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Events in the life of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi.


Aung San Suu Kyi‘s life has been marked by family tragedy, world travel and a political mission that prompted her to choose Myanmar‘s democracy struggle over her children, whom she left behind in England.

Here are the key events in Suu Kyi’s life that aides and biographers say shaped the stoic, pragmatic, eloquent woman whose sacrifices and struggles have earned her a Nobel prize and international acclaim.

— FAMILY LIFE

— June 19, 1945: Born in Yangon, then called Rangoon. She is the third child and only daughter of national independence hero Gen. Aung San and Daw Khin Kyi, also a prominent public figure.

— July 1947: Aung San and six members of his interim government are assassinated by rivals. Suu Kyi is 2.

— 1952: Suu Kyi’s favorite brother, Aung San Lin, drowns in a pond inside the family’s compound.

— 1960: After finishing high school, Suu Kyi leaves for further study in New Delhi, where her mother is Burma’s ambassador.

— 1964-1967. Suu Kyi studies philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University’s St. Hugh’s College, where she meets future husband and Himalayan scholar Michael Aris.

— 1969-1971: Suu Kyi moves to New York for postgraduate studies at New York University but postpones academic career when a family friend helps get her a job at the United Nations.

— 1970: Aris visits Suu Kyi in New York, after three years of exchanging letters, and they get engaged.

— 1972: Suu Kyi and Michael Aris are married in London and move to Bhutan, where Aris is doing academic research.

— April 12, 1973: Son Alexander born in London. Family soon moves to Nepal for a year for Aris’ work.

— Sept. 24, 1977: Second son Kim is born. The family keeps Oxford as a base but relocates regularly for work and academic research, spending time in Bhutan, Japan, India and back to England.

POLITICAL LIFE

— April 1988: Suu Kyi returns home to attend to her ailing mother just as pro-democracy protests erupt against the military junta. Her mother dies later that year.

— September 1988: Suu Kyi helps found opposition party, the National League for Democracy.

— July 1989: Suu Kyi, an increasingly outspoken critic of the junta, is put under house arrest, which continues on-and-off for 15 of the next 22 years. The junta says she can leave the country anytime but she refuses, fearing she won’t be allowed to return, and chooses to live apart from her husband and sons. Aris is allowed to visit her five times, the last visit during Christmas 1995.

— October 1991: Suu Kyi is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her peaceful struggle against the regime. Son Alexander, then 18, gives Oslo acceptance speech on her behalf.

— March 1999: Aris dies of cancer in England at age 53. The junta repeatedly denied him visas to see his wife during the three years leading up to his death.

—May 30, 2003: Suu Kyi’s motorcade comes under attack by pro-government thugs in northern Myanmar, killing a number of her supporters and bringing to an end a brief calming in tensions between her party and the junta. Suu Kyi spends four months in Yangon’s Insein Prison before being returned to house arrest.

— Nov. 7, 2010: Myanmar’s first elections in 20 years. Pro-junta party wins landslide victory in polls critics say were rigged and rampant with fraud.

— Nov. 13, 2010: The last of various periods in Suu Kyi’s detention expires, and she is freed.

— Nov. 23, 2010: Suu Kyi is reunited with son Kim Aris, now 33, for first time in 10 years. He was repeatedly denied visas since his last visit in December 2000.

— April 1, 2012: Suu Kyi wins seat in Parliament, marking her first elected office after two decades as a symbolic opposition leader.

— May 29-June 3, 2012. Suu Kyi makes her first trip abroad since she returned to Myanmar from London in April 1988 to nurse her dying mother. She visits neighboring Thailand, Myanmar’s second largest trade partner after China.

— June 13-29, 2012: Suu Kyi takes first trip to Europe in 24 years, with stops in Switzerland, Norway,Ireland, England and France.

— Sept. 17, 2012: Suu Kyi begins landmark visit to the U.S., taking in Washington D.C., and Fort Wayne, Ind., where thousands of Burmese refugees have settled since the ’88 uprising.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By The Associated Press | Associated Press

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi in historic speech to British parliament.


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Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday urged the world to help Myanmar complete its journey towards democracy as she became the first foreign woman to address both houses of Britain’s parliament.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said her Southeast Asian homeland had yearned for democracy for decades, and could not afford to waste its chance to build a “truly democratic and just society” after 47 years of military rule.

“I am here, in part, to ask for practical help: help as a friend and an equal,” Suu Kyi told around 2,000 lawmakers and guests, who gave her a standing ovation that echoed around parliament’s cavernous Westminster Hall.

The Myanmar opposition leader, who was wearing a purple longyi skirt and a white shawl, said it was an “extraordinary honour” to address the 11th-century building, an invitation previously only offered to heads of state.

Since World War II, US President Barack Obama, Pope Benedict XVI, South African president Nelson Mandela and French president Charles de Gaulle are the only other foreigners to have addressed both houses in Westminster Hall.

“We have an opportunity to re-establish true democracy in Burma,” said Suu Kyi, using the former official name of Myanmar.

“If we do not use this opportunity — if we do not get things right this time around — it may be several decades more before a similar opportunity arises,” she warned.

The 67-year-old added: “Our own determination can get us so far; the support of the people of Britain and the peoples around the world can get us so much further.”

She urged Britain, Myanmar’s former colonial power, to help her country develop its institutions, warning that the parliament she recently joined would “take time to find its feet”.

She also encouraged “democracy-friendly investment” in her impoverished homeland, two days after Myanmar President Thein Sein pledged to follow dramatic political changes with economic reforms.

Investment that prioritises “transparency, accountability, workers’ rights and environmental stability” would be welcome in resource-rich Myanmar, she said.

But she warned that Myanmar’s development was continuing to suffer at the hands of the violence that has gripped parts of the country since independence in 1948, and urged aid for the tens of thousands displaced in recent months.

“In the immediate term we also need humanitarian support for the many people in the north and west — largely women and children — who have been forced to flee their homes,” she said.

Suu Kyi was freed from nearly two decades of house arrest in November 2010 and became a lawmaker earlier this year as part of a gradual transition towards democracy in Myanmar.

The speech was the climax of Suu Kyi’s visit to Britain, where she studied and lived for several years until she answered the call of duty in Myanmar, leaving her children and her English husband behind.

She earlier held talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron at his 10 Downing Street office, and with heir to the throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla at their Clarence House residence, where she planted a tree in the garden.

Cameron defended his decision to invite Thein Sein to Britain for talks, given that he was, until last year, a member of the junta that held Myanmar in its thrall for more than two decades.

“There is a process of reform in Burma. In order for that to succeed we have to work with the regime,” he told a press conference with Suu Kyi.

Cameron in April became the first Western leader in decades to visit Myanmar, during which he met both Suu Kyi and Thein Sein.

Suu Kyi backed the decision to invite the president, saying: “We don’t want to be shackled by the past. We want to use the past to build up the future.”

On Tuesday, she made an emotional return to Oxford, the southern English city where she studied, met her late husband Michael Aris and brought up their two sons.

She said she was deeply moved on Wednesday as she received an honorary doctorate in civil law. The award was conferred in 1993 but she was unable to collect it at the time, fearing that if she left Myanmar the junta would not have allowed her to return.

Suu Kyi heads to France on June 26 for the last leg of her European tour, following warm welcomes in Switzerland, Ireland and Norway — where she finally delivered her Nobel Peace Prize speech, 21 years after winning the award.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

AFPBy Katy Lee | AFP 

Suu Kyi receives Nobel Peace Prize 21 years late.


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OSLO (Reuters) – Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi finally received her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Saturday after spending 15 years under house arrest, and said her country’s full transformation to democracy was still far off.

“What the Nobel Peace Prize did was to draw me once again into the world of other human beings outside the isolated area in which I lived, to restore a sense of reality to me,” Suu Kyi said as the packed crowd, led by Norway’s King Harald and Queen Sonja, rose in a standing ovation at the ornate Oslo City Hall.

Suu Kyi, 66, the Oxford University-educated daughter of General Aung San, Myanmar’s assassinated independence hero, said much remained to be resolved in her country.

“Hostilities have not ceased in the far north; to the west, communal violence resulting in arson and murder were taking place just several days before I started out the journey that has brought me here today,” said Suu Kyi, on her first visit to Europe in nearly a quarter of a century.

“There still remain (political) prisoners in Burma. It is to be feared that because the best known detainees have been released, the remainder, the unknown ones, will be forgotten,” she said, wearing a purple traditional Burmese dress and looking strong and healthy after falling ill on Thursday.

Still, Suu Kyi – elected to parliament in April – said she was confident President Thein Sein wanted to put the country on a new path.

“I don’t think we should fear reversal,” she told public broadcaster NRK. “(But) I don’t think we should take it for granted there is no reversal.”

Suspending rather than lifting sanctions was also the right move to keep pressure on the government, she said a day after arriving from Switzerland to a jubilant, dancing and chanting crowd, which showered her with flowers.

“If these reforms prove to be a façade, then the rewards will be taken away.”

INSTRUMENTAL

Suu Kyi, who spent a total of 15 years under house arrest between 1989 and her release in late 2010, never left Myanmar even during brief periods of freedom after 1989, afraid the military would not let back in.

Her sons Kim and Alexander accepted the Nobel prize on her behalf in 1991, with her husband Michael Aris also attending the ceremony. A year later Suu Kyi said she would use the $1.3 million prize money to establish a health and education trust for Burmese people.

She was unable to be with Aris, an Oxford academic, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and died in Britain in 1999.

On Saturday, Kim and Anthony Aris, her late husband’s identical twin brother, attended the ceremony.

Suu Kyi thanked Norway, a nation of just 5 million people, for its support and the instrumental role it played in Myanmar’s transformation.

In 1990, the Bergen-based Rafto Foundation awarded its annual prize to Suu Kyi, after a Norwegian aid worker in South-East Asia highlighted her work.

The award provided lasting publicity for her non-violent struggle against Myanmar’s military junta, putting her in the international spotlight and setting the stage a year later for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Norway has also provided a home to the Democratic Voice of Burma, an opposition television and radio outlet, which broadcasts uncensored news into Myanmar.

Suu Kyi acknowledged that recent violence between Rakhine Buddhists and stateless Muslim Rohingyas in the northwestern Rakhine region was a test of Myanmar’s transformation but she blamed lawlessness for the escalation.

The violence, which displaced 30,000 people and killed 50 by government accounts, flared last month with a rampage of rock-hurling, arson and machete attacks, after the gang rape and murder of a Buddhist woman that was blamed on Muslims.

“The very first time a crime was committed… they should have taken action in accordance with the rule of law,” Suu Kyi told the BBC.

“If they had been able to do that, and to satisfy all
parties involved that justice was done … I do not think these disturbances would have grown to such proportions.”

Tensions stem from an entrenched, long-standing distrust of around 800,000 Muslim Rohingyas, who are recognized by neither Myanmar nor neighboring Bangladesh, and are largely considered illegal immigrants.

Suu Kyi is also due to visit Ireland, Britain and France.

(Editing by Sophie Hares and Ralph Gowling)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

ReutersBy Balazs Koranyi | Reuters 

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