Monday, November 23, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi :Her Story

Aung San Suu Kyi :Her Story

She was a fighter. She fought for the people in her country. She does not live for wealth, prosperity and fame. She was imprisoned for reasons that are not clear. Denied her right to form a government. Her country is not developed and its people are still living below the poverty level while they are able to live better. She needs the support of the international community to change the current situation towards a better life. Let her free, gave her the opportunity to bring a better life to the people of her country.

International Human Rights Activist and Democracy Leader Nobel Peace Prize, Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient .

Nobel Peace Prize 1991

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. The decision of the Nobel Committee mentions:[113]

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar (Burma) for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.

...Suu Kyi's struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression...
...In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means.
—Oslo, 14 October 1991
Living Legacy Award 2001

Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the world's most prominent figures in the struggle to advance democracy and human rights. In response to the tyranny and brutality of the military regime ruling her native Burma, she has become a unifying voice for the oppressed. She founded the National League for Democracy (NLD) and led it to a landslide electoral victory in 1990; the Burmese government has never honored that election. Despite enduring house arrests, separation from her loved ones, and threats against her life, she has refused to be silenced. Her unwavering commitment to securing a free Burma through non-violent means is an inspiration to people around the world.
She was born on June 19, 1945, in Rangoon, Burma (now known as Yangon, Myanmar.). She is the daughter of Aung San, a martyred national hero of independent Burma and a liberation leader. Her mother, Khin Kyi, was a distinguished Burmese diplomat. Mohandas Gandhi influenced Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in the philosophy of non-violent protest as a mean of bringing democracy to her country.
She went to school in Burma until 1960, when her mother was appointed ambassador to India. Suu Kyi studied in India and went on to further her education at Oxford University. There, she met her future husband, Michael Aris; the devoted couple later had two sons. In 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Myanmar to take care of her dying mother. While there, she saw the mass slaughter of protesters by the brutal military government. She defiantly began a peaceful struggle for democracy and human rights

She co-founded the National League for Democracy (NLD), the main opposition party in Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest to prevent her from competing in elections as the head of the new democratic movement. Her party won the national election by a wide margin in 1990, but the military dictatorship refused to honor the will of the people, and supressed all who opposed it to this day. The military constanty sought to force Suu Kyi to leave the country to return to her family in England from which they had kept her apart. She refused to do so until the country was returned to civilian government and political prisoners were freed, and bore the heavy coat on her personal happiness with her family in service to this higher calling. After looking at her accomplishments and her background, we must look at why Suu Kyi has gained support both domestically and internationally. She remained under house arrest until January 2001.

When Suu Kyi won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee released a statement about her in recognition of her work. Part of it stated that: "She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression. "
She is a peace hero in every sense and as Vaclav Havel said, "an example of the power of the powerless." Her fear did not stop her from doing what was right, even if it meant her life. She knew what was important and realized the sacrifices that have to be made. Aung San Suu Kyi still fights to this very day for democracy to come to Myanmar, and wants to be able to enjoy it with the people.

September 6. Marriage of Aung San, commander of the Burma Independence Army, and Ma Khin Kyi (becoming Daw Khin Kyi), senior nurse of Rangoon General Hospital, where he had recovered from the rigours of the march into Burma.

June 19. Aung San Suu Kyi born in Rangoon, 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.

July 19. General Aung San assassinated. Suu Kyi is two years old. Daw Khin Kyi becomes a prominent public figure, heading social planning and social policy bodies.

January 4. The Independent Union of Burma is established.

Daw Khin Kyi appointed Burma's ambassador to India. Suu Kyi accompanies mother to New Delhi.

Suu Kyi at high school and Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi.

Oxford University, B.A. in philosophy, politics and economics at St. Hugh's College (elected Honorary Fellow, 1990).British "parents" are Lord Gore-Booth, former British ambassador to Burma and High Commissioner in India, and his wife, at whose home Suu Kyi meets Michael Aris, student of Tibetan civilisation.

She goes to New York for graduate study, staying with family friend Ma Than E, staff member at the United Nations, where U. Thant of Burma is Secretary-General. Postponing studies, Suu Kyi joins U.N. secretariat as Assistant Secretary, Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions. Evenings and weekends volunteers at hospital, helping indigent patients in programs of reading and companionship.

January 1. Marries Michael Aris, joins him in Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, where he tutors royal family and heads Translation Department. She becomes Research Officer in the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

They return to England for birth of Alexander in London.

Michael assumes appointment in Tibetan and Himalayan studies at Oxford University.

Birth of second son, Kim at Oxford.While raising her children, Suu Kyi begins writing, researches for biography of father, and assists Michael in Himalayan studies.

Publishes Aung San in Leaders of Asia series of University of Queensland Press. (See Freedom from Fear, pp. 3-38.)

For juvenile readers publishes Let's Visit Burma (see Freedom from Fear, pp. 39-81), also books on Nepal and Bhutan in same series for Burke Publishing Company, London.

Visiting Scholar, Center of Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, researching father's time in Japan. Kim with her, Alexander with Michael, who has fellowship at Indian Institute of Advanced Studies at Simla in northern India.

On annual visit to grandmother in Rangoon, Alexander and Kim take part in traditional Buddhist ceremony of initiation into monkhood.

With fellowship at Indian Institute Suu Kyi, with Kim, joins Michael and Alexander in Simla. Travels to London when mother is there for cataract surgery.Publishes "Socio-Political Currents in Burmese Literature, 1910-1940" in journal of Tokyo University. (See Freedom from Fear, pp. 140-164.) September. Family returns to Oxford. Suu Kyi enrolls at London School of Oriental and African Studies to work on advanced degree.
March 31. Informed by telephone of mother's severe stroke, she takes plane next day to Rangoon to help care for Daw Khin Kyi at hospital, then moves her to family home on University Avenue next to Inya Lake in Rangoon.

July 23. Resignation of General Ne Win, since 1962 military dictator of Burma. Popular demonstrations of protest continuing.

August 8. Mass uprising throughout country. Violent suppression by military kills thousands.

August 15. Suu Kyi, in first political action, sends open letter to government, asking for formation of independent consultative committee to prepare multi-party elections.

August 26. In first public speech, she addresses several hundred thousand people outside Shwedagon Pagoda, calling for democratic government. Michael and her two sons are there.September 18. Military establishes State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Political gatherings of more than four persons banned. Arrests and sentencing without trial reaffirmed. Parliamentary elections to be held, but in expectation that multiplicity of parties will prevent clear result.

September 24. National League for Democracy (NLD) formed, with Suu Kyi general-secretary. Policy of non-violence and civil disobedience. October-December. Defying ban, Suu Kyi makes speech-making tour throughout country to large audiences.

December 27. Daw Khin Kyi dies at age of seventy-six.

January 2. Funeral of Daw Khin Kyi. Huge funeral procession. Suu Kyi vows that as her father and mother had served the people of Burma, so too would she, even unto death.January-July. Suu Kyi continues campaign despite harassment, arrests and killings by soldiers.

February 17. Suu Kyi prohibited from standing for election.

April 5. Incident in Irawaddy Delta when Suu Kyi courageously walks toward rifles soldiers are aiming at her.

July 20. Suu Kyi placed under house arrest, without charge or trial. Sons already with her. Michael flies to Rangoon, finds her on third day of hunger strike, asking to be sent to prison to join students arrested at her home. Ends strike when good treatment of students is promised.

May 27. Despite detention of Suu Kyi, NLD wins election with 82% of parliamentary seats. SLORC refuses to recognise results.October 12. Suu Kyi granted 1990 Rafto Human Rights Prize.

July 10. European Parliament awards Suu Kyi Sakharov human rights prize.October 14. Norwegian Nobel Committee announces Suu Kyi is winner of 1991 Peace Prize.

December. Freedom from Fear published by Penguin in New York, England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. Also in Norwegian, French, Spanish translations.December 10. Alexander and Kim accept prize for mother in Oslo ceremony. Suu Kyi remains in detention, having rejected offer to free her if she will leave Burma and withdraw from politics. Worldwide appeal growing for her release.

Suu Kyi announces that she will use $1.3 million prize money to establish health and education trust for Burmese people.

Group of Nobel Peace Laureates, denied entry to Burma, visit Burmese refugees on Thailand border, call for Suu Kyi's release, Their appeal later repeated at UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva.

February. First non-family visitors to Suu Kyi: UN representative, U.S. congressman, New York Times reporter.September-October. SLORC leaders meet with Suu Kyi, who still asks for a public dialogue.

July 10. SLORC releases Suu Kyi from house arrest after six years of detention.
In the last four years her movements have still been restricted. While she has had some opportunities to telephone her family in England, she is regularly denounced in the government-controlled media, and there is concern for her personal safety. Efforts to revive any NLD party activities have been balked, and its members have been jailed and physically attacked. In the first months after detention was ended, she was able to speak to large gatherings of supporters outside her home, but this was stopped. Yet her popularity in the country has not diminished.

Internationally her voice has been heard not infrequently. Reporters with cameras and videotape have been able to interview her in person, and telephone interviews with the media outside Burma have also been published. Using video cassettes she has sent out statements, including the keynote address to the NGO Forum at the U.N. International Women's Conference in Beijing in August 1995.

There have been a number of visitors from abroad, including a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, whom she told that Norway will be the first country she will visit when free to travel. SLORC has changed its name to the State Peace and Development Council, but its repressive policies and violation of human rights continue unabated.

Suu Kyi discourages tourists from visiting Burma and businessmen from investing in the country until it is free. She finds hearing for such pleas among western nations, and the United States has applied economic sanctions against Burma, but Burma's neighbours follow their policy of not intervening in the internal affairs of other sovereign states, and Burma has been admitted into the Association of South Eastern Asian Nations.

On March 27, 1999, Michael Aris died of prostate cancer in London. He had petitioned the Burmese authorities to allow him to visit Suu Kyi one last time, but they had rejected his request. He had not seen her since a Christmas visit in 1995. The government always urged her to join her family abroad, but she knew that she would not be allowed to return. This separation she regarded as one of the sacrifices she had had to make in order to work for a free Burma.

Periods under detention

20 July 1989: Placed under house arrest in Rangoon under martial law that allows for detention without charge or trial for three years.[34]

10 July 1995: Released from house arrest.[8]

23 September 2000: Placed under house arrest.[9]

6 May 2002: Released after 19 months.[9]

30 May 2003: Arrested following the Depayin massacre she was held in secret detention for over 3 months before being returned to house arrest.[46]

25 May 2007: House arrest extended by one year flouting a direct appeal from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to General Than Shwe.[47]

24 October 2007: Reached 12 years under house arrest, solidarity protests held at 12 cities around the world.[48]

27 May 2008: House arrest extended for another year, illegal under both international law and Burma's own law.[49]

11 August 2009: House arrest extended for further 18 months because of "violation" arising from the May 2009 trespass incident.

2009 international pressure for release and Burmese general election, 2010
Aung San Suu Kyi may be released "so she can organise her party,"
[85] for the upcoming Burmese general election. Though, it is unclear if she will be allowed to run as a candidate.
Burma's relaxing stance, such as releasing political prisoners was influenced in the wake of successful recent diplomatic visits by the US and other Democratic governments, urging of encouraging the Burmese towards democratic reform. U.S. President
Barack Obama intends to personally advocate on the behalf of all political prisoners especially Aung San Suu Kyi, during the US-Asean Summit of 2009.[86]
Democratic governments hope that successful general elections would be a optimistic indicator of the Burmese governments sincerity towards eventual democracy.
[87]. The Hatoyama government which spent 2.82 Billion yen in 2008, has promised more Japanese foreign aid to encourage Burma release Aung San Suu Kyi in time for the elections; and to continue striding towards democracy and the rule of law.[88]. [89]

In The Quiet Land

(By Daw Aung San Suu Kyi)

In the Quiet Land,
no one can tell
if there's someone who's listening
for secrets they can sell.
The informers are paid in the blood of the land
and no one dares speak what the tyrants won't stand.

In the quiet land of Burma,
no one laughs and no one thinks out loud.
In the quiet land of Burma,
you can hear it in the silence of the crowd

In the Quiet Land,
no one can say
when the soldiers are coming
to carry them away.
The Chinese want a road;
the French want the oil;
the Thais take the timber;
and SLORC takes the spoils...

In the Quiet Land....

In the Quiet Land,
no one can hear
what is silenced by murder
and covered up with fear.
But, despite what is forced,
freedom's a sound
that liars can't fake and no shouting can drown.

Free bird towards a free Burma

(By Daw Aung San Suu Kyi)

My home...
where I was born and raised
used to be warm and lovely
now filled with darkness and horror.

My family...
whom I had grown with
used to be cheerful and lively
now living with fear and terror.

My friends...
whom I shared my life with
used to be pure and merry
now living with wounded heart.

A free bird...which is just freed
used to be caged
now flying with an olive branch
for the place it loves.

A free bird towards a Free Burma.

Why do I have to fight???

(By Daw Aung San Suu Kyi)

They killed my father a year ago,
And they burnt my hut after that
I asked the city men "why me?"
they ignored"I don't know,
mind your business,"
the men said.

One day from elementary school I came home,
Saw my sister was lifeless, lying in blood.
I looked around to ask what happened,
if somebody'd known,
Found no one but living room as a flood.
Running away by myself on the village road,
Not knowing where to go but heading for my teacher
Realizing she's the only one who could help to clear my throat,
But this time she gave up,
telling me strange things in fear.

Why, teacher, why.. why.. why?
I have no dad nor a sister left.
To teach me and to care for me you said, was that a lie?
This time with tearful eyes she,
Again, said...

"Be a grown one, young man,
Can't you see we all are dying?
And stop this with your might as soon as you can,
For we all are suffering."

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