Aung San Suu Kyi


Aung San Suu Kyi
(1945)



Myanmar opposition leader, daughter of Aung San (a martyred national hero of independent Burma) and Khin Kyi (a prominent Burmese diplomat), and winner in 1991 of the Nobel Prize for Peace.
Aung San Suu Kyi was two years old when her father, then the de facto prime minister of what would shortly become independent Burma, was assassinated. She attended schools in Burma until 1960, when her mother was appointed ambassador to India. After further study in India, she attended the University of Oxford, where she met her future husband. She had two children and lived a rather quiet life until 1988, when she returned to Myanmar to nurse her dying mother. There the mass slaughter of protesters against the brutal and unresponsive rule of the military strongman Ne Win led her to speak out against him and to begin a nonviolent struggle for democracy and human rights. The newly formed group with which she became affiliated, the National League for Democracy , won more than 80 percent of the parliamentary seats that were contested in 1990, but the results of that election were ignored by the military government. Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest and held incommunicado from July 1989. The military offered to free her if she agreed to leave Myanmar, but she refused to do so until the country was returned to civilian government and political prisoners were freed. She was freed from house arrest in July 1995.



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