Aung San Suu Kyi
Just to utter her name in Burma
is a severe offense.
In Burma, she's known as "The Lady," plainly as
"The Lady." Her father, the great General Aung San,
sparked the advancement of the Burmese people to
create a democratic government. Assassinated in 1947,
he left behind unfinished goals and a family with the
fighting spirit to fulfill those same dreams. By the time that
Aung San Suu Kyi, for the first time since her family
left their home country, revisited Burma, it was under
one of the world's most oppressive governments. Inspired by her
parents' pursuit, Suu Kyi has become a renowned figure to her
people and people throughout the world.
On August 13, 2000, Dateline NBC aired "Beyond Rangoon: Life of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi," revealing
to us the importance of this 1991 Nobel Peace Prize
winner. As strong believers in democracy ourselves, we
cringe upon seeing the pictures of abuse and injustice
in this country. There is no freedom of any kind--murmur
"I want freedom" beneath your breath and fear to be
imprisoned if caught. Children are deprived of their
education. The sick are untreated. The military junta is
"slaughtering civilians and jailing an estimated 1000
political prisoners" (NBC). But what is the Burmese
government doing to change such a horrible scene?
Nothing. Some agree that it is the government that
created this setting. Rare photos of laborers in chains,
barely able to stand upright, shared via the Internet,
One of the few courageous enough to speak out and
bring about change is Aung San Suu Kyi.
Compared to as being a Ghandhi of Burma, she induced
her people to peacefully let their needs be heard. But
their peaceful demonstrations are silenced by military
attacks--innocent blood flow like tears along the streets.
Still, Suu Kyi does not give up. Constantly
emphasizing peace and benevolence, she teaches
Buddhist and Ghandhian principles and practices.
She established the National League for Democracy
(NLD) and is its general secretary. She continues to
make public speeches in support of the democratic
ideal. But her efforts are hindered by government
restraints--Suu Kyi was released from house
arrest in July of 1995, only to be put back a few months
later, and is currently faced with the threat of political
But no matter what will happen, Aung San Suu Kyi
will be forever remembered as the symbol of courage
and hope for her people.
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