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Aung San Suu Kyi

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“The four basic ingredients for success are: you must have the will to want something; you must have the right kind of attitude; you must have perseverance, and then you must have wisdom. Then you combine these four and then you get to where you want to get to.” – Aung San Suu Kyi [stylist.co.uk] Aung San Suu Kyi is a burmese political leader of Burma (Myanmar) who fought for freedom and human rights from 1988 to this day. She has shown courage and patience throughout the years and has become an “important symbol in the struggle against mistreatment” [swot analysis]. I believe there should be more people like Suu Kyi who give their best and everything to make the world a better place. Suu Kyi was born on June 19, 1945 and was the youngest of three children. Her father, General Aung San, was widely known as a national hero for fighting for Burma’s independence from British colonial rule and freedom from the Japanese occupation. When Suu Kyi was only two years old, “her father along with six of his ministers, were assassinated by a political rival just a few months before independence was achieved in 1947”. Her mother, Khin Kyi, was a well-known Burmese diplomat and was appointed ambassador of India in 1960.

“Khin Kyi became the country’s first woman to serve as the head of a diplomatic mission.” Suu Kyi attended schools in Burma and went to high school in India and then finished her education at Oxford University. She got her Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, politics and economics in 1967. In England she meant her husband, Michael Aris who she had two sons with, Alexander and Kim. Her family and her spent most of their time in England, the United States and India. But when Suu Kyi’s mother fell ill, she returned to Burma to nurse her. In Burma, “Suu Kyi devoted herself to fight for democracy and human rights after seeing the brutal and unresponsive rule of military strongman U Ne Win”. “Aung San Suu Kyi immediately started engaging in the country’s nationwide democracy to bring down the dictatorship of the military.”  “She defied the ban on political gatherings, and founded the National League of Democracy, a new pro-democracy party.”  “She was appointed General Secretary and gave speeches about freedom and democracy and political activities across the country.”

In 1990, the regime agreed to hold elections in Burma and even though Suu Kyi was prohibited by the government, she launched her political campaign. When National League of Democracy won the election, the military leader of Burma refused to step down and did not recognize the election results. “Suu Kyi fought against the injustice and was put under house arrest by the military.” [educationscotland.gov.uk.] “Suu Kyi was kept as a prisoner in her house and all visitors, including her family, were forbidden. In 1995, she was released from house arrest but her movements were still very restricted. She saw her family for Christmas that year but from then on they were denied entry to Burma. In 1997, her husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He appealed to be allowed to visit his wife but was denied. The government urged Suu Kyi to return to the UK to see him but she knew that if she ever left Burma she would not be allowed to return. Her husband died in 1999. From 1989, when she was placed under house arrest, till her husband’s death ten years later, Suu Kyi and Michael had seen each other a total of five times. And despite her isolation, the world didn’t forget Suu Kyi or the brutal regime in Burma.

She was awarded various human rights prizes and in 1991 won the Nobel Peace Prize becoming the first woman in Asia to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.The prize was accepted on her behalf by her sons, Alexander and Kim. Alexander, only 18 years old, made a moving acceptance speech. Suu Kyi gave the $1.3 million prize money to establish a health and education trust for Burmese people.”  “Aung San Suu Kyi faced many more periods of house arrest as well as times spent in prison until she was released in 2010.” She had been released six days after elections were held in Burma, meaning she was unable to enter. But she was allowed visits from her family and was able to travel. ”She made speeches to parliament in London, visited the grave of her husband Michael and met her grandchildren for the first time. Suu Kyi was able to restart political campaigning and in 2012 the Nation League of Democracy won and Suu Kyi became a member of parliament.”

“Suu Kyi is 68 years old and has the ambition to become the President of Burma, but the existing constitution bans anyone from the job who is married or has children. Its believe the clause was created to prevent her from getting the job.” Yet this obstacle doesn’t stop Suu Kyi from finding a way to become the next President of Burma. I believe Aung San Suu Kyi is a participatory leader. She has always have input from others, and thinks before making any decision. She has served the people of Burma just like her parents had done years ago and is successful because her parents were great role models who did great things for Burma like she has. “She was determinate to stand up for what was right and became an example of civil courage in Asia. She also proved her wisdom over the years by managing to bring down the dictatorship even under house arrest. She has sacrifice her own family for the people of Burma and manage to keep on going even when she wasn’t able to see them. “ [swot analysis] She used nonviolent protesting because it also gave her the strength to make sacrifices in her fight for justice. Buddhism has given real power to her demands for democracy for Burma. “She has inspired not only her people but the rest of the world. She has shown that even in a time of grim realities, heroes can win in the end.”

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