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April 3, 2012

Mikhail Gorbachev congratulates Aung San Suu Kyi

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Dear Aung San Suu Kyi,
With great joy, I want to congratulate you on your victory in the parliamentary elections in your country. A person whose life has been remarkable as well as difficult, you are an inspiration to millions of people in many countries throughout the world. Your resilience and courage during the years of your imprisonment and isolation are truly admirable. All those who work for democratic change draw strength and encouragement from the fact that through all those years you have remained committed to your moral position and the abiding conviction that one must fight for justice and human rights using only peaceful, non-violent methods. This is an important lesson of combining morality and politics, so much needed in today's world.
I am confident that my joy is shared by many Nobel Laureates, who always showed solidarity with you during the years when you were persecuted. We started all our annual meetings with a demand for your release and the restoration of all your rights and used every opportunity available - both publicly and through various channels - to bring closer the day when you could return to normal life. It is encouraging that the leaders of the ruling regime have now heeded the voice of reason.
The recent elections are just a first step on the path of democratic change which, without doubt, will be difficult. I know it from Russia's experience. In this process, you will be playing a key role, which will require great strength and much time. I do hope, however, that you will be able to take part in the meetings and activities of the Nobel Peace Laureates Forum. We see our mission as helping to make sure that the processes unfolding in the rapidly changing global world evolve peacefully and bring about real improvements in the life of hundreds of millions of people. I very much wish that the voice of a person who has become a moral beacon for so many people should be heard everywhere.
I wish you strength and energy in your continuing work and in standing by your convictions and principles, and may the long-awaited changes that reflect the aspirations of your people become a reality.
With feelings of respect and friendship,

Mikhail Gorbachev
April 2, 2012

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