Aung San Suu Kyi – her time begins

Burmese resistance leader Aung San Suu Kyi, called “the power of the powerless” is free and is set to open a new chapter in the history of Burma (Myanmar) and Asia.

Having spent the last few days meeting foreign diplomats and the leaders of the political and ethnic groups in her country, Aung San Suu Kyi is ready to take up the post she was elected to in 1990 after 20 months under house arrest ended on Monday.

Her National League for Democracy won an overwhelming election majority in 1990, two years after she had returned to the country her father, General Aung San, led to independence before his assassination and after student unrest and demonstrations had brought the capital, Rangoon, to a standstill. The result of this was that the military junta, led by the dictator, General Ne Win, refused to hand over power and placed Aung San Suu Kyi under arrest.

The 1991 Nobel Peace Laureate told her supporters that Burma was facing a “new dawn” and that her release from arrest was a “major breakthrough” for democracy, fulfilling the prophecy of Francis Sejested, the Chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, that she was an “outstanding example of the power of the powerless”.

Accompanying her mother, the Burmese Ambassador to India, Aung San Suu Kyi lived in Japan and Bhutan before living permanently in Oxford with her husband, the Englishman Michael Aris, with whom she has two sons. However, she was drawn back to Burma, alone, in 1988, after violent clashes between the military regime and the people. “I could not, as my father’s daughter, remain indifferent to all that was going on”, she claimed.

She is set to realise her potential, leading her people to the freedom they deserve and making a considerable contribution to the history of Asia.


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