Aung San Suu Kyi

Opposition leader of Burma

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  • In-Country Power
  • International Power
  • Respect
  • Military Strength
  • Intelligence
  • Special Skill: Democracy Diva

Official Stats

  • Official Title: Opposition leader
  • Government: Political Activist
  • Years Left in Office: N/A
  • Political Classification: Center-left
  • Education: BA, PhD in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Age: 72 (born June 19, 1945)

Aung San Suu Kyi Facts and Information

Important Points

  • Aung San Suu Kyi is a political activist in Burma and the leader of the NLD.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi has been a political prisoner for 15 of the last 20 years.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the most awesome fighters for democracy and human rights on the planet.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi is trying to rid Burma of a brutal dictatorship via non-violent and civil disobedience campaigns.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

The Rundown

Holy hell freezing over! She is free! She is free! She is free! As of November 13th 2010, she is free! But many of you are asking…who the hell is free? Who the hell is she?  Ah! My friends, the Plaid Avenger is simply ecstatic to inform you the the she that is free is Aung San Suu Kyi: a real-life Burmese heroine and one of the greatest advocates for human rights and democracy in modern history. Her non-violence campaign for change in brutal-dictatorship-run-Burma has put in her in a league with the likes of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr,, and Nelson Mandela. Yeah, she is that big of a name, and that big of a deal. So what is her deal?

It is almost as fate has made Aung San Suu Kyi pre-destined for her starring role in Burmese politics, and the fight for human rights worldwide. How so? Her mother was Daw Khin Kyi, a prominent public figure, heading social planning and social policy bodies, and Burma?s only woman ambassador (to India and Nepal). Her father was Aung San: commander and hero of the Burmese Independence Army… which was the group that fought to liberate the country from British rule, and in doing so also had to beat back Japanese occupation during World War 2. Big time hero!

Aung San himself is a revered figure that you could compare to George Washington of the American independence experience. Like Washington, Aung San was a military leader of high caliber and capacity. Like Washington, he was slated to become the first leader of a free Burma when independence was gained in 1948.  Unlike Washington, Aung San never got to lead his country into the sunlight of a liberated democracy: he and 6 other prominent members of his political party were assassinated in 1947 by a rival faction. Of course this was devastating to the family and especially to a young Suu Kyi, but this was to be but the first of many bitter blows to Burma’s battered populace…

The fragile Burmese democracy pressed forward in the 1950’s…but soon devolved into political power struggles and in-fighting which increasingly gridlocked progress.  In this period, Daw Khin Kyi, had been appointed ambassador to India in 1960 and had taken young Aung San Suu Kyi with her, which was the beginning of a globalized education and career for our future heroine.  Suu Kyi was educated in India and the UK (Oxford University, B.A. in philosophy, politics and economics at St. Hugh’s College), later moving to New York and working at the United Nations during the day and using her evenings and weekends to volunteer at hospitals, helping indigent patients in programs of reading and companionship. Wow! What an awesome human being, even before being pulled back into the line of fire in Burma!

Say what? Line of fire? What happened to Burma? The worst of the worst! In 1962, General Ne Win seized power over the weak state in a full-on military coup! Ne Win declares himself head of state and wielder of absolute power in Burma…a position he held for 26 years. Democracy was trashed, political opposition suppressed or killed, human rights tanked, minorities repressed…and to add to the misery, Ne Win and his cadres of cads completely destroyed the Burmese economy through mismanagement, corruption, and greed. Burma devolved from its promising proto-democracy birthright to the tyrannical takeover by the military masochists which made the state into a backwards-ass basket-case of Asia. I hate dictatorship bastards!!!!

Tension simmered in the society until the decades of mismanagement and increased political repression came to an absolute boiling point and incited a mass protest of the peoples across the nation…an uprising that was brutally suppressed when military troops were ordered to open fire on the unarmed protestors in the infamous 8-8-88 massacre in Rangoon (so named for the date it occurred). It just so happened that Aung San Suu Kyi had just recently returned to Burma to care for her mother, who had just suffered a massive stroke. Suu Kyi got back just in time to personally witness her country—the country her parents help free—in utter turmoil and destruction.  I guess seeing the military mow down unarmed mothers, monks, and college students had a powerful effect on her.

It was at this moment that Aung San Suu Kyi dedicated the rest of her life to the cause of freeing Burma: to use non-violence and civil disobedience tactics to earn back democracy and human rights for her fellow countrymen.  Wow! Following in her old man’s footsteps! But how? By taking to the streets with protestors and making speeches which got a lot of people passionate for change…remember, she is the daughter of the most famous Burmese hero in modern history, so she immediately had an audience and A LOT of followers. In a very famous incident, Suu Kyi actually led a march of protestors directly through a military roadblock that had guns drawn and pointed directly at her! She stared down the guns, man! This is the stuff of legend! What happened next?

Well, after the diabolically disastrous rule of General Ne Win which led to the 8-8-88 Uprising,  General Saw Maung staged a coup and took over and then formed the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) as a sham front to make the people believe that change was imminent so that they would settle down. They promised to hold elections in 1990 in order to stabilize the state and get everyone to chill out.  Suu Kyi helped establish the National League for Democracy (NLD), became its head, and campaigned tirelessly for a peaceful transition of power.

The military junta freaks were such a pack of arrogant assholes, they honestly believed that the 1990 election could not possibly be won by any single party since there were dozens of political participants (many of them formed and backed by the military itself). Oh how wrong they were! When the votes were counted, Aung San Suu Kyi easily won the Prime Minister position and the NLD party overwhelmingly was swept into power, winning 392 of 489 parliamentary seats. Yay for democracy! But what do you think happened next?

The military dictators did what military dictators always do: they refused to concede power.  Instead of real change, they declared martial law, jailed Aung San Suu Kyi as an enemy of the state, and proceeded to turn even more inward and insane. In some bizarre effort to erase history, they even changed the country’s official English name from ‘Burma’ to ‘Myanmar’. You will notice that Uncle Sam hates these guys so much that the American government refuses to even recognize this name change, to this day.

Things haven’t changed much for Burma, even when the leaders have. In 1992, the current clown-in-command Senior General Than Shwe took over with his ultra-intense insider circle…and a more murderous hive of scum and villainy is not to be found on this planet. In the last 18 years of his wretched regime he has wiped out dissent, crushed ethnic minorities by burning whole villages, and absorbed all power to his own position while looting the national resource wealth of the country for his personal gain. With a personal hatred for freedom and democracy, Shwe has been quite content to keep our heroine locked up and out of sight as much as possible during his reign. At one point in 2003, as Suu Kyi had been released after serving her time, Than Shwe organized a fake mob to attack her, and he then put her under house arrest again “for her own protection.” Geez, what a Shwe shit-heel he is?

And now we are pretty much caught up on the evilness of the Burmese junta, and the awesomeness of Aung San Suu Kyi.  Since the election sham of 1990, the dictatorships have kept her outright in prison or under house arrest for the better part of 15 of the last 20 years.

She has languished in jail/house arrest while missing her children growing up, missing her husband dying of cancer, and missing the opportunities to rally the forces for democracy.  A voluntary prisoner of conscience, she has refused to recant her election victory and even refused offers from the junta to be deported to her freedom outside of the state. In other words, she could be free anywhere on the planet except Burma, and she has chosen to stay a prisoner in Burma in order to stand on principle and work towards freeing her country of this tyrannical grip. How many of us would have the balls to do that? Me thinks not many.

Because of her steadfast dedication to freedom, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, and has subsequently won every damn awesome award and honorary title on the planet.  A devout Buddhist and follower of Gandhi’s non-violence philosophy, ‘The Lady’ (as she has been nicknamed)  is truly a force for good on the planet and an example of self-sacrifice that is almost unfathomable in the modern age.

International observers, UN representatives, Presidents and Prime Ministers the world over have called for her release. The military junta has kept her alive as pretty much a political hostage they can use as leverage against their enemies…well that, and the scumbags know that if they kill her, the country would erupt into violence. I know I will be on the next plane to Rangoon to pull a plaid Rambo if they ever lay a hand on her fair head.

And now we have come full circle to the intro of this bio, wherein I was screaming: She is free! She is free! Indeed, it has finally come to pass that Aung San Suu Kyi was once again released on November 13, 2010…but for how long is anybody’s guess. This came about because Burma was increasingly pressured by the ASEAN economic community (its southeast Asian neighborhood, an equivalent to an Asian EU) to shape up or get kicked out of the club. Also, world economic pressure ad also been building for years, and the junta wants to do more business abroad, so they want to ‘look respectable,’ even if most of us know it?s a bullshit front.

However, it also happened at this particular time because the dictatorship once again held sham elections…but this time they made sure the deck was stacked in their favor. The 2010 elections saw an overwhelming support for….can you guess?....the military junta political party! Huzzah! Huzzah! What a joke. We all know it?s a fake-ass election that will see the same barbaric military monkeys in charge of the state, but now they can pretend as if the people actually put them there via the bogus vote.  So, again, they feel they are gaining legitimacy by appearing to be a democracy and by freeing Aung San Suu Kyi right now. But will it last?

Hey, who knows how long the Lady will have her freedom…and the junta could have once again massively miscalculated how much power she might have now that she is back on the streets, once again fighting for truth, justice and the Burmese way.  I sure hope she once again rallies the nation and they rise up to create what could easily be one of Asia’s most potent and powerful democracies! Long live a free Burma, and long live Aung San Suu Kyi!

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