By WAI MOE
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi ranks 25th in this year’s poll by the US magazine Time listing the 100 most influential people in the world.
Suu Kyi, 63, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, received 306,684 votes, not very far behind US President Barack Obama, who got 335,732 and came in 16th in the poll. She just pipped Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who ranked 26th with 302,874 votes.
Other influential women who came high in the poll included US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 27th with 254,785 votes, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was placed 36th, with 243,496 votes.
Time said that “thanks to the anti-junta demonstrations in 2007, more people are listening to her [Suu Kyi] than ever before.”
Time reminded its readers: “The famed Burmese activist—she has spent much of the past two decades under house arrest because of her pro-democracy stance—is pushing the U.N. to take action against her country's human-rights violations.”
In 2004, Suu Kyi won Time Asia’s Asia Hero on-line poll, receiving 37,617 votes (40.4 per cent of the 93,022 votes cast.)
Suu Kyi is also a favorite among Internet bloggers and facebook members. More than
31,000 facebook users are currently Suu Kyi fans.
“Facebook is an excellent way to reach new people and let them know about Aung San Suu Kyi and the situation in Burma,” said Zoya Phan, international coordinator of Burma Campaign UK, in a statement earlier this month.
“The regime in Burma has detained Aung San Suu Kyi because they want the world to forget about her. This is another way of ensuring they don’t succeed,” Zoya Phan said.
Suu Kyi has spent more than 13 of the past 20 years under house arrest. Her party, the National League for Democracy, won 80 percent of constituencies in the election in 1990. However, the junta, which is planning to hold another election in 2010, refused to honor the 1990 result.