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Aung San Suu Kyi

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Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi.jpg
Aung San Suu Kyi
Born 19 June 1945 (1945-06-19) (age 74)
Occupation Prime Minister-elect[1][2][3][4][5]
Known for Leader of the National League for Democracy, Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Spouse(s) Michael Aris
(m. 1972-1999, his death)
This person won a Nobel Prize
Aung San Suu Kyi[6] (born 19 June 1945, Yangon, Burma) was elected in 1990 as the Prime Minister of Burma. The Burmese military, who have governed Burma since 1962, did not let her political party, the National League for Democracy join the government. Suu Kyi was arrested and forced her to stay in her house and not have any visitors.

Since then she has brought democracy to her country using nonviolence. She is the leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma and a famous prisoner. 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 by India for her culture of personality.

After elections in Burma in 2010, she was released from house arrest in November 2010. Suu Kyi was not allowed to take part in the 2010 election as the government banned anyone who had been arrested.

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.[7]

Personal life

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. Her favourite brother, Aung San Lin, drowned in a pool accident when Suu Kyi was eight.[8] Her other brother 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 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] She 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, 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 beginnings

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, stopped being a politician. Many Burmese people wanted a democracy after the military ruled the country for several years.

She admired Mohandas Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence.[10][11] She was also inspired by Buddhism.[12] Aung San Suu Kyi tried to work for democracy and helped make the National League for Democracy on 27 September 1988.

She was offered freedom if she left the country, but she refused.

House arrest and release

She was arrested in 1989 and placed in prison in 1990. This was after an election in which her party, then National League for Democracy, won, but was not allowed to be in charge of the country. Between 1990 and 2010, she was always in prison or at her home, which is called house arrest. Burma released her in November 2010. This made many countries and groups around the world very happy.[13] She was then arrested for violating her house arrest.

At all times, her dedication to her beliefs is evident. Her morals and beliefs are kept closely to her and used whenever confronted by a situation.

Political Belief

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. "And we cannot of course forget South Africa, because although it wasn't a military regime, it was certainly an authoritarian regime." She added: "We wish to learn from everybody who has achieved a transition to democracy, and also ... our great strong point is that, because we are so far behind everybody else, we can also learn which mistakes we should avoid."[14]




Mentioned in



  1. Pravda online Aung San Suu Kyi should lead Myanmar: The World wants to restraint from the Myanmar authorities, and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi should take her place as elected leader, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Tuesday. 29 September 2007
    Reuters TV scripts David Miliband: "it will be a hundred times better when she takes her place as the rightfully elected leader of a free and democratic Burma". 25 September 2007
  2. The Next United Nations Secretary-General: Time for a Woman. Qualified women; Quote: ...Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma) Prime Minister-Elect...Equality November 2005
  3. Times of India 13 June 2007:Quote: MPs to Suu Kyi: You are the real PM of Myanmar: Recalling that NLD had won over 80% of parliamentary seats, the MPs said, "You are the true prime minister of Myanmar.
  4. Quote: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is the rightfully elected prime minister of Burma, according to a 1990 election in which her National League for Democracy party took more than 80% of the popular vote. Unfortunately, the oppressive and violent military dictatorship in c.... John Walsh, Shinawatra International University, February 2006
  5. Quote: Government-in-exile, established after 1988: 1990 Prime-Minister-Elect Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
  6. Aung San Suu Kyi (Burmese အောင်ဆန်းစုကြည်)
  7. "Myanmar Family Roles and Social Relationships". Government of Myanmar. Retrieved 2007-09-24.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Nobel 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 (ILCAA Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa Monograph Series) (1999) by Gustaaf Houtman, ISBN 978-4872977486
  13. "Celebrations as Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi released". BBC News Online. 13 November 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
  14. Myanmar's Suu Kyi ends US trip, hailing democracy, AFP, Oct 3, 2012
  15. US Senate honours Burma's Suu Kyi - BBC News 2008-04-25
  16. "CBS News Journalist Lesley Stahl to Deliver Colgate's 2008 Commencement Address". 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2008-05-18.

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Nobel Prize