When People Met Their True Leader in Myanmar
Aung San Suu Kyi, the symbol of democratic struggle of the people of Myanmar; apple of the eyes of five million people of a country formerly called Burma; an icon of freedom and democracy loving people everywhere; one of the longest detained political prisoners of the world; has been released from her house arrest on Saturday, November 13, 2010.
This indeed is a day to rejoice, a day of immense happiness for any person, anywhere, who cherishes freedom and dignity, and promotes hope in place of despair.
Suu Kyi is the daughter of General Aung San, who was instrumental in Myanmar’s struggle for independence from Britain. When Burma was declared an independent nation in 1943, Major-General Aung San became the War Minister. On 19th July 1947, during an Executive Council meeting, he was assassinated by his rivals.
Suu Kyi had spent most of her life abroad, nevertheless, she returned home in 1988 to take care of her ailing mother. It was a precipitous time for her country as mass demonstrations were breaking out spontaneously against 25 years of military rule. Suu was thrust into a leadership role, primarily because of her famous father, but she quickly proved her grit as a natural leader.
She stood against the military’s bloody suppression of popular demonstrations, and established her own political party—NLD. In 1989, Suu was detained under the guise of national security charges, and was placed under house arrest.
The 1990 election was overwhelmingly won by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party; regardless, the ruling military junta refused to hand over power to her party and instead brutally clamped down on the party leaders.
In 1991, Suu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; however, she was not allowed to travel to accept the prize. Her elder son, Alexander Aris, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of his mother. Suu was released in 1995, but was soon detained again under various charges.Continued on the next page