Who is Aung San Suu Kyi?

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3 years ago
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On Monday morning (February 1, 2021), military officials under the Union Solidarity and Development Party organized raids to detain all officials of the National League for Democracy (NLD), including the party's bearer Aung San Suu Kyi. Armed forces blocked the roads of the country's parliament in Naypyidaw. In Yangon, residents rushed to stock up their daily needs. All communication lines were cut off as they were about to be disconnected from the outside world. Curfew is now implemented from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am (Myanmar Time), and the military declares a state of emergency for 1 year.

"The actions of the military are actions to put the country back under a dictatorship. I urge people not to accept this, to respond and wholeheartedly to protest against the coup by the military."

Mother Suu encourages her followers to protest against the military. Currently, Suu Kyi is feeling well. At daylight, all communication lines were restored and the situation in Yangon was back to normal. When the sun falls, ordinary citizens make a noise barrage to protest against the military junta of Myanmar. Then NLD was on its second term to rule Myanmar, everything changed when the Tatmadaw declares a coup d'├ętat, they refused the election results and claimed it was a fraud on November 8, 2020.

State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar

History repeats itself for the Burmese, and this will be the State Counsellor's 4th time to be detained by her armed forces. As international leaders are now stepping in to demand the release of all officials, who is Aung San Suu Kyi? Born on June 19, 1945, in Rangoon (now Yangon), Myanmar. Her name derives from her 3 relatives. His father, Bogyote Aung San, a Burmese Revolutionary. Founder of the Tatmadaw, and considered as the Father of the Nation of Myanmar. He was a key figure in Burma's independence from British rule but was assassinated by his rivals in 1947. Suu from her grandmother, while she grew up with her mother, Khin Kyi, a Burmese politician & diplomat.

The wedding of Aung San and Khin Kyi. Suu Kyi's parents.

Her brothers, Aung San Lin died when he was 8 years old drowned in an ornamental lake, while Aung San Oo became a U.S. citizen residing in San Diego, California. Suu Kyi attended schools in Burma, and she was fluent in different languages: Burmese, English, Francais, and Nihonggo. Her mother was appointed as the Burmese Ambassador to India and Nepal in 1960. After studying n India, she went to the University of Oxford where she took philosophy, politics, and economics. From there she met Michael Aris, her husband. She settled in the United Kingdom to raise their children, Alexander & Kim, but Suu Kyi never forget her homeland as she returns to the country in 1988 to nurse her mother leaving her new family behind, and would find her true calling - Myanmar was in the midst of major political upheaval.

Michael Aris & Suu Kyi

The moment she returned to Myanmar, General Ne Win, the dictator who took control of the nation under a coup d'├ętat of 1962 steps down turning the country to socialism. On August 8, 1988 - as students, monks, and ordinary Burmese people went on the streets to protest against the government known as the 8-8-88 Uprising. Suu Kyi addressed half a million people weeks after the uprising at Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon calling for a democratic government. The following month, a new military junta took power.

Suu Kyi addressed her people during the 8-8-88 Uprising

Inspired by Mahatma Gandi & Martin Luther King, mostly at Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence and specifically by Buddhist concepts. She decided to enter politics and founded the National League for Democracy on September 27, 1988. On July 20, 1989, Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest at her home on University Avenue, Yangon, and held incommunicado by the military junta of the Union of Myanmar (since 2011). During her house arrest, she devoted herself from meditation practices to studying Buddhist thoughts. Suu Kyi is a devoted Buddhist, and this deeper interest is reflected in her writings as more emphasis is put on love and compassion.

Aung San Suu Kyi in 1990 as the bearer of the National League for Democracy

The military junta called a national election in May 1990, and the National League for Democracy won 392 of the 492 seats. However, the dictators refused to recognize and turn over the transition of power to Suu Kyi until 2011. With her efforts for a democratic country, freedom, and human rights, Suu Kyi was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, and the Nobel Peace Price in 1991. Her sons Alexander & Kim accepted the award on behalf of their mother. She remained under house arrest in July 1995, then again in September 2000 when she tried to travel at Mandalay because of travel restrictions. She was released in May 2002, but then for the third time, she was imprisoned after a clash between her supporters and a mob supported by the government.

Aung San Suu Kyi in 2015

Suu Kyi re-entered politics again in 2012 after her release as she continues to fight for her country's democracy when the NLD won a sweeping victory in the 2015 elections. On March 30, 2016, she was appointed in 4 different positions: Minister for the President's Office, Foreign Affairs, Education, Electric Power, and Energy in Pres. Htin Kyaw's government. She relinquished 2 of her positions, then became the State Counsellor of Myanmar from 2016 to 2021 (equivalent to a Prime Minister). During her term as State Counsellor, she defended the armed forces with the controversies of the Rohingya people.

Myanmar's armed forces take control of roads by blocking the parliament in Naypyidaw.

The military is trying to put the country back to dictatorship. Now that Suu Kyi and other officials of the National League for Democracy is arrested and deposed by the Tatmadaw, international leaders are now stepping in to condemn the coup. Pres. Joe Biden threatens the military junta of Myanmar, "Reverse course. Or face economic sanctions." as they closely monitoring the situation. Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia calls the move of the military disturbing. On our side, the Filipino government will not meddle in the tensions between the military and the detained ruling part, they said "the coup is an internal matter" but they advised our overseas workers to stay calm, and abide by the rules of the military government. The 75-year-old political icon of Myanmar challenged army generals who have ruled her country for decades. Can Myanmar return to democracy?

Sources:

Lead Image from https://www.dawn.com/news/1604849/myanmar-military-seizes-power-detains-elected-leader-aung-san-suu-kyi

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/31/world/myanmar-aung-san-suu-kyi-detained-intl/index.html

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Aung-San-Suu-Kyi

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-11685977

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