- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2006

BANGKOK — Aung San Suu Kyi, the word’s most famous political prisoner, now has a MySpace.com Web page, created by a Washington organization that hopes Internet activists will help free her from house arrest in Rangoon and donate money.

“Female, 61 years old. Status: Single,” says Mrs. Suu Kyi’s introduction on MySpace, next to her color photo.

The Burmese widow’s British husband died several years ago, leaving their two sons to grow up overseas while she has languished for 11 of the past 16 years under house arrest in Burma, a country also known as Myanmar.

“Religion: Buddhist. Zodiac Sign: Gemini. Smoke/Drink: No/No. Children: Proud parent. Education: College graduate,” her page adds, along with other personal data.

Freedom Campaign established the MySpace page so a relatively young, hip, cyber-active audience could learn more about the Nobel Peace laureate and pressure the military regime to allow democracy in the impoverished, isolated, Buddhist-majority Southeast Asian country.

The site was designed by San Francisco Bay Area company Bass Web Design, which has worked for the satirical animated television series, South Park, among other clients.

In her “About me” section, Mrs. Suu Kyi was described as a heroine, but the adjective was apparently misspelled, making her sound a bit druggy: “In an increasingly jaded world of political apathy and power-hungry institutions, Aung San Suu Kyi is truly that rare heroin of legend — a symbol of hope — championing the rights of individuals in the face of human rights violations and dictatorial oppression.”

Mrs. Suu Kyi’s MySpace page is already a success among more than 160 people who were asked, or inspired, to become her “friends” and link her to their own MySpace pages.

For example, Suu Kyi now has an online “friend” coyly named, “no commercial potential,” who commented: “Thank you for adding me and thank you for making this page. She is in my heroes list.

“Burma no oil there, hence the West didn’t go in. Typical and sad. Pleased to meet you.”

One click on “no commercial potential” connects to a MySpace site revealing that person is British, concerned about UFOs and does not like President Bush or Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Wendy, 28, in Brooklyn, N.Y., commented that Mrs. Suu Kyi was “an amazing woman and more people need to know her name.”

Launched several weeks ago, www.myspace.com/thefreedomcampaign displays Mrs. Suu Kyi’s page and links to Freedom Campaign’s Web site which asks viewers for tax-deductible donations, “to raise awareness for Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Freedom Campaign said it was a non-profit organization incorporated in 1993 and a joint effort between the Human Rights Action Center and U.S. Campaign for Burma.

In 1990, during Burma’s last election, Mrs. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won more than 80 percent of parliament’s seats. The ruling military ignored the poll results.

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