Aung San Suu Kyi: Wikis


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Aung San Suu Kyi
Born 19 June 1945 (1945-06-19) (age 64)
Residence Rangoon
Occupation Prime Minister-elect of Burma[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]
Known for Leading the Burmese Democracy Movement, General-Secretary of the National League for Democracy, Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
Religion Theravadin Buddhist
This article contains Burmese script. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Burmese characters.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi AC (Burmese: အောင်ဆန်းစုကြည် AungSanSuuKyi1.png; MLCTS: aung hcan: cu. krany; IPA: [àunsʰánsṵtʃì]) (born 19 June 1945) is a Burmese opposition politician and General Secretary of the National League for Democracy.

In the 1990 general election, Suu Kyi was elected Prime Minister,[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] as leader of the winning National League for Democracy party, which won 59% of the vote and 394 of 492 seats. She had, however, already been detained under house arrest before the elections. She has remained under house arrest in Myanmar for almost 14 out of the past 20 years.[8]

Suu Kyi was the recipient of the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. In 1992 she was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding by the Government of India.

She is frequently called Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; Daw is not part of her name, but is an honorific similar to madam for older, revered women, literally meaning "aunt".[9] Her name is derived from three relatives; "Aung San" from her father, "Kyi" from her mother and "Suu" from her grandmother.[10] Strictly speaking, she has no surname, but it is acceptable to refer to her as "Ms. Suu Kyi" or "Dr. Suu Kyi", since those syllables serve to distinguish her from her father, General Aung San, who is considered to be the father of modern-day Burma.


Personal life


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Aung San Suu Kyi was born on 19 June 1945 in Rangoon.[11] Her father, Aung San, founded the modern Burmese army and negotiated Burma's independence from the United Kingdom in 1947; he was assassinated by his rivals in the same year. She grew up with her mother, Khin Kyi, and two brothers, Aung San Lin and Aung San Oo in Rangoon. Her favourite brother Aung San Lin died at age eight, when he drowned in an ornamental lake in the grounds of the house.[10] Her elder brother emigrated to San Diego, California, becoming a United States citizen.[10] After Lin's death, the family moved to a house by Inya Lake where she met people of very different backgrounds, political views and religions.[12] Suu Kyi was educated in Methodist English High School (Now known as Basic Education High School No.1 Dagon[13]) for much of her childhood in Burma where she was noted as having a talent for learning languages.[14] She is a Theravada Buddhist.

Suu Kyi's mother, Daw Khin Kyi, gained prominence as a political figure in the newly formed Burmese government. She was appointed Burmese ambassador to India and Nepal in 1960, and Aung San Suu Kyi followed her there, graduating from Lady Shri Ram College with a degree in politics in New Delhi in 1964.[11][15] Suu Kyi continued her education at St Hugh's College, Oxford, obtaining a B.A. degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in 1969. After graduating, she lived in New York City with a family friend and worked at the United Nations for three years, primarily on budget matters, writing daily to her future husband Dr. Michael Aris.[16] In 1972, Aung San Suu Kyi married Aris, a scholar of Tibetan culture, living abroad in Bhutan.[11] The following year she gave birth to their first son, Alexander Aris, in London; their second son, Kim, was born in 1977. Following this, she earned a Ph.D. at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 1985. She was elected an Honorary Fellow in 1990.[11] For two years she was a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS) in Shimla, India. She also worked for the government of the Union of Burma.

In 1988 Suu Kyi returned to Burma at first to tend for her ailing mother but later to lead the pro-democracy movement. Aris’s visit in Christmas 1995 turned out to be the last time that he and Suu Kyi met, as Suu Kyi remained in Burma and the Burmese dictatorship denied him any further entry visas.[11] Aris was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997 which was later found to be terminal. Despite appeals from prominent figures and organizations, including the United States, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Pope John Paul II, the Burmese government would not grant Aris a visa, saying that they did not have the facilities to care for him, and instead urged Aung San Suu Kyi to leave the country to visit him. She was at that time temporarily free from house arrest but was unwilling to depart, fearing that she would be refused re-entry if she left, as she did not trust the junta's assurance that she could return.[17]

Aris died on his 53rd birthday on 27 March 1999. Since 1989, when his wife was first placed under house arrest, he had seen her only five times, the last of which was for Christmas in 1995. She also remains separated from her children, who live in the United Kingdom.[18]

On 2 May 2008, after Cyclone Nargis hit Burma, Suu Kyi lost her roof and was living in virtual darkness after losing electricity in her dilapidated lakeside residence. She used candles at night as she was not provided any generator set.[19] Plans to renovate and repair the house were announced in August 2009.[20]

Political beginnings

Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988 to take care of her ailing mother. By coincidence, in the same year, the long-time leader of the Socialist ruling party, General Ne Win, stepped down, leading to mass demonstrations for democracy on 8 August 1988 (8-8-88, a day seen as auspicious), which were violently suppressed. On 26 August 1988, she addressed half a million people at a mass rally in front of the Shwedagon Pagoda in the capital, calling for a democratic government.[11] However in September, a new military junta took power. Later the same month, the National League for Democracy (NLD) was formed, with Suu Kyi as general secretary.

Influenced by both Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence[21][22] and by more specifically Buddhist concepts,[23] Aung San Suu Kyi entered politics to work for democratization, helped found the National League for Democracy on 27 September 1988, and was put under house arrest on 20 July 1989. She was offered freedom if she left the country, but she refused.

One of her most famous speeches is the "Freedom From Fear" speech, which begins, "It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it."

She also believes fear spurs many world leaders to lose sight of their purpose. "Government leaders are amazing," she once said. "So often it seems they are the last to know what the people want."[24]

Political career


1990 general election

In 1990, the military junta called a general election, which the National League for Democracy won by an overwhelming 82% of the votes. Being the NLD's candidate, Aung San Suu Kyi under normal circumstances would have assumed the office of Prime Minister.[25] Instead, the results were nullified, and the military refused to hand over power. This resulted in an international outcry. Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest at her home on University Avenue (16°49′32″N 96°9′1″E / 16.82556°N 96.15028°E / 16.82556; 96.15028) in Rangoon. During her arrest, she was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990, and the Nobel Peace Prize the year after. Her sons Alexander and Kim accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on her behalf. Aung San Suu Kyi used the Nobel Peace Prize's 1.3 million USD prize money to establish a health and education trust for the Burmese people.[26]

House arrest

Aung San Suu Kyi has been placed under house arrest on numerous occasions since she began her political career, totalling 14 of the past 20 years.[8] During these periods, she has been prevented from meeting her party supporters; international visitors, likewise, have been prevented from meeting her. She lives with her two maids and receives visits from her doctor. In an interview, Suu Kyi said that while under house arrest she spent her time reading philosophy, politics and biographies that her husband had sent her.[27] She would also occupy her time by playing the piano and was occasionally allowed visits from foreign diplomats as well as her personal doctor.[28]

The media have also been prevented from visiting. In 1998, journalist Maurizio Giuliano, after photographing her, was stopped by customs officials, and all his films, tapes and some notes were confiscated.[29] Suu Kyi met the leader of Burma, General Than Shwe, accompanied by General Khin Nyunt on 20 September 1994, while under house arrest. It was the first meeting since she had been placed in detention.[11] When the military government has released Suu Kyi from house arrest it has made it clear that, if she left the country to visit her family in the United Kingdom, it would not allow her return. On several occasions, Suu Kyi has been in poor health for severe weakness.[30]

Suu Kyi continues to be imprisoned under the 1975 State Protection Act (Article 10 b), which grants the government the power to imprison persons for up to five years without a trial,[31] and the Law to Safeguard the State Against the Dangers of Those Desiring to Cause Subversive Acts (Article 10 a), as Suu Kyi is "likely to undermine the community peace and stability" of the country.[32] She has appealed against her detention.[33] Many nations and figures have continued to call for her release and that of 2,100 other political prisoners in the country.[34][35]

UN involvement

The UN has attempted to facilitate dialogue between the junta and Suu Kyi.[36] On 6 May 2002, following secret confidence-building negotiations led by the United Nations, the government released her; a government spokesman said that she was free to move "because we are confident that we can trust each other". Aung San Suu Kyi proclaimed "a new dawn for the country". However on 30 May 2003, a government-sponsored mob attacked her caravan in the northern village of Depayin, murdering and wounding many of her supporters.[37] Aung San Suu Kyi fled the scene with the help of her driver, Ko Kyaw Soe Lin, but was arrested upon reaching Ye-U. The government imprisoned her at Insein Prison in Rangoon. After she underwent a hysterectomy in September 2003,[38] the government again placed her under house arrest in Rangoon.

The results from the UN facilitation have been mixed; Razali Ismail, UN special envoy to Burma, met with Aung San Suu Kyi. Ismail resigned from his post the following year, partly because he was denied re-entry to Burma on several occasions.[39] Several years later in 2006, Ibrahim Gambari, UN Undersecretary-General (USG) of Department of Political Affairs, met with Aung San Suu Kyi, the first visit by a foreign official since 2004.[40] He also met with Suu Kyi later the same year.[41] On 2 October 2007 Gambari returned to talk to her again after seeing Than Shwe and other members of the senior leadership in Naypyitaw.[42] State television broadcast Suu Kyi with Gambari, stating that they had met twice. This was Suu Kyi's first appearance in state media in the four years since her current detention began.[43]

The United Nations Working Group for Arbitrary Detention rendered an Opinion (No. 9 of 2004) that her deprivation of liberty was arbitrary, as being in contravention of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, and requested that the authorities in Burma set her free, but the authorities have so far ignored this request.[44]

Such claims were rejected by Major-General Khin Yi, the national police chief of Burma. On 18 January 2007, the state-run paper The New Light of Myanmar accused Suu Kyi of tax evasion for spending her Nobel Prize money outside of the country. The accusation followed the defeat of a US-sponsored United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Burma as a threat to international security; the resolution was defeated because of strong opposition from China, which has strong ties with the military junta (China later voted against the resolution, along with Russia and South Africa).[45]

In November 2007 it was reported that Suu Kyi would meet her political allies National League for Democracy along with a government minister. The ruling junta made the official announcement on state TV and radio just hours after the United Nation's special envoy Ibrahim Gambari ended his second visit to Burma. The NLD confirmed that it had received the invitation to hold talks with Ms. Suu Kyi.[46] However, the process delivered few concrete results.

On 3 July 2009, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, arrived in Myanmar on a journey seeking the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and to press the junta for democratic reform. However, on departing from Burma, Ban Ki-moon said he was "disappointed" with the visit after junta leader Than Shwe refused permission for him to visit Suu Kyi, citing her ongoing trial. Ban said he was "deeply disappointed that they have missed a very important opportunity."[47]

Periods under detention

  • 20 July 1989: Placed under house arrest in Rangoon under martial law that allows for detention without charge or trial for three years.[36]
  • 10 July 1995: Released from house arrest.[10]
  • 23 September 2000: Placed under house arrest.[8]
  • 6 May 2002: Released after 19 months.[8]
  • 30 May 2003: Arrested following the Depayin massacre, she was held in secret detention for more than three months before being returned to house arrest.[48]
  • 25 May 2007: House arrest extended by one year despite a direct appeal from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to General Than Shwe.[49]
  • 24 October 2007: Reached 12 years under house arrest, solidarity protests held at 12 cities around the world.[50]
  • 27 May 2008: House arrest extended for another year, which is illegal under both international law and Burma's own law.[51]
  • 11 August 2009: House arrest extended for 18 more months because of "violation" arising from the May 2009 trespass incident.

2007 anti-government protests

Protests led by Buddhist monks began on 19 August 2007 following steep fuel price increases, and continued each day, despite the threat of a crackdown by the military.[52]

On Saturday, 22 September 2007, although still under house arrest, Suu Kyi made a brief public appearance at the gate of her residence in Rangoon to accept the blessings of Buddhist monks who were marching in support of human rights.[53] It was reported that she had been moved the following day to Insein Prison (where she had been detained in 2003),[54][55][56][57] but meetings with UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari near her Rangoon home on 30 September and 2 October established that she remained under house arrest.[58][59]

2009 trespass incident

On 3 May 2009, an American man, identified as John Yettaw, swam across Inya Lake to her house uninvited and was arrested when he made his return trip three days later.[60] He had attempted to make a similar trip two years earlier, but for unknown reasons was turned away.[61] It is unknown what his motives were. On 13 May, Suu Kyi was arrested for violating the terms of her house arrest because the swimmer, who pleaded exhaustion, was allowed to stay in her house for two days before he attempted the swim back. Suu Kyi was later taken to Insein Prison, where she could face up to five years confinement for the intrusion.[62] The trial of Suu Kyi and her two maids began on 18 May and a small number of protesters gathered outside.[63][64] Diplomats and journalists are barred from attending the trial; however, on one occasion, several diplomats from Russia, Thailand and Singapore and journalists were allowed to meet Suu Kyi.[65] The prosecution had originally planned to call 22 witnesses.[66] It also accused John Yettaw of embarrassing the country.[67] During the ongoing defence case, Suu Kyi said she was innocent. The defence was only allowed to call one witness (out of four), while the prosecution has been permitted to call 14 witnesses. The court rejected two character witnesses, NLD members Tin Oo and Win Tin and only permitted the defense to call a legal expert.[68] According to one unconfirmed report, the junta is planning to, once again, place her in detention, this time in a military base outside the city.[69] In a separate trial, Yettaw said he swam to Suu Kyi's house to warn her that her life was "in danger".[70] The national police chief later confirmed that Yettaw was the "main culprit" in the case filed against Suu Kyi.[71] According to aides, Suu Kyi spent her 64th birthday in jail sharing biryani rice and chocolate cake with her guards.[72]

Her arrest and subsequent trial received worldwide condemnation by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Security Council,[73] Western governments,[74] South Africa,[75] Japan[76] and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Burma is a member.[77] The Burmese government strongly condemned the statement, as it created an "unsound tradition"[78] and criticised Thailand for meddling in its internal affairs.[79] The Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win was quoted in the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar as saying that the incident "was trumped up to intensify international pressure on Burma by internal and external anti-government elements who do not wish to see the positive changes in those countries' policies toward Burma".[67] Ban responded to an international campaign[80] by flying to Burma to negotiate, but Than Shwe rejected all of his requests.[81]

On 11 August 2009 the trial concluded with Suu Kyi being sentenced to imprisonment for three years with hard labour. This sentence was commuted by the military rulers to further house arrest of eighteen months.[82] On 14 August, U.S. Senator Jim Webb visited Burma, visiting with junta leader Gen. Than Shwe and later with Suu Kyi. During the visit, Webb negotiated Yettaw's release and deportation from Burma.[83] Following the verdict of the trial, lawyers of Suu Kyi said, they would appeal against the 18-months sentence.[84] On 18 August, United States President Barack Obama asked the country's military leadership to set free all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi.[85] In her appeal, Aung San Suu Kyi had argued, that the conviction was unwarranted. However, her appeal against the August sentence was rejected by a Burmese court on 2 October 2009, although the court accepted the argument that the 1974 constitution, under which she had been charged, was null and void, but said the provisions of the 1975 security law, under which she has been kept under house arrest, remained in force. The verdict effectively means, she will be unable to participate in elections scheduled to take place in 2010 - the first in Burma in two decades. Her lawyer stated that her legal team would pursue a new appeal within 60 days.[86]

2009: International pressure for release, and Burmese general election 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi may be released "so she can organize her party," [87] for the upcoming Burmese general election. However, Dr Suu Kyi will not be allowed to run.[88]

Burma's relaxing stance, such as releasing political prisoners was influenced in the wake of successful recent diplomatic visits by the US and other Democratic governments, urging of encouraging the Burmese towards democratic reform. U.S. President Barack Obama intends to personally advocate on the behalf of all political prisoners especially Aung San Suu Kyi, during the US-ASEAN Summit of 2009.[89]

Democratic governments hope that successful general elections would be a optimistic indicator of the Burmese governments sincerity towards eventual democracy.[90]. The Hatoyama government which spent 2.82 Billion yen in 2008, has promised more Japanese foreign aid to encourage Burma release Aung San Suu Kyi in time for the elections; and to continue moving towards democracy and the rule of law.[91].[90]

In a personal letter to Dr. Suu Kyi, UK Prime Minster Gordon Brown, cautions the Burmese government of the potential consequences of rigging elections as "condemning Burma to more years of diplomatic isolation and economic stagnation".[92]

The Burmese government has been granting Dr. Suu Kyi varying degrees of freedom throughout late 2009, in response to international pressure. She has met with many heads of state, and has opened a dialog with labor minster Aung Kyi (not to be confused with Aung San Suu Kyi).[93]

Dr. Suu Kyi was allowed, however, to meet with senior members of her NLD party, under close supervision, at the State House[94]

International support

There is widespread international support for Aung San Suu Kyi.
All over the world, many are in solidarity with Aung San Suu Kyi and the Democracy Movement.

Aung San Suu Kyi has received vocal support from Western nations in Europe[95], Australia[95] and North[96] and South America, as well as India,[3] Israel,[97] Japan[98] and South Korea.[99] In December 2007, the US House of Representatives voted unanimously 400–0 to award Aung San Suu Kyi the Congressional Gold Medal; the Senate concurred on 25 April 2008.[100] On 6 May 2008, President Bush signed legislation awarding Suu Kyi the Congressional Gold Medal.[101] She is the first recipient in American history to receive the prize while imprisoned. Other non-American recipients of the medal include Sir Winston Churchill, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa.[96] More recently, there has been growing criticism of her detention by Burma's neighbours in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, particularly from Indonesia,[102] Thailand,[103] the Philippines[104][105] and Singapore.[106] At one point Malaysia warned Burma faced expulsion from ASEAN as a result of the detention of Suu Kyi.[107] Other nations including South Africa,[108] Bangladesh[109] and the Maldives[110] have also called for her release. The United Nations has urged the country to move towards inclusive national reconciliation, the restoration of democracy, and full respect for human rights.[111] In December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning the human rights situation in Burma and calling for Suu Kyi's release—80 countries voting for the resolution, 25 against and 45 abstentions.[112] Other nations, such as China and Russia are less critical of the regime and prefer to cooperate only on economic matters.[113] Indonesia has urged China to push Burma for reforms.[114] However, Samak Sundaravej, former Prime Minister of Thailand, criticised the amount of support for Suu Kyi, saying that "Europe uses Aung San Suu Kyi as a tool. If it's not related to Aung San Suu Kyi, you can have deeper discussions with Myanmar."[115] U2 supported her on their 2009 U2 360° Tour by encouraging fans to wear masks with her likeness on them during the band's performance of the song "Walk On", which was originally written for her. In 2005, Irish singer songwriter Damian Rice released the single Unplayed Piano in support of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Vietnam, however, does not support calls by other ASEAN member states for Myanmar to free Aung San Suu Kyi, state media reported Friday, 14 August. 2009.[116] The state-run Viet Nam News said Vietnam had no criticism of Myanmar's decision 11 August 2009 to place Suu Kyi under house arrest for the next 18 months, effectively barring her from elections scheduled for 2010. "It is our view that the Aung San Suu Kyi trial is an internal affair of Myanmar," Vietnamese government spokesman Le Dung stated on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In contrast with other ASEAN member states, Dung said Vietnam has always supported Myanmar and hopes it will continue to implement the "roadmap to democracy" outlined by its government.[117]

Nobel Peace Prize

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. The decision of the Nobel Committee mentions:[118]

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar (Burma) for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.

...Suu Kyi's struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression...

...In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means.

—Oslo, 14 October 1991

Nobel Peace prize winners (Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Dalai Lama, Shirin Ebadi, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Mairead Corrigan, Rigoberta Menchú, Prof. Elie Wiesel, U.S. President Barack Obama, Betty Williams, Jody Williams and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter) have called for the rulers of Burma to release Suu Kyi "create the necessary conditions for a genuine dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all concerned parties and ethnic groups in order to achieve an inclusive national reconciliation with the direct support of the United Nations."[36] Some of the money she received as part of the award helps fund London-based charity Prospect Burma, who provide higher education grants to Burmese students.[119]


  • Freedom Now, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization, was retained in 2006 by a member of her family to help secure Aung San Suu Kyi's release from house arrest. The organization successfully secured a positive judgment from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and has been conducting political and public relations advocacy on her behalf.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi has been an honorary board member of International IDEA and ARTICLE 19 since her detention, and has received support from these organisations.
  • The Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Université Catholique de Louvain, both located in Belgium, have granted her the title of Doctor Honoris Causa.[120]
  • In 2002, the Freedom Forum recognized Suu Kyi's efforts to promote democracy peacefully with the Al Neuharth Free Spirit of the Year Award, in which she was presented over satellite because she was under house arrest. She was awarded one million dollars.[121]
  • In June of each year, the US Campaign for Burma organizes hundreds of "Arrest Yourself" house parties around the world in support of Aung San Suu Kyi. At these parties, the organizers keep themselves under house arrest for 24 hours, invite their friends, and learn more about Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi.[122]
  • The Freedom Campaign, a joint effort between the Human Rights Action Center and US Campaign for Burma, looks to raise worldwide attention to the struggles of Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma.
  • The Burma Campaign UK is a UK based NGO (Non Governmental Organisation) that aims to raise awareness of Burma's struggles and follow the guidelines established by the NLD and Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • St. Hugh's College, Oxford, where she studied, had a Burmese theme for their annual ball in support of her in 2006.[123]
  • Aung San Suu Kyi is the official patron of The Rafto Human Rights House in Bergen, Norway. She received the Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize in 1990.
  • She was made an honorary free person of the City of Dublin, Ireland in November 1999, although a space has been left on the roll of signatures to symbolize her continued detention.
  • In November 2005 the human rights group Equality Now proposed Aung Sun Suu Kyi as a potential candidate, among other qualifying women, for the position of U.N. Secretary General.[2] In the proposed list of qualified women Suu Kyi is recognised by Equality Now as the Prime Minister-Elect of Burma.[2]
  • The United Nations's special envoy to Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, met Aung San Suu Kyi on 10 March 2008 before wrapping up his trip to the military-ruled country.[124]

The Bommersvik Declarations

In Bommersvik, Sweden, in 1995 and 2002, two conventions of the Elected Representatives of the Union of Burma took place and the following two landmark declarations were issued:[125][126]

Bommersvik Declaration I

In 1995, during the first convention that lasted from 16–23 July, the Representatives issued the Bommersvik Declaration I:[127]

We, the representatives of the people of Burma, elected in the 27 May 1990 general elections, meeting at the First Convention of Elected Representatives from the liberated areas of Burma, hereby — Warmly welcome the unconditional release of 1991 Nobel Peace laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on 10 July 1995; Thank all who have worked tirelessly and consistently for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the cause of democracy in Burma; Applaud Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's determination, in spite of having spent 6 years under house arrest, to continue to work to bring true democracy to Burma; Welcome Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's return to politics to take up the mantle of her father, General Aung San, in Burma's second struggle for independence...
—The Elected Representatives of the Union of Burma

Bommersvik Declaration II

In 2002, during the second convention that lasted from 25 February to 1 March, the Representatives issued the Bommersvik Declaration II:[128]

We, the representatives of the people of Burma, elected in the 27 May 1990 general elections presently serving as members of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma and/or the Members of Parliament Union, meeting at the Convention of Elected Representatives held in Bommersvik for the second time, hereby reaffirm — Our Mandate, Position, and Strategic Objectives — that we will never ignore the will of the Burmese people expressed through the May 1990 general elections; - that the military's refusal to honor the election results does not in any way diminish the validity of these results.
—The Elected Representatives of the Union of Burma



  • Der Weg zur Freiheit (1999) with U Kyi Maung, U Tin Oo, ISBN 978-3404614356
  • Letters from Burma (1998) with Fergal Keane ISBN 978-0140264036
  • The Voice of Hope (1998) with Alan Clements, ISBN 978-1888363838, fully updated and re-issued in October 2008 by Rider Books, ISBN 978-1846041433
  • Letter to Daniel: Despatches from the Heart (1996) by Fergal Keane, foreword by Aung San Suu Kyi, edited by Tony Grant ISBN 978-0140262896
  • Freedom from Fear and other Writings (1995) with Václav Havel, Desmond M. Tutu, and Michael Aris, ISBN 978-0140253177
  • Burma's Revolution of the Spirit: The Struggle for Democratic Freedom and Dignity (1994) with Alan Clements, Leslie Kean, the Dalai Lama, Sein Win, ISBN 978-0893815806
  • Aung San of Burma: A Biographical Portrait by His Daughter (1991) ISBN 978-1870838801, 2nd edition 1995
  • Aung San (Leaders of Asia Series) (1990) ISBN 978-9990288834
  • Burma and India: Some aspects of intellectual life under colonialism (1990) ISBN 978-8170231349
  • Bhutan (Let's Visit Series) (1986) ISBN 978-0222010995
  • Nepal (Let's Visit Series) (1985) ISBN 978-0222009814
  • Burma (Let's Visit Series) (1985) ISBN 978-0222009791


  • Tibetan Studies in Honour of Hugh Richardson. Edited by Michael Aris and Aung San Suu Kyi. (1979). Vikas Publishing house, New Delhi.


Popular media

  • She was portrayed by Adelle Lutz in John Boorman's 1995 motion picture Beyond Rangoon, which takes place during the 8888 Uprising.
  • In a list compiled by the British magazine New Statesman in 2006, she was voted as number one among the "50 Heroes of Our Time". Other "heroes" mentioned were Nelson Mandela, Noam Chomsky, Bill Gates, and Bono.[145]
  • The 2000 song "Walk On" by U2 is about her, according to Bono.[146] During U2's 2009 tour, the band invited fans to wear masks of Suu Kyi's face (printable from their website) during the song "Walk On."[147]
  • The release of Aung San Suu Kyi is the subject of a Chrysler commercial featuring Nobel Prize laureates traveling in stylish black Chrysler 300's to the 10th Nobel Laureate summit in Berlin. However, one Laureate could not attend, Aung San Suu Kyi represented by a empty white Chrysler 300.[148]
  • "The Lady Of Burma", a play written by Richard Shannon and staged in the London Old Vic, dealt with the life of Aung San Suu Kyi and received rave reviews in the UK press, including The Independent newspaper [149]

See also


  1. ^ a b Aung San Suu Kyi should lead Myanmar, Pravda Online. 25 September 2007
  2. ^ a b c d The Next United Nations Secretary-General: Time for a Woman. Equality November 2005.
  3. ^ a b c MPs to Suu Kyi: You are the real PM of Myanmar. The Times of India. 13 June 2007
  4. ^ a b Walsh, John. (February 2006). Letters from Burma. Shinawatra International University.
  5. ^ a b Deutsche Welle Article: Sentence for Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi sparks outrage and cautious hope Quote: The NLD won a convincing majority in elections in 1990, the last remotely fair vote in Burma. That would have made Suu Kyi the prime minister, but the military leadership immediately nullified the result. Now her party must decide whether to take part in a poll that shows little prospect of being just.
  6. ^ a b The Hon. PENNY SHARPE Speech: In 1990 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi stood as the National League for Democracy's candidate for Prime Minister in the Burmese general election. The National League forDemocracy won in a landslide. But instead of her taking her rightful place asBurma's new Prime Minister, the military junta refused to hand over power. Page: 52
  7. ^ a b A twist in Aung San Suu Kyi's fate Article: How a Missouri Mormon may have thwarted democracy in Myanmar.By Patrick Winn — GlobalPost Quote: "Suu Kyi has mostly lived under house arrest since 1990, when the country's military junta refused her election to the prime minister's seat. The Nobel Peace Laureate remains backed by a pro-democracy movement-in-exile, many of them also voted into a Myanmar parliament that never was." Published: May 21, 2009 00:48 ETBANGKOK, Thailand
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  50. ^ Campaigners mark 12 years of detention for Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma Campaign UK, 24 October 2007
  51. ^ UN: Suu Kyi detention 'illegal'. Al Jazeera. 16 May 2009
  52. ^ Yahoo News on Buddhist monk uprising. Associated Press.
  53. ^ Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi greets Myanmar monks. AFP. 22 September 2007
  54. ^ Suu Kyi moved to Insein prison. Reuters. 25 September 2007
  55. ^ Inside Burma's Insein jail. BBC News Online. 14 May 2009
  56. ^ Security tight amid speculation Suu Kyi jailed. The Australian. 28 September 2007
  57. ^ Burmese Junta silences the monks. TIME. 28 September 2007
  58. ^ UN envoy sees top Burma dissident, BBC News Online, 30 September 2007
  59. ^ UN envoy holds key Burmese talks. BBC News Online. 2 October 2007
  60. ^ McDonald, Mark (7 May 2009). U.S. Man Held After Swim to Burmese Nobel Peace Laureate’s Home. The New York Times.
  61. ^ James, Randy (20 May 2009). John Yettaw: Suu Kyi's Unwelcome Visitor. Time.
  62. ^ Kennedy, Maev (14 May 2009). Lake swimmer could cost Suu Kyi her freedom. The Guardian.
  63. ^ Burma opposition leader on trial, Financial Times, 19 May 2009
  64. ^ Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi on trial, BBC News Online, 18 May 2009
  65. ^ Suu Kyi 'composed' at Burma trial, BBC News Online, 20 May 2009
  66. ^ Lawyers for Aung San Suu Kyi protest innocence as trial begins, The Times, 18 May 2009
  67. ^ a b Myanmar Court Charges Suu Kyi, Wall Street Journal, 22 May 2009
  68. ^ "Court Rejects Two Suu Kyi Defense Witnesses". Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  69. ^ "Myanmar Aung San Suu Kuy to be put under detention — Asia News". 2006-02-14. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  70. ^ Suu Kyi's witnesses 'rejected', BBC News Online, 28 May 2009
  71. ^ Myanmar says American main culprit in Suu Kyi case. AP. 25 June 2009
  72. ^ Aung San Suu Kyi celebrates 64th birthday with jail guards. The Guardian. 19 June 2009
  73. ^ UN calls for release of Suu Kyi, The Age, 24 May 2009
  74. ^ Western outcry over Suu Kyi case, BBC News Online, 18 May 2009
  75. ^ SAfrica urges immediate Aung San Suu Kyi release, AFP at IC Publications, 22 May 2009
  76. ^ Asian leaders call for release of Aung San Suu Kyi, Radio Australia, 15 May 2009
  77. ^ Asian leaders condemn Burma trial, BBC News Online, 19 May 2009
  78. ^ Myanmar protests ASEAN alternate chairman statement on Aung San Suu Kyi, Xinhua, 24 May 2009
  79. ^ Burma lashes out at Thailand over Suu Kyi, Bangkok Post, 25 May 2009
  80. ^ Free Burma's Political Prisoners Now! Campaign.
  81. ^ Horn, Robert (5 July 2009). Ban Ki-Moon Leaves Burma Disappointed. Time.
  82. ^ Burma court finds Suu Kyi guilty. BBC News. 11 August 2009.
  83. ^ "Senator wins release of US prisoner in Myanmar", Associated Press, 15 August 2009, 
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  88. ^
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  92. ^
  93. ^ Dialogs with government officials and Foreign Diplomats
  94. ^ Join her!
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  96. ^ a b US House honours Burma's Suu Kyi BBC News, 18 December 2007.
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  98. ^ Japan calls for Suu Kyi release. BBC News Online. 24 June 2003
  99. ^ Leaders demand Suu Kyi's release 15 May 2007.
  100. ^ Schor, Elana (25 April 2008). Burmese detainee receives US honour. The Guardian.
  101. ^ Burma's cyclone death toll soars. BBC News Online. 6 May 2008.
  102. ^ U.S., Indonesia call for Suu Kyi's release. Mizzima. 9 June 2009
  103. ^ Burma lashes out at Thailand over Suu Kyi. Bangkok Post. 25 May 2009
  104. ^ Philippine Daily Inquirer. 27 January 2008.
  105. ^ Myanmar urged to release peace activist Suu Kyi. Gulfnews. 30 May 2007.
  106. ^ S'pore disappointed with extension of Aung San Suu Kyi's detention. Channel News Asia. 27 May 2009
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  111. ^ UN Secretary Repeats Call for Release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi 27 May 2007.
  112. ^ UN General Assembly condemns Myanmar. Taipei Times. 26 December 2008
  113. ^ Myanmar breaks own law holding Suu Kyi: UN panel. Daily Times of Pakistan. 25 March 2009
  114. ^ RI woos India, China over Suu Kyi. Jakarta Post. 13 June 2009
  115. ^ Thai PM says West uses Mynamar. 25 August 2008
  116. ^ Vietnam supports Myanmar's efforts for reconciliation
  117. ^ Vietnam: Suu Kyi verdict ‘internal’ matter for Myanmar
  118. ^ Nobel Committee press release.
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  126. ^ Burma Lawyers' Council characterizes Declarations as Landmark.
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  128. ^ Bommersvik Declaration II, National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma.
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  131. ^ It’s an Honour: Companion of the Order of Australia Australian Government
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  134. ^ "Honorary Graduates of Memorial University of Newfoundland" (PDF). 4 June 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  135. ^ "Recipients of the Four Freedoms Award". Retrieved 24 December 2008. 
  136. ^ Burma's democratic heroine named honorary Canadian Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 17 October 2007
  137. ^ Aung Sang Suu Kyi Honorary President London School of Economics Studies
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  141. ^ Aung San Suu Kyi Awarded Freedom of Glasgow, Burma Campaign, 5 March 2009
  142. ^ Suu Kyi wins Gandhi Peace Award in South Africa The Times of India, 22 July 2009
  143. ^ University of Ulster Graduation Ceremonies - Summer 2009
  144. ^ Ulster Honours Burmese Democracy Leader Aung San Suu Kyi University of Ulster, June 2009
  145. ^ Cowley, Jason (2006-05-22). "Heroes of our time — the top 50". New Statesman. Retrieved 2006-05-22. 
  146. ^ Bono speaking about Aung San Suu Kyi.
  147. ^ Walk On. 26 June 2009.
  148. ^
  149. ^ (


  • Miller, J. E. (2001). Who's who in contemporary women's writing. Routledge.
  • Reid, R., Grosberg, M. (2005). Myanmar (Burma). Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1740596954.
  • Stewart, Whitney (1997). Aung San Suu Kyi: fearless voice of Burma. Twenty-First Century Books. ISBN 978-0822549314.

Further reading

  • Aung San Suu Kyi (Modern Peacemakers) (2007) by Judy L. Hasday, ISBN 978-0791094358
  • The Lady: Aung San Suu Kyi: Nobel Laureate and Burma's Prisoner (2002) by Barbara Victor, ISBN 978-0571211777, or 1998 hardcover: ISBN 978-0571199440
  • Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi (2007) by Justin Wintle, ISBN 978-0091796815
  • Tyrants: The World's 20 Worst Living Dictators (2006) by David Wallechinsky, ISBN 978-0060590048
  • Aung San Suu Kyi (Trailblazers of the Modern World) (2004) by William Thomas, ISBN 978-0836852639
  • No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs (2002) by Naomi Klein ISBN 978-0312421434
  • Mental culture in Burmese crisis politics: Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (ILCAA Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa Monograph Series) (1999) by Gustaaf Houtman, ISBN 978-4872977486
  • Hidden Agendas (1998) by John Pilger, ISBN 978-0099741510
  • Aung San Suu Kyi: Standing Up for Democracy in Burma (Women Changing the World) (1998) by Bettina Ling ISBN 978-1558611979
  • Aung San Suu Kyi: Fearless Voice of Burma (Newsmakers Biographies Series) (1997) by Whitney Stewart, ISBN 978-0822549314
  • Prisoner for Peace: Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma's Struggle for Democracy (Champions of Freedom Series) (1994) by John Parenteau, ISBN 978-1883846053
  • Des femmes prix Nobel de Marie Curie à Aung San Suu Kyi, 1903-1991 (1992) by Charlotte Kerner, Nicole Casanova, Gidske Anderson, ISBN 978-2721004277
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, towards a new freedom (1998) by Chin Geok Ang ISBN 978-9814024303
  • Aung San Suu Kyi's struggle: Its principles and strategy (1997) by Mikio Oishi ISBN 978-9839861068
  • Finding George Orwell in Burma (2004) by Emma Larkin ISBN 0143037110
  • Character Is Destiny: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember (2005) by John McCain, Mark Salter. Random House ISBN 978-1400064120
  • The Political Thought of Aung San Suu Kyi by Josef Siverstein (1996)

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Party Created
General Secretary of the National League for Democracy
27 September 1988 – present
Succeeded by
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mikhail Gorbachev
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Succeeded by
Rigoberta Menchú


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

File:Aung San Suu Kyi.jpg
Concepts such as truth, justice and compassion cannot be dismissed as trite when these are often the only bulwarks which stand against ruthless power.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (born 19 June 1945) is a non-violent pro-democracy social activist of Myanmar; Winner of the 1990 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.



It would be difficult to dispel ignorance unless there is freedom to pursue the truth unfettered by fear.
The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development.
Please use your liberty to promote ours.
We have faith in the power to change what needs to be changed but we are under no illusion that the transition from dictatorship to liberal democracy will be easy, or that democratic government will mean the end of all our problems.
  • Revered monks and people! This public rally is aimed at informing the whole world of the will of the people... Our purpose is to show that the entire people entertain the keenest desire for a multiparty democratic system of government.
    • First public speech (26 August 1988)

Freedom from Fear (1991)

Acceptance message for the 1990 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought (July 1991)
  • It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.
  • It would be difficult to dispel ignorance unless there is freedom to pursue the truth unfettered by fear. With so close a relationship between fear and corruption it is little wonder that in any society where fear is rife corruption in all forms becomes deeply entrenched.
  • The effort necessary to remain uncorrupted in an environment where fear is an integral part of everyday existence is not immediately apparent to those fortunate enough to live in states governed by the rule of law. Just laws do not merely prevent corruption by meting out impartial punishment to offenders. They also help to create a society in which people can fulfil the basic requirements necessary for the preservation of human dignity without recourse to corrupt practices. Where there are no such laws, the burden of upholding the principles of justice and common decency falls on the ordinary people. It is the cumulative effect on their sustained effort and steady endurance which will change a nation where reason and conscience are warped by fear into one where legal rules exist to promote man's desire for harmony and justice while restraining the less desirable destructive traits in his nature.
  • In an age when immense technological advances have created lethal weapons which could be, and are, used by the powerful and the unprincipled to dominate the weak and the helpless, there is a compelling need for a closer relationship between politics and ethics at both the national and international levels. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations proclaims that 'every individual and every organ of society' should strive to promote the basic rights and freedoms to which all human beings regardless of race, nationality or religion are entitled. But as long as there are governments whose authority is founded on coercion rather than on the mandate of the people, and interest groups which place short-term profits above long-term peace and prosperity, concerted international action to protect and promote human rights will remain at best a partially realized struggle.
  • The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution of the spirit, the forces which produced the iniquities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance and fear.
  • Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.
  • Gandhi, that great apostle of non-violence, and Aung San, the founder of a national army, were very different personalities, but as there is an inevitable sameness about the challenges of authoritarian rule anywhere at any time, so there is a similarity in the intrinsic qualities of those who rise up to meet the challenge.
  • Fearlessness may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavour, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one's actions, courage that could be described as "grace under pressure" — grace which is renewed repeatedly in the face of harsh, unremitting pressure.
  • Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.
  • The wellspring of courage and endurance in the face of unbridled power is generally a firm belief in the sanctity of ethical principles combined with a historical sense that despite all setbacks the condition of man is set on an ultimate course for both spiritual and material advancement. It is his capacity for self-improvement and self-redemption which most distinguishes man from the mere brute. At the root of human responsibility is the concept of perfection, the urge to achieve it, the intelligence to find a path towards it, and the will to follow that path if not to the end at least the distance needed to rise above individual limitations and environmental impediments. It is man's vision of a world fit for rational, civilized humanity which leads him to dare and to suffer to build societies free from want and fear. Concepts such as truth, justice and compassion cannot be dismissed as trite when these are often the only bulwarks which stand against ruthless power.

Please Use Your Liberty to Promote Ours (1997)

"Please Use Your Liberty to Promote Ours" in the International Herald Tribune (4 February 1997)
  • Those of us who decided to work for democracy in Burma made our choice in the conviction that the danger of standing up for basic human rights in a repressive society was preferable to the safety of a quiescent life in servitude. Ours is a nonviolent movement that depends on faith in the human predilection for fair play and compassion.
    Some would insist that man is primarily an economic animal interested only in his material well-being. This is too narrow a view of a species which has produced numberless brave men and women who are prepared to undergo relentless persecution to uphold deeply held beliefs and principles. It is my pride and inspiration that such men and women exist in my country today.
  • We have faith in the power to change what needs to be changed but we are under no illusion that the transition from dictatorship to liberal democracy will be easy, or that democratic government will mean the end of all our problems. We know that our greatest challenges lie ahead of us and that our struggle to establish a stable, democratic society will continue beyond our own life span.
    But we know that we are not alone. The cause of liberty and justice finds sympathetic responses around the world. Thinking and feeling people everywhere, regardless of color or creed, understand the deeply rooted human need for a meaningful existence that goes beyond the mere gratification of material desires. Those fortunate enough to live in societies where they are entitled to full political rights can reach out to help their less fortunate brethren in other areas of our troubled planet.
  • Part of our struggle is to make the international community understand that we are a poor country not because there is an insufficiency of resources and investment, but because we are deprived of the basic institutions and practices that make for good government.
  • Investment that only goes to enrich an already wealthy elite bent on monopolizing both economic and political power cannot contribute toward égalité and justice — the foundation stones for a sound democracy.
    I would therefore like to call upon those who have an interest in expanding their capacity for promoting intellectual freedom and humanitarian ideals to take a principled stand against companies that are doing business with the Burmese military regime. Please use your liberty to promote ours.

Quotes about Aung San Suu Kyi

Tyranny does not crumble by itself. Freedom must be demanded and defended, by those who have been denied it and by those who are already free.
  • When the Burmese government tries to blame the victims for the crime, and say that Aung San Suu Kyi and her party are responsible for their own repression, I can only reply that much the same was once said about Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Vaclav Havel.
    The world is not fooled.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi serves as a reminder to us all that the commitment to nonviolence against aggressive violence, although deflected, cannot be ignored.
    • Oscar Arias Former President of Costa Rica Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 1987
  • She's my hero.
  • What you've got they can't deny it. Can't sell it, can't buy it. Walk on, walk on. Stay safe tonight.
    • Bono in "Walk On", a song dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi
  • As a tireless champion of human rights and democracy in Burma, Suu Kyi inspires countless people around the world who strive for peace, justice and freedom.
    In the face of great hardship she has never wavered in her commitment to peaceful change.
  • Your determination and courage continue to inspire friends of freedom around the world.
    Like your courageous father, you symbolize the authentic aspirations of the Burmese people. History is on the side of freedom throughout the world and I remain confident that your cause will prevail.
  • Any person in any country who believes in the power of good, anyone who believes in justice, will stand by Aung San Suu Kyi. Because Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the non-violent, compassionate leaders of our time.
  • Let the people decide, I've got nothing to hide, I'vve done nothing wrong, So why've I been here so long?
    • Damien Rice in "Unplayed Piano", a song dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi
  • With her courage and her high ideals, Aung San Suu Kyi brings out something of the best in us. We feel we need precisely her sort of person in order to retain our faith in the future.
    That is what gives her such power as a symbol, and that is why any ill-treatment of her feels like a violation of what we have most at heart.
  • Suu Kyi's struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression.
    In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means.
    • The Norwegian Nobel Committee (1991)
  • In physical stature she is petite and elegant, but in moral stature she is a giant. Big men are scared of her. Armed to the teeth and they still run scared.
  • We wish to use this opportunity, on the occasion of Aung San Suu Kyi's 60th birthday, to reaffirm our solidarity with the people of Burma and their legitimate struggle for democracy, human rights and civilian rule.
    Our sister Laureate has spent almost 15 years under house arrest. Her determination and courage inspire us. We offer to her our heartfelt congratulations on this auspicious day.
    Many of us have witnessed sweeping political changes in our own countries. We know that change will come to Burma, too. The illegal military junta that rules through force and fear will yield to the power of justice. The people of Burma will control their destiny again. But we also know from experience that tyranny does not crumble by itself. Freedom must be demanded and defended, by those who have been denied it and by those who are already free.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Aung San Suu Kyi
Born June 19, 1945 (1945-06-19) (age 65)
Yangon, Myanmar
Residence Yangon
Known for Leader of the National League for Democracy, Nobel Peace Prize recipeient.
Religion Buddhist

Aung San Suu Kyi (Burmese language: အောင္‌ဆန္‌းစုက္ရည or [[File:]]); born June 19, 1945 in Yangon, Burma, is a woman who tries to bring democracy to her country. She is the leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma and a famous prisoner. She uses non-violence to make Burma a USA, Israel friendly country. Suu Kyi won the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. In 1992, she was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru peace prize by India for her culture of personality. In the 1990 general election in Burma, Suu Kyi's political party won, so she should have become Prime Minister of Burma. The military did not let her party, the National League for Democracy join the government. They arrested her instead, and forced her to stay in her house and not have any visitors. In November 2010, they let her go.

She is sometimes called Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; Daw is not part of her name, but a title for older women. This name shows respect for her.[1]


Personal life

Aung San Suu Kyi was the third child in her family. Her name "Aung San" comes from her father, who is also named Aung San; "Kyi" comes from her mother; and "Suu" comes from her grandmother.[2]

Her father helped to make Burma independent from the United Kingdom in 1947. He was killed in the same year. She grew up with her mother, Khin Kyi, and two brothers, Aung San Lin and Aung San Oo in Yangon. Her favourite brother Aung San Lin drowned in a pool accident when Suu Kyi was eight.[2] Her other brother lives in San Diego, California and is an American citizen.[2]

Suu Kyi went to Catholic schools for much of her childhood in Burma. She learned English in school.

Khin Kyi became famous as a politician. She was became the Burmese ambassador to India in 1960. Aung San Suu Kyi went to college in India at the Lady Shri Ram College for Women in New Delhi.[3]

She continued her education at St Hugh's College, Oxford, and learned about philosophy, politics, and economics. She also went to the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in the 1980s.

She also worked for the government. In 1972, Aung San Suu Kyi married Michael Aris, a professor of Tibetan culture who lived in Bhutan. In 1973, she gave birth to her first son, Alexander, in London; and in 1977 she had her second son, Kim.

Political beginnings

Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988 to take care of her sick mother. That year, the long-time leader of the socialist ruling party, General Ne Win, stopped being a politician. Many Burmese people wanted a democracy after the military ruled the country for several years.

She admired Mohandas Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence.[4][5] She was also inspired by Buddhism.[6]. Aung San Suu Kyi tried to work for democracy and helped make the National League for Democracy on September 27, 1988.

She was offered freedom if she left the country, but she refused.

House arrest and release

She was arrested in 1989 and placed in prison in 1990. This was after an election in which her party, then National League for Democracy, won, but was not allowed to be in charge of the country. Between 1990 and 2010, she was always in prison or at her home, which is called house arrest. Burma released her in November 2010. This made many countries and groups around the world very happy.[7] She was then arrested for violating her house arrest.




  • Tibetan Studies in Honour of Hugh Richardson. Edited by Michael Aris and Aung San Suu Kyi. (1979). Vikas Publishing house, New Delhi.

Mentioned in


  • Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize (1990)
  • Sakharov Prize (1991)
  • Nobel Peace Prize (1991)
  • Prize For Freedom of the Liberal International (1995)
  • Freedom of City of Dublin, Republic of Ireland (1999)
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom (2000)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Award (1993)
  • Olof Palme Prize
  • Companion of the Order of Australia (Australia's Highest Civil Honour)
  • UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance & Non-Violence (2002)
  • Congressional Gold Medal (2008)[8]
  • Honorary Canadian citizenship, (2007)
  • Honorary President of the LSESU
  • Doctorate of Letters honoris causa from Colgate University[9]


This article is based on the English Wikipedia article on Aung San Suu Kyi[10]

  1. "Myanmar Family Roles and Social Relationships". Government of Myanmar. Retrieved 2007-09-24. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Nobel Bio Details. Quote: 1945: June 19. Aung San Suu Kyi born in Yangon, third child in family. "Aung San" for father, "Kyi" for mother, "Suu" for grandmother, also day of week of birth. Favourite brother is to drown tragically at an early age. The older brother, will settle in San Diego, California, becoming United States citizen.
  3. "Aung San Suu Kyi — Biography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2006. 
  4. "Profile: Aung San Suu Kyi". BBC News Online. 25 May 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  5. "The Nobel Peace Prize 1991 Presentation Speech". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2007-05-26. 
  6. Mental culture in Burmese crisis politics: Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (ILCAA Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa Monograph Series) (1999) by Gustaaf Houtman, ISBN 978-4872977486]
  7. "Celebrations as Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi released". BBC News Online. 13 November 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  8. US Senate honours Burma's Suu Kyi - BBC News 2008-04-25
  9. "CBS News Journalist Lesley Stahl to Deliver Colgate's 2008 Commencement Address". 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  10. Aung San Suu Kyi, dated 2008-05-18

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