Aung San Suu Kyi : biography
In 1988 Suu Kyi returned to Burma, at first to tend for her ailing mother but later to lead the pro-democracy movement. Aris’ visit in Christmas 1995 turned out to be the last time that he and Suu Kyi met, as Suu Kyi remained in Burma and the Burmese dictatorship denied him any further entry visas. Aris was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997 which was later found to be terminal. Despite appeals from prominent figures and organisations, including the United States, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Pope John Paul II, the Burmese government would not grant Aris a visa, saying that they did not have the facilities to care for him, and instead urged Aung San Suu Kyi to leave the country to visit him. She was at that time temporarily free from house arrest but was unwilling to depart, fearing that she would be refused re-entry if she left, as she did not trust the military junta’s assurance that she could return.. BBC News. 26 March 1999.
Aris died on his 53rd birthday on 27 March 1999. Since 1989, when his wife was first placed under house arrest, he had seen her only five times, the last of which was for Christmas in 1995. She was also separated from her children, who live in the United Kingdom, but starting in 2011, they have visited her in Burma.
On 2 May 2008, after Cyclone Nargis hit Burma, Suu Kyi lost the roof of her house and lived in virtual darkness after losing electricity in her dilapidated lakeside residence. She used candles at night as she was not provided any generator set. Plans to renovate and repair the house were announced in August 2009.. Mizzima. 10 August 2009. Suu Kyi was released from house arrest on 13 November 2010.
Asked what democratic models Myanmar could look to, she said: "We have many, many lessons to learn from various places, not just the Asian countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia and Indonesia." She also cited "the eastern European countries, which made the transition from communist autocracy to democracy in the 1980s and 1990s, and the Latin American countries, which made the transition from military governments. "And we cannot of course forget South Africa, because although it wasn’t a military regime, it was certainly an authoritarian regime." She added: "We wish to learn from everybody who has achieved a transition to democracy, and also … our great strong point is that, because we are so far behind everybody else, we can also learn which mistakes we should avoid.", AFP, 3 October 2012
In a nod to the current deep US political divide between Republicans led by Mitt Romney and the Democrats of Obama—battling to win the Presidential election on 6 November—she stressed with a smile "Those of you who are familiar with American politics I’m sure understand the need for negotiated compromise."
Coincident with Aung San Suu Kyi’s return to Burma in 1988, the long-time military leader of Burma and head of the ruling party, General Ne Win, stepped down. Mass demonstrations for democracy followed that event on 8 August 1988 (8–8–88, a day seen as auspicious), which were violently suppressed in what came to be known as the 8888 Uprising. On 26 August 1988, she addressed half a million people at a mass rally in front of the Shwedagon Pagoda in the capital, calling for a democratic government. However in September, a new military junta took power.
InfluencedSilverstein, Josef. "The idea of freedom in Burma and the political thought of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi." Pacific Affairs 69, no. 2 (Summer96 1996): 152. Historical Abstracts, EBSCOhost . Retrieved 2 July 2010. by both Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence and more specifically by Buddhist concepts,Houtman, Gustaaf, (ILCAA Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa Monograph Series), 1999. ISBN 978-4-87297-748-6. Retrieved 1 December 2012. See also Buddhism in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi entered politics to work for democratisation, helped found the National League for Democracy on 27 September 1988, (Note: The date is in the "description" meta element of the web page and can be verified by viewing the page HTML code) but was put under house arrest on 20 July 1989. Offered freedom if she left the country, she refused.
One of her most famous speeches was Freedom From Fear, which began: "It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it."
She also believes fear spurs many world leaders to lose sight of their purpose. "Government leaders are amazing", she once said. "So often it seems they are the last to know what the people want."
Some activists criticised Aung San Suu Kyi for her silence on the 2012 Rakhine State riots. After receiving a peace prize, she told reporters she did not know if the Rohingya could be regarded as Burmese citizens. Under the 1982 Citizenship Law, most Rohingya are unable to qualify for Burmese citizenship. As such, they are treated as illegal immigrants, with restrictions on their movement and withholding of land rights, education and public service. Some describe her stance as politically motivated. However she said that she wanted to work towards reconciliation and that she cannot take sides as "violence has been committed by both sides." According to The Economist, her "halo has even slipped among foreign human-rights lobbyists, disappointed at her failure to make a clear stand on behalf of the Rohingya minority."