Press Statement
Robert Wood
Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
August 7, 2009

Today, the United States recalls the patriotism and bravery of the people of Burma, who twenty-one years ago rose up in peaceful protest to call for democracy and justice in their country. In the more than two decades that have passed, thousands of activists, monks, and ordinary Burmese citizens have followed in their footsteps.

As the world honors the long struggle of the Burmese people for a better future, we renew our call on the Burmese authorities to begin a process of national reconciliation and a genuine transition to democracy. A welcome first step would be the unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all of the 2,100 political prisoners currently detained by the authorities. The door remains open for the regime to respect the wishes of the Burmese people and international community, and to step toward the path of engagement after so many years of isolation.

PRN: 2009/814