The release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi continues to be the biggest story on the socially engaged Buddhist front this past week. To really get a sense of how important this is, you need only take a look at the front page of the Irrawaddy news magazine, Burma’s independent media voice. Articles this week include “Grandmothers Who Help Suu Kyi,” coverage of Daw Suu’s first visit with her son in more than ten years, and this disturbing story about the junta’s attempts to evict more than 80 HIV/AIDS patients after Suu Kyi visited their shelter in Rangoon last week.
But perhaps best of all was this interview between Daw Suu and Irrawaddy editor Aung Zaw (thanks to Lynette Monteiro of 108 ZenBooks for telling me about this). In response to a question about the possibility that she might meet with General Than Shwe (the leader of Burma’s military junta), Daw Suu said,
I am not sure if you have heard that Gandhi was very fond of a Christian hymn, even though he was a follower of Hinduism. The name of the song is “Lead, Kindly Light.” It says, “I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me.” Gandhi believed that, and so do I. I will do my best to walk, step by step. If I am on the right track, I will reach the right place. I don’t want to try to imagine something very distant. For me, hope is the desire to try. I believe I can only hope for something if I have tried to achieve it. I will continue to make an effort with this belief in mind.