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Aung San Suu Kyi

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Aung San Suu Kyi
1st State Counsellor of Myanmar
In office
6 April 2016 – 1 February 2021
PresidentHtin Kyaw
Win Myint
Preceded byThein Sein (Prime Minister, 2011)
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
30 March 2016 – 1 February 2021
PresidentHtin Kyaw
Win Myint
DeputyKyaw Tin
Preceded byWunna Maung Lwin
Minister of the President's Office
In office
30 March 2016 – 1 February 2021
PresidentHtin Kyaw
Win Myint
Preceded byAung Min
Hla Tun
Soe Maung
Soe Thein
Thein Nyunt
President of the National League for Democracy
Assumed office
18 November 2011
Preceded byAung Shwe
Leader of the Opposition
In office
2 May 2012 – 29 January 2016
PresidentThein Sein
Preceded bySai Hla Kyaw
General Secretary of the National League for Democracy
In office
27 September 1988 – 18 November 2011
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Member of the Burmese House of Representatives
for Kawhmu
In office
2 May 2012 – 30 March 2016
Preceded bySoe Tint
Succeeded byVacant
Majority46,73 (71.38%)
Personal details
Born (1945-06-19) 19 June 1945 (age 79)
Rangoon, British Burma
(now Yangon)
Political partyNational League for Democracy
Michael Aris
(m. 1972; died 1999)
Children2, including Alex
ParentsAung San (Father)
Khin Kyi (Mother)
Residence54 University Avenue
Alma materUniversity of Delhi
St Hugh's College, Oxford
University of London
AwardsRafto Prize
Sakharov Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
Jawaharlal Nehru Award
International Simón Bolívar Prize
Olof Palme Prize
Bhagwan Mahavir World Peace
Congressional Gold Medal
WebsiteParty website

Aung San Suu Kyi (born 19 June 1945 in Yangon, Burma) is a human rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and State Counsellor of Myanmar.

Suu Kyi was not able to be president. Instead, she became the State Counsellor of Myanmar.[2] She brought some democracy to her country with nonviolence. She is the leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma and a famous prisoner. She has been under house arrest several times. 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.

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.[3] She is called Amay Suu by the people, meaning Mother Suu.

On 1 February 2021, Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested and removed from power by the military during a coup d'état. The military thought the government changed the results of the November 2020 Myanmar general election.[4] On February 3, Suu Kyi was accused of breaking Myanmar's import laws.[5] On February 16, Myanmar police filed a second criminal charge against her, this time for breaking the country's Natural Disaster Law.[6] There were more charges and in December 2022 she was sentenced to 33 years in prison, later reduced to 27 years.[7]

Personal life[change | change source]

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.[8]

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. One of her brothers, Aung San Lin, drowned when Suu Kyi was eight.[8] Her other brother, Aung San Oo currently lives in San Diego, California and is an American citizen.[8]

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

Khin Kyi, Suu Kyi's mother, became famous as a politician. She 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.[9] Suu Kyi 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 at University of London in the 1980s.

She moved to New York and worked at the United Nations. In 1972, Aung San Suu Kyi married Michael Aris (1946-1999), a professor of Tibetan culture who lived in Bhutan. She had met Aris when they were both students at Oxford. In 1973, she gave birth to her first son, Alexander, in London; and in 1977 she had her second son, Kim.

Political career[change | change source]

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, retired.

She admired Mohandas Gandhi's use of nonviolence.[10][11] She was also inspired by Buddhism.[12] Aung San Suu Kyi worked for democracy and helped make the National League for Democracy on September 27th 1988. Because Suu Kyi was working against the government, she was asked to leave the country, but she did not.

She was arrested in 1989 and placed in prison in 1990. This was after an election which her party, the National League for Democracy, won, but they were not allowed to be in charge of the country. Between 1990 and 2010, she was almost always in her home, which is called house arrest. Burma released her in November 2010. Suu Kyi was going to be released in 2009, but when a man entered her home she was kept on house arrest for another year because she had broken the rules of the house arrest.

After she was released from house arrest, she was elected to be State Counsellor. When she was State Counsellor, Burma had serious problems with the genocide of the Rohingya.

Political belief[change | change source]

Suu Kyi on the front of Ms. magazine in 2012

When she was asked what democratic models Myanmar could look to, she said: "We have many, many lessons to learn from various places, not just the Asian countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia and Indonesia". She also cited "the eastern European countries, which made the transition from communist autocracy to democracy in the 1980s and 1990s, and the Latin American countries, which made the transition from military governments". She added that "we wish to learn from everybody who has achieved a transition to democracy, and also (...) because we are so far behind everybody else, we can also learn which mistakes we should avoid."[13]

Book[change | change source]

Authored[change | change source]

  • Letters from Burma (1998) with Fergal Keane ISBN 978-0140264036
  • The Voice of Hope (1998) with Alan Clements, ISBN 978-1888363838
  • Freedom from Fear and Other Writings (1995) with Václav Havel, Desmond M. Tutu, and Michael Aris, ISBN 978-0140253177
  • Der Weg zur Freiheit (1999) with U Kyi Maung, U Tin Oo, ISBN 978-3404614356
  • Letter to Daniel: Despatches from the Heart (1996) by Fergal Keane, foreword by Aung San Suu Kyi, edited by Tony Grant ISBN 978-0140262896
  • 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

Edited[change | change source]

Mentioned in[change | change source]

Awards[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Aung San Suu Kyi". Desert Island Discs. 27 January 2013. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. "World Book". www.worldbookonline.com. Retrieved 2018-05-03.[permanent dead link]
  3. "Myanmar Family Roles and Social Relationships". Government of Myanmar. Retrieved 2007-09-24.
  4. "Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi 'detained by military', NLD party says". BBC News. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  5. "Myanmar coup: Detained Aung San Suu Kyi faces charges". BBC News. 2021-02-03. Retrieved 2021-02-03.
  6. "Myanmar police file additional charge against Aung San Suu Kyi: lawyer". Reuters. February 16, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  7. "Suu Kyi's secretive Myanmar trials end with 7 more years of jail". Reuters. 2022-12-30. Retrieved 2022-12-30.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Nobel Prize.org Bio Details. Quote: 1945: 19 June. 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.
  9. "Aung San Suu Kyi — Biography". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 4 May 2006.
  10. "Profile: Aung San Suu Kyi". BBC News Online. 25 May 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
  11. "The Nobel Peace Prize 1991 Presentation Speech". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
  12. Mental culture in Burmese crisis politics: Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy Archived 2008-05-12 at the Wayback Machine (ILCAA Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa Monograph Series) (1999) by Gustaaf Houtman, ISBN 978-4872977486
  13. Myanmar's Suu Kyi ends US trip, hailing democracy, AFP, Oct 3, 2012
  14. US Senate honours Burma's Suu Kyi - BBC News 2008-04-25
  15. "CBS News Journalist Lesley Stahl to Deliver Colgate's 2008 Commencement Address". 2008-02-21. Archived from the original on 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2008-05-18.

Other websites[change | change source]

Nobel Prize[change | change source]