Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi
အောင်ဆန်းစုကြည်[1]
Suu Kyi in 2011
General Secretary of the National League for Democracy
Incumbent
Assumed office
1988
Personal details
Born 19 June 1945 (1945-06-19) (age 66)
Rangoon, British Burma
Political party National League for Democracy
Spouse(s) Michael Aris (1972–1999)
Children Alexander
Kim
Alma mater University of Delhi
(B.A. Politics, 1964)
St Hugh's College, Oxford
(B.A. Philosophy, Politics and Economics, 1969)
University of London
(Ph.D, 1985)
Occupation politician, activist
Religion Theravada Buddhism
Military service
Awards Rafto Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
Jawaharlal Nehru Award
International Simón Bolívar Prize
Olof Palme Prize

Aung San Suu Kyi, AC (Burmese: [àuɴ sʰáɴ sṵ tɕì]; born June 19, 1945) is a Burmese opposition politician and the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy. In the 1990 general election, her National League for Democracy party won 59% of the national votes and 81% (392 of 485) of the seats in Parliament.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] She had, however, already been detained under house arrest before the elections. She remained under house arrest in Burma for almost 15 of the 21 years from 20 July 1989 until her most recent release on 13 November 2010.[9]

Suu Kyi received 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 and the International Simón Bolívar Prize from the government of Venezuela. In 2007, the Government of Canada made her an honorary citizen of that country,[10] one of only five people ever to receive the honor.[11] In 2011, she was awarded the Wallenberg Medal.[12]

Suu Kyi is the third child and only daughter of Aung San, considered to be the father of modern-day Burma.

Contents

Name

Aung San Suu Kyi derives her name from three relatives: "Aung San" from her father, "Suu" from her paternal grandmother and "Kyi" from her mother Khin Kyi.[13] She is frequently called Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Daw is not part of her name, but is an honorific, similar to madame, for older, revered women, literally meaning "aunt."[14] She is also often referred to as Daw Suu by the Burmese (or Amay Suu, lit. "Mother Suu," by some followers),[15][16] or "Aunty Suu", and as Dr. Suu Kyi,[17] Ms. Suu Kyi, or Mrs. Suu Kyi by the foreign media. However, like other Burmese, she has no surname (see Burmese names). The pronunciation of her name is approximated as "Awn Sahn Sue Chee," although the "ch" in "Chee" is unaspirated.[18]

Personal life

Burma (Myanmar)

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Aung San Suu Kyi was born in Rangoon (now named Yangon).[19] Her father, Aung San, founded the modern Burmese army and negotiated Burma's independence from the British Empire 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. Aung San Lin died at age eight, when he drowned in an ornamental lake on the grounds of the house.[13] Her elder brother emigrated to San Diego, California, becoming a United States citizen.[13] After Aung San Lin's death, the family moved to a house by Inya Lake where Suu Kyi met people of very different backgrounds, political views and religions.[20] She was educated in Methodist English High School (now Basic Education High School No. 1 Dagon) for much of her childhood in Burma, where she was noted as having a talent for learning languages.[21] She is a Theravada Buddhist.

Suu Kyi's mother, 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,she studied in the Convent of Jesus and Mary School, New Delhi and graduated from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi with a degree in politics in 1964.[22][23] 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 UN for three years, primarily on budget matters, writing daily to her future husband, Dr. Michael Aris.[24] In 1972, Aung San Suu Kyi married Aris, a scholar of Tibetan culture, living abroad in Bhutan.[22] The following year she gave birth to their first son, Alexander Aris, in London; their second son, Kim, was born in 1977. Subsequently, she earned a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 1985. She was elected as an Honorary Fellow in 1990.[22] 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' 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.[22] 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 military junta's assurance that she could return.[25]

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 was also separated from her children, who live in the United Kingdom, but starting in 2011, they have visited her in Burma.[26]

On 2 May 2008, after Cyclone Nargis hit Burma, Suu Kyi lost the roof of her house and lived in virtual darkness after losing electricity in her dilapidated lakeside residence. She used candles at night as she was not provided any generator set.[27] Plans to renovate and repair the house were announced in August 2009.[28] Suu Kyi was released from house arrest on 13 November 2010.[29]

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 military leader of Burma and head of the ruling party, General Ne Win, stepped down. This led to mass demonstrations for democracy on 8 August 1988 (8–8–88, a day seen as auspicious), which were violently suppressed in what came to be known as the 8888 Uprising. 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.[22] However in September, a new military junta took power.

Influenced[30] by both Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence[31][32] and by more specifically Buddhist concepts,[33] Aung San Suu Kyi entered politics to work for democratization, helped found the National League for Democracy on 27 September 1988,[34] 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."[35]

Political career

1990 general election

In 1990, the military junta called a general election, in which the National League for Democracy (NLD) received 59% of the votes, guaranteeing NLD 80% of the parliament seats. Some claim that Aung San Suu Kyi would have assumed the office of Prime Minister;[36] in fact, however, as she wasn't permitted, she did not stand as a candidate in the elections (although being a MP isn't a strict prerequisite for becoming PM in most parliamentary systems). 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.[37] Around this time, Suu Kyi chose non-violence as an expedient political tactic.[38]

1996 attack

On 9 November 1996, the motorcade that she was traveling in with other National League for Democracy leaders Tin Oo and U Kyi Maung, was attacked in Rangoon.

About 200 men swooped on the motorcade, wielding metal chains, metal batons, stones and other weapons. The car that Aung San Suu Kyi was in had its rear window smashed, and the car with Tin Oo and U Kyi Maung had its rear window and two backdoor windows shattered. It is believed the offenders were members of the Union Solidarity Development Association (USDA) who were allegedly paid 500 kyats (USD $5) each to participate. The NLD lodged an official complaint with the police, and according to reports the government launched an investigation, but no action was taken. (Amnesty International 120297)[39]

House arrest

Aung San Suu Kyi has been placed under house arrest on numerous occasions since she began her political career, totalling 15 of the past 21 years.[40] During these periods, she had been prevented from meeting her party supporters and international visitors. 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.[41] She would also occupy her time by playing the piano and was occasionally allowed visits from foreign diplomats as well as her personal doctor.[42]

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.[43] 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.[22] On several occasions during Suu Kyi's house arrest, she has had periods of poor health and as a result has been hospitalized.[44]

Suu Kyi continued to be imprisoned under the 1975 State Protection Act (Article 10 b), which grants the government the power to imprison people for up to five years without a trial,[45] 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.[46] She has appealed against her detention.[47] Many nations and figures have continued to call for her release and that of 2,100 other political prisoners in the country.[48][49] On 12 November 2010, days after the junta-backed party – Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) – won the elections[50] which were conducted after a gap of almost 20 years, the junta finally agreed to sign orders allowing Suu Kyi's release. Her house arrest term came to an end on 13 November 2010.

UN involvement

The UN has attempted to facilitate dialogue between the junta and Suu Kyi.[51] On 6 May 2002, following secret confidence-building negotiations led by the UN, 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.[52] 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,[53] 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.[54] 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.[55] He also met with Suu Kyi later the same year.[56] On 2 October 2007 Gambari returned to talk to her again after seeing Than Shwe and other members of the senior leadership in Naypyidaw.[57] 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.[58]

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 had thus far ignored this request.[59]

Such claims were rejected by Brig-General Khin Yi, Chief of Myanmar Police Force (MPF). On 18 January 2007, the state-run paper 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).[60]

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 UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari ended his second visit to Burma. The NLD confirmed that it had received the invitation to hold talks with Suu Kyi.[61] However, the process delivered few concrete results.

On 3 July 2009, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon went to Burma to pressure the junta into releasing Suu Kyi and to institute 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."[62]

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.[51]
  • 10 July 1995: Released from house arrest.[13]
  • 23 September 2000: Placed under house arrest.[40]
  • 6 May 2002: Released after 19 months.[40]
  • 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.[63]
  • 25 May 2007: House arrest extended by one year despite a direct appeal from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to General Than Shwe.[64]
  • 24 October 2007: Reached 12 years under house arrest, solidarity protests held at 12 cities around the world.[65]
  • 27 May 2008: House arrest extended for another year, which is illegal under both international law and Burma's own law.[66]
  • 11 August 2009: House arrest extended for 18 more months because of "violation" arising from the May 2009 trespass incident.
  • 13 November 2010: Released from house arrest.[67]

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.[68]

On 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.[69] It was reported that she had been moved the following day to Insein Prison (where she had been detained in 2003),[70][71][72][73] but meetings with UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari near her Rangoon home on 30 September and 2 October established that she remained under house arrest.[74][75]

2009 trespass incident

U.S. Senator Jim Webb visiting Suu Kyi in 2009. Webb negotiated the release of John Yettaw, the man who trespassed in Suu Kyi's home, resulting in her arrest and conviction with three years' hard labor.

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.[76] He had attempted to make a similar trip two years earlier, but for unknown reasons was turned away.[77] He later claimed at trial that he was motivated by a divine vision requiring him to notify her of an impending terrorist assassination attempt.[78] 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 have faced up to five years confinement for the intrusion.[79] The trial of Suu Kyi and her two maids began on 18 May and a small number of protesters gathered outside.[80][81] Diplomats and journalists were barred from attending the trial; however, on one occasion, several diplomats from Russia, Thailand and Singapore and journalists were allowed to meet Suu Kyi.[82] The prosecution had originally planned to call 22 witnesses.[83] It also accused John Yettaw of embarrassing the country.[84] During the ongoing defence case, Suu Kyi said she was innocent. The defence was allowed to call only one witness (out of four), while the prosecution was permitted to call 14 witnesses. The court rejected two character witnesses, NLD members Tin Oo and Win Tin, and permitted the defense to call only a legal expert.[85] According to one unconfirmed report, the junta was planning to, once again, place her in detention, this time in a military base outside the city.[86] In a separate trial, Yettaw said he swam to Suu Kyi's house to warn her that her life was "in danger".[87] The national police chief later confirmed that Yettaw was the "main culprit" in the case filed against Suu Kyi.[88] According to aides, Suu Kyi spent her 64th birthday in jail sharing biryani rice and chocolate cake with her guards.[89]

Her arrest and subsequent trial received worldwide condemnation by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Security Council,[90] Western governments,[91] South Africa,[92] Japan[93] and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Burma is a member.[94] The Burmese government strongly condemned the statement, as it created an "unsound tradition"[95] and criticised Thailand for meddling in its internal affairs.[96] 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".[84] Ban responded to an international campaign[97] by flying to Burma to negotiate, but Than Shwe rejected all of his requests.[98]

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 18 months.[99] 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.[100] Following the verdict of the trial, lawyers of Suu Kyi said they would appeal against the 18-month sentence.[101] 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.[102] 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, it also said the provisions of the 1975 security law, under which she has been kept under house arrest, remained in force. The verdict effectively meant that she would be unable to participate in the 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.[103]

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

It was announced prior to the Burmese general election that Aung San Suu Kyi may be released "so she can organize her party,"[104] However, Suu Kyi was not allowed to run.[105] On 1 October 2010 the government announced that she would be released on 13 November 2010.[106]

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 or encouraging the Burmese towards democratic reform. U.S. President Barack Obama personally advocated for the release of all political prisoners, especially Aung San Suu Kyi, during the US-ASEAN Summit of 2009.[107]

Democratic governments[which?] hoped that successful general elections would be an optimistic indicator of the Burmese governments sincerity towards eventual democracy.[108] The Hatoyama government which spent 2.82 billion yen in 2008, has promised more Japanese foreign aid to encourage Burma to release Aung San Suu Kyi in time for the elections; and to continue moving towards democracy and the rule of law.[108][109]

In a personal letter to Suu Kyi, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown cautioned the Burmese government of the potential consequences of rigging elections as "condemning Burma to more years of diplomatic isolation and economic stagnation".[110]

The Burmese government has been granting Suu Kyi varying degrees of freedom throughout late 2009, in response to international pressure. She has met with many heads of state, and opened a dialog with labor minister Aung Kyi (not to be confused with Aung San Suu Kyi).[111]

Suu Kyi was allowed to meet with senior members of her NLD party at the State House,[112] however these meeting took place under close supervision.

2010 release

On the evening of 13 November 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest.[113] This was the date her detention had been set to expire according to a court ruling in August 2009[114] and came six days after a widely criticized general election. She appeared in front of a crowd of her supporters, who rushed to her house in Rangoon when nearby barricades were removed by the security forces. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate had been detained for 15 of the past 21 years.[115] The government newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported the release positively,[116] saying she had been granted a pardon after serving her sentence "in good conduct".[117] The New York Times suggested that the military government may have released Suu Kyi because it felt it was in a confident position to control her supporters after the election.[116] The role that Aung San Suu Kyi will play in the future of democracy in Burma remains a subject of much debate.

Her son Kim Aris was granted a visa in November 2010 to see his mother, Aung San Suu Kyi, shortly after her release, for the first time in 10 years.[118] He visited again in July 5, 2011, to accompany her on a trip to Bagan, her first trip outside Yangon since 2003.[119] Her son visited again in August 8, 2011, to accompany her on a trip to Pegu, her second trip.[120]

Discussions were held between Suu Kyi and the Burmese government during 2011, which led to a number of official gestures to meet her demands. In October, around a tenth of Burma's political prisoners were freed in an amnesty and trade unions were legalised.[121][122]

In November 2011, following a meeting of its leaders, the NLD announced its intention to re-register as a political party in order contend 48 by-elections necessitated by the promotion of parliamentarians to ministerial rank.[123] Following the decision, Suu Kyi held a telephone conference with Barack Obama, in which it was agreed that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton would make a visit to Burma, a move received with caution by Burma's ally China.[124]

International support

May 2009 demonstration for Aung San Suu Kyi in Rome, Italy
The 2009 celebration of Aung San Suu Kyi's birthday in Dublin, Ireland

Aung San Suu Kyi has received vocal support from Western nations in Europe,[125] Australia[125] and North[126] and South America, as well as India,[4] Israel,[127] Japan[128] and South Korea.[129] 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.[130] On 6 May 2008, President George Bush signed legislation awarding Suu Kyi the Congressional Gold Medal.[131] She is the first recipient in American history to receive the prize while imprisoned. More recently, there has been growing criticism of her detention by Burma's neighbours in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, particularly from Indonesia,[132] Thailand,[133] the Philippines[134][135] and Singapore.[136] At one point Malaysia warned Burma that it faced expulsion from ASEAN as a result of the detention of Suu Kyi.[137] Other nations including South Africa,[138] Bangladesh[139] and the Maldives[140] 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.[141] 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.[142] Other nations, such as China and Russia, are less critical of the regime and prefer to cooperate only on economic matters.[143] Indonesia has urged China to push Burma for reforms.[144] 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."[145] 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, and in some cities they welcomed Amnesty International volunteers on stage again during the performance of the song, carrying lanterns in her tribute. In 2005, Irish singer songwriter Damien Rice released the single Unplayed Piano in support of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Aung San Suu Kyi greeting supporters from Bago State in 2011.

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.[146] The state-run Việt 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.[147]

Nobel Peace Prize

Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. The decision of the Nobel Committee mentions:[148]

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) called for the rulers of Burma to release Suu Kyi in order to "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."[51] Some of the money she received as part of the award helps fund London-based charity Prospect Burma, which provides higher education grants to Burmese students.[149]

Organizations

  • Freedom Now, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization, was retained in 2006 by a distant member of her family living in exile to help secure Aung San Suu Kyi's release from house arrest. The organization 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.[150]
  • In 2003, 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.[151]
  • In June of each year, the U.S. 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.[152]
  • 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.[153]
  • 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 had 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.[154] In the proposed list of qualified women Suu Kyi is recognised by Equality Now as the Prime Minister-Elect of Burma.[3]
  • The UN' 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.[155]
  • Aung San Suu Kyi is an honorary member of The Elders, a group of eminent global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela.[156] Her ongoing detention means that she is unable to take an active role in the group, so The Elders place an empty chair for her at their meetings.[157] The Elders have consistently called for the release of all political prisoners in Burma.[158]
  • In 2008, Burma’s devoted human rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize, was welcomed as Club of Madrid Honorary Member.
  • In 2011 Aung San Suu Kyi is the Guest Director of the 45th Brighton Festival
  • In June 2011, the BBC announced that Aung San Suu Kyi was to deliver the 2011 Reith Lectures. The BBC covertly recorded two lectures with Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, which were then smuggled out of the country and brought back to London.[159] The lectures will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service on June 28, 2011 and July 5, 2011.

Books

Authored

Edited

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

Awards

Popular media

  • She was portrayed by Adelle Lutz in John Boorman's 1995 motion picture Beyond Rangoon, which takes place during the 8888 Uprising.
  • Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock composed the piece "Aung San Suu Kyi" in 1997 in her honor, which appeared on his 1+1 album with saxophonist Wayne Shorter.
  • 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.[181]
  • The 2000 song "Walk On" by U2 is about her, according to Bono.[182] Suu Kyi was regularly mentioned as the song was played during 2001's Elevation Tour. During the 2009 leg of the 360° Tour, the band invited fans to wear masks of Suu Kyi's face (printable from their website) during the song "Walk On".[183]
  • 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.[184]
  • She was voted as number 34 among "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures 2010" by the British magazine New Statesman.[185]
  • "Unplayed Piano" by Damien Rice was released in Ireland on 17 June 2005 and in the UK on 20 June 2005 to coincide with Aung San Suu Kyi's 60th birthday. The song was written for Suu Kyi following a visit by Damien to Burma in July 2004. Proceeds from the sale of the single go to the Burma Campaign UK. Rice and Hannigan recorded a charity song, campaigning for her release, called "Unplayed Piano", which they performed at the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo.
  • Actress Michelle Yeoh is portraying Aung San Suu Kyi in the 2011 film The Lady, directed by Luc Besson.

See also

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Footnotes

  1. ^ Burmese: အောင်ဆန်းစုကြည်; MLCTS: aung hcan: cu. krany
  2. ^ Aung San Suu Kyi should lead Burma, Pravda Online. 25 September 2007
  3. ^ a b The Next United Nations Secretary-General: Time for a Woman. Equality Now.org. November 2005.
  4. ^ a b MPs to Suu Kyi: You are the real PM of Burma. The Times of India. 13 June 2007
  5. ^ Walsh, John. (February 2006). Letters from Burma. Shinawatra International University.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ The Hon. PENNY SHARPE Speech: In 1990, Suu Kyi stood as the National League for Democracy's candidate for Prime Minister in the Burmese general election. The NLD won in a landslide but the military junta refused to hand over power. Page: 52
  8. ^ 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: 21 May 2009 00:48 ETBANGKOK, Thailand
  9. ^ Burma releases Aung San Suu Kyi. BBC News, 13 November 2010.
  10. ^ "Canada makes Myanmar's Suu Kyi an honorary citizen". Reuters. 17 October 2007. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN17350334. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  11. ^ "Update: Mawlana Hazar Imam is made an honorary citizen of Canada". The Ismaili. 19 June 2009. http://www.theismaili.org/cms/732/Update-Mawlana-Hazar-Imam-is-made-an-honorary-citizen-of-Canada. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  12. ^ Recipients of the Wallenberg Medal
  13. ^ a b c d Aung San Suu Kyi – Biography. Nobel Prize Foundation.
  14. ^ "Myanmar Family Roles and Social Relationships". Government of Myanmar. http://www.myanmar.gov.mm/Perspective/persp1997/9-97/fam9-97.htm. Retrieved 24 September 2007. 
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  16. ^ "ဒေါ်အောင်ဆန်းစုကြည်ကို "အမေစု"ဟု အော်ဟစ် နှုတ်ဆက်" (in Burmese). ဧရာဝတီ. 13 November 2010. http://www.irrawaddy.org/bur/index.php/news/2010-11-12-10-25-42/4848-2010-11-13-11-54-29. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  17. ^ "City honours democracy campaigner". BBC. 4 March 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7923425.stm. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  18. ^ Beech, Hannah (29 November 2010). "The Lady Walks Free Again". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2031990,00.html. 
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  20. ^ Stewart (1997), p. 31
  21. ^ Stewart (1997), p. 32
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  75. ^ UN envoy holds key Burmese talks. BBC News Online. 2 October 2007
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Bibliography

  • 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

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Party Created
General Secretary of the National League for Democracy
27 September 1988 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Mikhail Gorbachev
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
1991
Succeeded by
Rigoberta Menchú

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Aung San Suu Kyi — est un nom birman ; les principes des noms et prénoms ne s appliquent pas ; U et Daw sont des titres de respect. Aung San Suu Kyi Nom de naissance Aung San Suu Kyi Naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Aung San Suu Kyi — Suu Kyi mit Anhängern 2011 Aung San Suu Kyi (birmanisch ; [àuɴ sʰáɴ sṵ tɕì]; * 19 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Aung San Suu Kyi — Aung San Suu Kyi …   Wikipedia Español

  • Aung San Suu Kyi —   [ dʒi], birmanische Politikerin, * Rangun 19. 6. 1945, Tochter von Aung San; lebte 1960 88 im Ausland (zunächst in Indien, wo ihre Mutter Botschafterin war, später in den USA, in Bhutan und Großbritannien); wurde nach ihrer Rückkehr zur… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Aung San Suu Kyi — es la figura emblemática de la oposición birmana contra la dictadura militar que ocupa el poder a partir de 1962. Nacida en Rangún, el 19 de junio de 1945, es hija de Aung San, héroe nacional que firmó en 1947 el tratado de independencia con el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Aung San Suu Kyi — (née en 1945) femme politique birmane. Fondatrice de la Ligue nationale pour la démocratie (1988), elle fut détenue en résidence surveillée à Rangoon de 1989 à 1995. Prix Nobel de la paix 1991 …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Aung San Suu Kyi — /owng sahn sooh kee /, n. born 1945, Burmese opposition leader: Nobel peace prize 1991. * * * born June 19, 1945, Rangoon, Burma Opposition leader in Burma (Myanmar). Daughter of nationalist leader Aung San, she studied in Burma and India and at… …   Universalium

  • Aung San Suu Kyi — /ˌaʊŋ san su ˈtʃi/ (say .owng sahn sooh chee) noun Daw, born 1945, Burmese opposition leader; under house arrest 1989–95, 2000–02, 2003–10; awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1991 …   Australian English dictionary

  • Aung San Suu Kyi — biographical name 1945 Burmese human rights activist …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Aung San Suu Kyi — [[t]ˈaʊŋ ˈsɑn ˈsu ˈki[/t]] n. big born 1945, Burmese opposition leader: Nobel peace prize 1990 …   From formal English to slang

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