April 12, 2021
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I Received Warmest Response in Chin and Rakhine States, says Suu Kyi

01 May 2011: In her article ‘My Hero: Aung San’ that appeared in the Guardian yesterday, Burma’s democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said she received the warmest response from people in Chin and Rakhine States during her trip to the western parts of the country.

She said people would bring their children when they came to see me, adding: “Parents would take their children up in their arms and say, ‘Look! This is Grandfather Aung San’s daughter’, which I found very touching.”

In April 2003 just before she was placed under house arrest for the third time, the Nobel Laureate made a visit to Matupi and Mindat towns in southern parts of Chin State.

A Dai university student based in Mindat Town told Chinland Guardian: “Everyone got so excited when they heard that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was arriving in our town. People, old and young as well as children, travelled from their villages to have a glimpse of our admired leader.”

“I saw her wearing a Chin shawl, which is a traditional special gift presented in the higest form of welcome and greeting to someone important and it is a sign of respect, friendship and even kinship,” recalled the local student.

As soon as Ms Suu Kyi arrived in Matupi on 10 April, all the pastors made the mass prayer and went to the NLD (National League for Democracy) office for its re-opening ceremony, where she gave the speech to the public, according to the Matu Guardian.

In Hakha and Thantlang towns in northern parts of Chin State during her April trip in 2003, the NLD leader was greeted with due respect and admiration as ‘Kan Pi’, literally meaning ‘our grandmother’, with traditional welcome dances and music as well as a garland of flowers presented to her.

At one point in the article of the Guardian, Ms Suu Kyi described her disbelief to the fact that she’d been told that the Chins were ethnocentric and not fond of the Burmese.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi mentioned in her book Letters From Burma: “Winter begins for me when at night I start piling on the Chin blankets that we have always used in the family. These blankets of thick cotton come in stripes or checks, usually in different shades of greens, reds and reddish browns.”

“Now, the first blanket I place on my bed at the advent of the cold weather is an old one given to my father by Chin friends: it is white with faded red stripes and in the corner is the date embroidered by my mother, ’25-3-47′.”

In her short article, Aung San Suu Kyi also noted her father’s honesty with all the ethnic nationalities in Burma, adding: “I think they feel the same about me because I’ve never made easy promises.”

Jeremy Hoipang and Van Biak Thang
[email protected] & [email protected]

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