Aung San Suu Kyi- The Peaceful Revolutionary
As my parents have worked on the Thai/Burma border for a few years this is a news story I’ve been watching closely. Her life is something Hollywood could not create even in its most inspired moments.
Aung San Suu Kyi ‘… the Nelson Mandela of Burma.”, is an international symbol for peaceful resistance in the face of oppression. She has been under house arrest for approximately 15 years, imprisoned by the military dictatorship that overthrew the previous democratic government and committed numerous atrocities and human rights abuse.
Suu Kyi was the daughter of the country’s independence hero, General Aung San, who was assassinated when she was just two years of age. Twenty years later Suu Kyi was the Burmese Ambassador to India and Nepal, graduating with a degree in Politics from Lady Shir Ram College in New Delhi. Later she continued her education at Oxford and graduated with a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics meeting during her studies the man who would later become her husband, Michael Aris.
While working with the United Nations in New York City Suu Kyi kept in contact with Michael via letters marrying him three years later. She gave birth to two sons Alexander Andris and Kim aswell as completing a PHD at the School of Oriental and African studies in the University of London. After receiving her PHD she was a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies in Shimla, India as well as working for the government of the Union of Burma at the same time. Incredible.
Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988 first of all to tend for her elderly mother then later to lead the pro-democracy movement. Her husbands visit in Christmas 1995 turned out to be the last time that they would be together, as Suu Kyi stayed in Burma while the Burmese military dictatorship denied Michael any further entry visas. Soon after Michael was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the prostrate. Despite many appeals from various prominent figures and organisations including the United States, UN Secretary General and Pope John Paul II, the Burmese government refused to grant Michael a visa, saying that they did not have the facilities to care for him. Instead they urged Aung San Suu Kyi to leave the country to visit. Suspecting that the Junta would not allow her back into the country she stayed in Burma.
Sadly Michael died on the day of his 53rd birthday 27 March 1999. Since 1989, when his wife was first placed under house arrest, he had seen her only five times. To this day she has not seen her children who live in the UK.
Finally on November 13th 2010 Suu Kyi was released from House Arrest giving further hope to freedom from the dictatorships oppression. Leaders, prominent figures and countless others around the globe have celebrated her release.
While the Burmese regime has gone to extraordinary lengths to isolate and silence Aung San Suu Kyi, she has continued her brave fight for democracy, peace, and change in Burma,” Obama said. “She is a hero of mine and a source of inspiration for all who work to advance basic human rights in Burma and around the world.”- Barack Obama
Filed under: Current Events, Incredible People, Injustice | Tagged: Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma, Dictatorship, House Arrest, Junta, Michael Aris, Military, Myanmar, Oppression, Release, Revolution, Revolutionary, Velvet Revolution, World Leaders | Leave a Comment »