Imagine growing up being a General’s daughter in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi’s father was Aung San, who founded the Burmese army and negotiated independence from the British Empire. In 1947, her father was assassinated by political foes. Thirteen years later, her mother was made Ambassador to India and she followed. Suu Kyi then received multiple degrees including one in politics from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi, a B.A. degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, AND a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies from the University of London.
When Suu Kyi returned to military controlled Burma in 1988 to take care of her ailing mother, she found herself leading the pro-democracy movement. As a result, her terminally ill husband wasn’t allowed by the Burmese government to visit. Unfortunately he died in 1989 and Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest for 15 years over a 21-year time span. She was separated from her two children living in the United Kingdom for the majority of that time. Suu Kyi knew if she left Burma, the government would never let her back in.
In 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize under house arrest. According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, she was awarded the prize “…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.”
On November 13, 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi was finally released from house arrest. United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a special visit to Burma to meet and encourage her participation in the National League for Democracy, an organization fighting for free and equal representation against the military regime. As of January 10, 2012, Suu Kyi will run for parliament in the April elections in hopes of legitimizing them and gaining political influence.
Aung San Suu Kyi is known as the “the Lady” to the Burmese people. This strong, courageous, and amazing woman will never give up for liberty. According to Suu Kyi: “Human beings the world over need freedom and security that they may be able to realize their full potential.”