she will live for many more years to be able to benefit Burma, the Burmese people, and to be an inspiration for us all.