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A Feisty Flower - Burma

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Published on Aug 28, 2007

May 1996
Aung San Suu Kyi stands looking over her gate at a crowd of rapt faces. She tells her well wishers, "Fascism cannot last". They cheer. Public meetings are banned so she stays just inside her gate to stay just inside the law. Suu Kyi's key adviser, Win Thein, knows that Burma's ruling junta (SLORC) is angry with Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy because he is constantly trailed by a government spy. At a military parade, a row of dour generals watch, slumped in their chairs. While maintaining a political control, SLORC is desperate to encourage foreign investment in order to revitalise the ailing economy. In an interview, Suu Kyi warns Western businessmen not to prop a cruel regime. She says by investing in Burma, they "are working for their own destruction". Such comments outrage SLORC: they crack down on Suu Kyi's supporters, arresting her family friend, 70 year old James Nichols, for having an unauthorised fax line. Suu Kyi makes a radical move, visiting the local market where she is crushed by the crowds of people who push to touch her hand, to hold her clothes. She says she will continue to disobey the generals if she needs to.

Produced by ABC Australia
Distributed by Journeyman Pictures

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