Statement by Desmond Tutu, Chair of the Elders:
"On behalf of the Elders and people of conscience everywhere, I call for the immediate release of Burmese human rights advocate and fellow Elder Aung San Suu Kyi. This brave and beautiful woman is the world's only imprisoned Nobel Laureate. According to Burmese law, her detention should expire today, allowing her the freedom that she has sought for so many others. The people of Burma chose her as their national leader seventeen years ago. Yet their vote goes ignored and their voices unheard. The country's leadership has an opportunity to begin to right that wrong, to respond to the people's will and to abide by their country's laws.
"At the same time the Burmese junta should open their country to the aid that has been offered in the wake of a terrible cyclone that has claimed over 100,000 lives. This has been a time of tragedy for so many Burmese families. Let it be a time to celebrate the newfound freedom of this visionary leader who stands up for peace, justice and human dignity - and stands up for the Burmese people who have suffered for too long."