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Celebrity birthday wishes for Aung San Suu Kyi

world Updated: Jun 19, 2009 16:24 IST

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Hollywood celebrities, singers, writers and dignitaries tweeted, uploaded and signed petitions for the release of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who turned 64 in prison on Friday. Here are excerpts from birthday messages that appear on a website created in her honor:

"Nineteen years ago, the Burmese people chose Aung San Suu Kyi as their next leader. For most of those 19 years she has been kept under house arrest by the military junta that runs the country. We must not stand by as she is silenced again. Now is the time for the international community to speak with one voice: Free Aung San Suu Kyi."

-signed by dozens including George Clooney, Drew Barrymore, David Beckham, Bono, Matthew Broderick, Sandra Bullock, James Carville, Daniel Craig, John Cusack, Matt Damon, Robert De Niro, Jake Gyllenhaal, Vaclav Havel, Helen Hunt, Anjelica Huston, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Ashton Kutcher, Norman Lear, Madonna, Mary Matalin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, George Soros, Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi Watts, Elie Wiesel, Owen Wilson

Paul McCartney wrote: "Aung San Suu Kyi is an inspiration to her country and to the rest of the world."

Bono posted lyrics from U2's 2001 single "Walk On," which was written for Suu Kyi: "Packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been/A place that has to be believed to be seen/You could have flown away/A singing bird in an open cage/Who will only fly, fly for freedom/ ... Walk on, walk on/Stay safe tonight."

Director James Cameron wrote: "Aung San Suu Kyi is a hero of mine because she stands up for human rights and dignity for the people of Burma, and for all people. I admire her because the heroes of many of the movies that I make stand up against injustice. While my heroes are fictional, Aung San Suu Kyi is a real-life hero, and she needs help from you."

Author Salman Rushdie wrote: "On this day, my birthday and yours, I always remember your long ordeal and silently applaud your endurance. This year, silence is impossible... It is your trial, not your struggle, that is unjust. On this day, on every day, I am with you."

Richard Branson made a video tribute: "Happy 64th birthday Aung San Suu Kyi. We all support your incredible commitment to the people of Burma. Your unshakable moral courage is a shining light to all of us. Aung San has given her life to the people of Burma. It is time now for us to stand up and act to stop her unfair persecution."