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Speaking at the Irrawaddy Literary Festival in Mandalay on Saturday, Burmese pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi said she wants to see Burmese people participating in nation-building.
“What I want are people who understand why they want a united peaceful prosperous country,” she told a packed room at the Mandalay Hill Resort.
The Burmese opposition leader said people should not sit back and hope that others work for the country, and that each and every citizen has a duty to their country. “People should understand that we are not alone in the world,” she said, “and they need to understand how to share and work with others.”
This was the second annual Irrawaddy Literary Festival. Last year the event was held at the Inya Lake Hotel in Rangoon and was likewise presided over by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi.
Several well-known international authors and poets spoke at the Mandalay gathering from 14 to 16 February, including Louis de Bernières (The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts, The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin) and Jung Chang (Wild Swans).