Aung San Suu Kyi

Political Figure

Born: 19 June 1945
Birthplace: Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar)
Best known as:

Leader of the democratic movement in Myanmar

Name at birth: Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi is the Nobel Prize-winning peace activist who was detained by the military dictatorship of Myanmar from 1989 to 2010, with only brief periods of freedom. She is the daughter of Burmese General Aung San, a national hero who helped negotiate Burma's independence from Britain (which took place in 1948). General Aung San was assassinated in July of 1947, and two year-old Aung San Suu Kyi left Burma to live and study in India and the United Kingdom. In 1988 she returned to Burma and led the National League for Democracy (NLD) in opposition to the ruling military regime. Inspired by the non-violent practices of Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., she became a national hero and an international celebrity. She was placed under house arrest in 1989, but the NLD still convincingly won popular elections in 1990. The military junta refused to give up power and held Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest until 1995. While detained she was given the 1991 Nobel Prize for peace. She was held again from September 2000 until May 2002, during which time the NLD was having secret negotiations with the junta in an effort to break the political deadlock. She was again detained in May of 2003 and taken into "protective custody" as confrontations between the NLD and government supporters increased. Despite diplomatic pressure and international pleas for her release, the ruling military junta announced an extension of her house arrest for an indefinite period in 2006, and again in 2009. She was finally released 13 November 2010. On April 1 of 2012, the NLD announced that Aun San Suu Kyi had won a by-election and would become a member of Myanmar's Parliament.

Extra credit:

Aung San Suu Kyi is sometimes called Daw Suu (or "Auntie Suu") and Amay Suu ("Mother Suu") by her supporters... Burma was renamed Myanmar in 1989 by the ruling military party, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (later called the State Peace and Development Council).

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