Biography of Aung San Suu KyiGeneral Knowledge »
Biography of Aung San Suu Kyi – A Leader of the National League
Aung San Suu Kyi was famous as Political Leader (Freedom Fighter) of Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi was born on 19 June 1945 in Yangon (Rangoon), Burma (Myanmar).
Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced as Ong San Soo Chee) is the leading face of the pro – democracy movement and a leader of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the world’s most renowned freedom fighters and advocates of nonviolence.
Born to a Burmese military officer Aung San and Daw Khin Kyi, Aung San followed the footprints of her father and emerged as a central figure of the pro – democracy movement in Myanmar. Active in politics since 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi has spent most of her time under several house arrests and bans and is currently under detention by the military junta.
The venerated leader has won many National and International Awards including Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament in 1990, United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Jawaharlal Nehru Award from India and Rafto Human Rights Prize and was awarded the honorary Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle against the dictatorship in year 1991.
Aung San Suu Kyi Childhood and Education
Aung San Suu Kyi was born on 19 June, 1945 in Rangoon, capital city of Myanmar (then Burma). Her father, Aung San, was the architect of Burma’s independence. Her mother Daw Khin Kyi was working in the External Affairs Ministry and was appointed Myanmar’s ambassador to India in 1960. Aung San Suu Kyi’s father was assassinated when she was barely two years old.
Aung San Suu Kyi completed her basic education at schools in Rangoon and moved to India following her mother’s appointment as Myanmar’s envoy to India in 1960. Aung San Suu Kyi continued her studies in India. Aung San Suu Kyi graduated from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi in 1964. After graduating she went to Oxford University for further studies and completed her BA in philosophy, politics, and economics at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford University in 1967.
In 1969, during her visit to United States for further study, Aung San Suu Kyi met United Nations Secretary General U Thant and joined as the Assistant Secretary, Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions. In 1972, Aung San Suu Kyi worked as the Research Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bhutan.
Same year Aung San Suu Kyi married Dr. Michael Aris, a scholar of Tibetan culture, living in Bhutan. The couple had two children, Alexander and Kim. During 1985 – 86, Aung San Suu Kyi studied at the Center of Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, as a visiting scholar. Aung San Suu Kyi completed her fellowship at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, in 1987.
Aung San Suu Kyi in Politics
In 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Myanmar to nurse her ailing mother and plunged into the nationwide uprising for the establishment of democracy. It all happened following the resignation of General Ne Win on July 23, 1988. Aung San Suu Kyi, in an open letter to the military government asked to establish a rule of the people in Myanmar.
On 8 August, 1988, people, raising pro – democracy slogans assembled at the prominent places of the capital. The event led to a mass slaughter carried out by the ruling junta against the uprising throughout country. The military regime killed over 10,000 demonstrators, including students, women, and children – in a span of months.
In September 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi, in her first political move, joined the National League for Democracy as its secretary – general. The party was pushing for political reforms in the country. Aung San Suu Kyi gave numerous speeches calling for freedom and democracy. On July 20, 1989 Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest in the city of Rangoon.
The same year, Aung San Suu Kyi’s mother, Daw Khin, after a prolonged, illness passed away.
Unable to maintain its grip on power, even during her detention, the “junta” was forced to call for a general election in 1990. Despite being held under house arrest, the NLD went on to win a staggering 82% of the seats in parliament. But, the junta regime refused to recognise the results.
After six years of arrest and confinement Aung San Suu Kyi was released in July 1995. The military always offered her to leave the country and settle abroad but Suu Kyi rejected.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s Release and Re – detention
After her release Aung San Suu Kyi continued the struggle for democracy in Myanmar. This increased her popularity across the world and international political powers were compelled to intervene to resolve the issue. Though the western countries tried to put pressure on the ruling junta by curtailing economic aid, the neighboring countries continued to encourage the commerce.
The military rulers increasingly restricted Aung San Suu Kyi’s movements during 1996. Aung San Suu Kyi was also barred from traveling outside Rangoon and put under house arrest. In May 2002, Aung San Suu Kyi was released and the military government indicated that the release was unconditional and that Suu Kyi was free to pursue her political activities as leader of the NLD.
Aung San Suu Kyi was again arrested and placed behind bars in May 2003 after the Depayin massacre, during which up to 100 of her supporters were beaten to death by the regime’s cronies. Aung San Suu Kyi moved from prison back into house arrest in late 2003 and has been held there ever since.
Death of Michael Aris
On March 27 1999, while Aung San Suu Kyi was in Burma, Michael Aris died of cancer in London. He had petitioned the Burmese authorities to allow him to visit Aung San Suu Kyi one last time, but they had rejected his request. The government always urged Aung San Suu Kyi to join her family abroad, but she knew that she would not be allowed to return.
Aung San Suu Kyi Awards
Aung San Suu Kyi has won numerous international awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament, United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Jawaharlal Nehru Award from India and Rafto Human Rights Prize.
Aung San Suu Kyi Timeline
1945 : Aung San Suu Kyi born in Rangoon.
1947 : General Aung San assassinated. Suu Kyi is two years old.
1948 : The Independent Union of Myanmar is established.
1960 : Daw Khin Kyi appointed Myanmar’s ambassador to India. Suu Kyi accompanies mother to New Delhi.
1960 – 1964 : Aung San Suu Kyi at high school and Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi.
1964 – 1967 : Oxford University, B.A. in philosophy, politics and economics at St. Hugh’s College.
1969 – 1971 : Aung San Suu Kyi goes to New York for study. Postponing studies, Suu Kyi joins U.N. Secretariat as Assistant Secretary.
1972 : January 01 Marries Michael Aris.
1973 : They return to England for birth of Alexander in London.
1974 : Michael assumes appointment at Oxford University.
1977 : Birth of second son, Kim at Oxford.
1984 : Publishes “Aung San”.
1985 : Publishes “Let’s Visit Myanmar” also books on Nepal and Bhutan.
1985 – 1986 : Visiting Scholar, Center of Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University.
1986 : Alexander and Kim take part in traditional Buddhist ceremony of initiation into Monk – Hood.
1988 : Moves her ailing mother to family home on University Avenue in Rangoon.
1989 : Aung San Suu Kyi continues campaign despite harassment, arrests and killings by soldiers.
1990 : Despite detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD wins election with 82% of parliamentary seats. SLORC refuses to recognise results.
1990 : Aung San Suu Kyi granted 1990 Rafto Human Rights Prize.
1991 : European Parliament awards Suu Kyi Sakharov human rights prize.
1991 : Norwegian Nobel Committee announces Suu Kyi as the Winner of 1991 Peace Prize.
1991 : December :”Freedom from Fear” was published.
1992 : Aung San Suu Kyi announces that she will use $1.3 million prize money to establish health and education trust for Burmese people.
1993 : Group of Nobel Peace Laureates, denied entry to Myanmar
1995 : SLORC releases Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest after six years of detention.
1999 : Aung San Suu Kyi’s husband, Michael Aris died of cancer.
2000 : Aung San Suu Kyi was detained again.
2002 : Released after two years.
2003 : Detained ever since.>