Starboard founder and former pro racer from Norway, Svein Rasmussen, recently forwarded us a letter from Thailand, sharing with us a unique adventure where he met Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. In addition to producing ultra light and ultra fast boards, Starboard strives to deliver a message of peace and donates part of its profits to various charity organizations. Rasmussen’s most recent adventure is indicative of his dedication to this interest:
ON JUNE 22, 1996 I WENT TO A FORBIDDEN MEETING IN BURMA with Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and have a outstanding photo of her that I would like you to publish somehow. The shot is quite unique. It’s taken at the end of the meeting when thousands of people have gathered outside her house despite the heavy rain. I was given way to be closest to her during the one hour speech were she talked about the future of Burma, and tried to educate the rural people that have been sent to her home with the thought of bringing otherwise forbidden news to their part of the country. I went back to have a private meeting with her later. I ran out of time but managed to bring her a copy of the Buyers Guide. The people are kept in tight control by the SLORC, State Law and Order Restoration Council, that retained power by jailing or killing the NLD (National League of Democracy) members after that party won a democratic election by miles. Now the country is indoctrinated by propaganda in all media, and the people are all slaving to feed the generals and a handful of business men. I am most likely banned by SLORC to enter the country again, but I will use whatever opportunities that surface to help this strangled country to get freed. Aung San Suu Kyi is actually protected by the Norwegian ambassador to Singapore that was sent to assist her last week as she is living in great danger. Norway has a special contact to Burma as we have given out the Peace Prize in Oslo.
P.S.- The hundreds of islands and coastline in the south of Burma may hold the most wonderful surroundings in the world, and when you arrive there, you will be the first windsurfer to explore an untouched paradise.