Aung San Suu Kyi
"We achieve everything by our efforts alone. Our fate is not decided by an almighty God. We decide our own fate by our actions. You have to gain mastery over yourself. It is not a matter of sitting back and accepting." (Daw Aung San Suu Kyi)
Background and Inspirations
Aung San Suu Kyi was the daughter of one of Burma's most cherished heroes, the martyred General Aung San, who led his country's fight for independence from Great Britain in the 1940s and was killed for his beliefs in 1947. Suu Kyi has equaled her father's heroics with her calm but passionate advocacy of freedom and democracy in the country now called Myanmar, a name chosen by one of the most insensitive and brutal military dictatorships in the world. Suu Kyi (pronounced Soo Chee) was two years old when her father the de facto prime minister of newly independent Burma was assassinated. Though a Buddhist the predominant religion of Burma she was educated at Catholic schools and left for India in her mid-teens with her mother, who became the Burmese ambassador to India. Suu Kyi went to England where she studied at Oxford University. There she met Michael Aris, the Tibetan scholar whom she married. They had two sons, Alexander and Kim. In 1988, when Suu Kyi received a call from Burma that her mother had suffered a stroke and did not have long to live. Suu Kyi returned to Burma, leaving her husband and two children behind in England. She arrived back in Burma to nurse her mother at a time of a burgeoning pro-democracy movement, fueled by the energy and idealism among the country's young people. There were demonstrations against the repressive, one-party socialist government. Suu Kyi was drawn into the pro-democracy movement, which was snuffed out by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), which seized power on September 18, 1988. Thousands of pro-democracy advocates were killed. Next came a general election in 1990, which political parties were allowed to...
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