A Birthday Party for the Lady

Steve Tickner The Irrawaddy

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RANGOON — Burma’s monsoon season may have brought a downpour for the 67th birthday celebrations for National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi at her party’s national headquarters, but it did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of her many supporters.

Suu Kyi, who is currently touring overseas for the first time in decades, may not have been present, but a crowd estimated by one official at almost three thousand people turned up to wish her well, share food and birthday cake, and release dozens of balloons in her honor.

An official spokesman for the party said everyone was deeply pleased to attend, saying “She is the mother of the NLD, the people of Burma and Burma itself.”

With a mischievous twinkle in his eye, he then added that perhaps at the age of 67, she may now also be referred to as the “grandmother of the people of Burma.”