Who is Aung San Suu Kyi?
Aung San Suu Kyi (born June 19, 1945) is a Burmese politician, diplomat, and author who served as the State Counsellor of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) from 2016 to 2021. She is the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, and is a prominent human rights activist.
Suu Kyi was born in Rangoon, British Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar), to Aung San, a prominent Burmese independence leader, and Khin Kyi, a diplomat. After studying in India and the United Kingdom, she returned to Burma in 1988 to care for her ailing mother.
As pro-democracy protests swept through the country, Suu Kyi became involved in politics and quickly emerged as a leader of the opposition. In 1989, the military junta placed her under house arrest, where she would remain for much of the next two decades.
Despite her detention, Suu Kyi continued to be an important symbol of the pro-democracy movement and her international profile grew. In 1991, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her nonviolent struggle for democracy.
In 2015, the NLD won a landslide victory in Myanmar's general election, and Suu Kyi became the de facto leader of the country as State Counsellor, a role created specifically for her, since the military-drafted constitution bars her from the presidency. She served as State Councillor until 2021, and her government faced criticism for its handling of the Rohingya crisis, a humanitarian crisis that has forced over 700,000 Rohingya muslims to flee to Bangladesh.
Despite the criticisms, Suu Kyi remains a highly respected figure in Myanmar, and around the world, for her peaceful resistance to authoritarian rule and her struggle for democracy and human rights.
Aung San Suu Kyi Fast Facts
* Aung San Suu Kyi is a Burmese politician and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
* She was born in Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar) in 1945 and is the daughter of General Aung San, a hero of Burmese independence.
* Aung San Suu Kyi became involved in politics in the 1980s, leading the National League for Democracy (NLD) party in a struggle for democracy and human rights in Myanmar.
* In 1988, she was placed under house arrest for her political activities by the military government and was not released until 2010.
* During her time under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi became an international symbol of peaceful resistance and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
* After her release from house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi was able to participate in the political process, and in 2015 her party, the NLD, won a majority in Myanmar's parliament.
* She served as the state counsellor of Myanmar (the de facto head of government) from 2016 to 2021.
* Aung San Suu Kyi has faced international criticism for her handling of the Rohingya crisis and her defense of the Myanmar military's actions against the Rohingya minority.
* Despite the criticism, she remains a highly respected figure in Myanmar and is widely admired for her courage and determination in the face of adversity.
* In 2017, her honorary Canadian citizenship was revoked by the Canadian government due to her role in the Rohingya crisis.
* Aung San Suu Kyi has been arrested and charged with multiple criminal offenses in February 1, 2021 and her party NLD's victory in the November 2020 election was nullified by the military.
Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.