Category Archives: Thought Leaders

ASEAN excludes Myanmar junta leader from summit in rare move

Singapore’s foreign ministry said on Saturday the move to exclude junta chief Min Aung Hlaing was a “difficult, but necessary, decision to uphold ASEAN’s credibility” | AP/file

Singapore’s foreign ministry said on Saturday the move to exclude junta chief Min Aung Hlaing was a “difficult, but necessary, decision to uphold ASEAN’s credibility”.

Southeast Asian countries will invite a non-political representative from Myanmar to a regional summit this month, delivering an unprecedented snub to the military leader who led a coup against an elected civilian government in February.

The decision taken by foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at an emergency meeting on Friday night, marks a rare bold step for the consensus-driven bloc, which has traditionally favoured a policy of engagement and non-interference.

Singapore’s foreign ministry said on Saturday the move to exclude junta chief Min Aung Hlaing was a “difficult, but necessary, decision to uphold ASEAN’s credibility”.

The statement cited a lack of progress made on a roadmap to restore peace in Myanmar that the junta had agreed to with ASEAN in April.

A spokesman for Myanmar’s military government blamed “foreign intervention” for the decision.

Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun told the BBC Burmese news service that the United States and representatives of the European Union had pressured other ASEAN member states.

“The foreign interventions can also be seen here,” he said. “We learned that some envoys from some countries met with U.S. foreign affairs and received pressure from EU.”

More than 1,000 civilians have been killed by Myanmar security forces with thousands of others arrested, according to the United Nations, amid a crackdown on strikes and protests which has derailed the country’s tentative democracy and prompted international condemnation.
The junta says those estimates of the death toll are exaggerated.

ASEAN’s current chair Brunei said a non-political figure from Myanmar would be invited to the Oct. 26-28 summit, after no consensus was reached for a political representative to attend.

“As there had been insufficient progress… as well as concerns over Myanmar’s commitment, in particular on establishing constructive dialogue among all concerned parties, some ASEAN Member States recommended that ASEAN give space to Myanmar to restore its internal affairs and return to normalcy,” Brunei said in a statement.

It did not mention Min Aung Hlaing or name who would be invited in his stead.

Brunei said some member states had received requests from Myanmar’s National Unity Government, formed by opponents of the junta, to attend the summit.

‘Justified Downgrade’ 

ASEAN has faced increasing international pressure to take a tougher stand against Myanmar, having been criticised in the past for its ineffectiveness in dealing with leaders accused of rights abuses, subverting democracy and intimidating political opponents.

A US State Department official told reporters on Friday that it was “perfectly appropriate and in fact completely justified” for ASEAN to downgrade Myanmar’s participation at the coming summit.

Singapore in its statement urged Myanmar to cooperate with ASEAN’s envoy, Brunei’s second foreign affairs minister Erywan Yusof.

Erywan has delayed a long-planned visit to the country in recent weeks and has asked to meet all parties in Myanmar, including deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained in the coup.

Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun said this week Erywan would be welcome in Myanmar, but would not be allowed to meet Suu Kyi because she is charged with crimes.

Malaysia’s foreign minister said it would be up to the Myanmar junta to decide on an alternate representative to the summit.

“We never thought of removing Myanmar from ASEAN, we believe Myanmar has the same rights (as us),” foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah told reporters according to Bernama state news agency.

“But the junta has not cooperated, so ASEAN must be strong in defending its credibility and integrity,” he added.

By: Reuters | Bandar Seri Begawan |

Myanmar: Three million in urgent need of life-saving assistance, protection

World Bank/Markus Kostner | Boats leave from the shoreline of Myanmar. (file)

The UN Country Team in Myanmar remains “deeply concerned over the humanitarian impact” of the country’s ongoing crises stemming largely from the military coup in February, the UN Spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Updating journalists at the daily media briefing in New York, Stéphane Dujarric cited humanitarians in saying that “conflict, food insecurity, natural disasters and COVID-19” have left some three million women, children and men in urgent need of life-saving assistance and protection.

“This includes one million people who were in need at the start of the year, plus an additional two million people identified as needing help after the military takeover on 1 February”, he said.

At that time, following a general election in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won by a landslide, the military seized control of the country and declared a year-long state of emergency. 

As protesters took to the streets, security forces imposed curfews and other restrictions, leading to widespread alleged human rights abuses, thousands of arrests, and hundreds of deaths.

Displaced and vulnerable people

Since then, clashes between Myanmar Armed Forces, different ethnic armed organizations and people’s defense forces have left some 219,000 people newly displaced, said Mr. Dujarric.

This comes as a recent wave of COVID-19 has exacerbated the dire humanitarian situation. At the same time, floods in Rakhine and Kayin states, have left tens of thousands without water and sanitation. 

“The UN once again calls on parties concerned to ensure that aid can be scaled up to reach people affected by the continued armed conflict”, said the Spokesperson.

Despite conflict and COVID, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners have been able to reach more than 33,000 people with water and sanitation supplies.

Mr. Dujarric also said that UNICEF continues to help nearly 150,000 internally displaced people and others in Kachin, Northern Shan, Rakhine and Sagaing. 

Families flee

Meanwhile, the agency on Monday posted a detailed account of the deteriorating situation in Mindat – located in the southern Chin state of western Myanmar – which has been under martial law since May.

According to a UN humanitarian report, Mindat is one of the worst affected places in the country, with residents there urgent need of support.  

Amid continuing armed clashes and a devasting third wave of the pandemic, UNICEF told the story in a blog post of Hay Mar and her husband, who, like many others, decided to flee the violence, forced to leaving behind some of the most vulnerable – including elderly relatives, and heavily pregnant women.

“My mother-in-law could have run with us, but she said she didn’t want to. She wanted to stay in her home”, said Hay Mar.

The family fashioned makeshift shelters in the forest, which left them with little protection from the monsoon rains.

Future of uncertainty

Two weeks after Hay Mar and her family left, she began to worry about her mother-in-law.

With her three children in tow, she decided to return to the town.

Although her youngest was petrified as they re-entered, she said that he is now slowly showing signs of overcoming the trauma and is returning to the lively boy he once was.

While Hay Mar is happy to see positive changes in him, she is unsure how long this period of peace and calm will last.

Like most of the other children in Mindat, her 12 and 17-year-olds have been out of school for almost two years – first because of the pandemic and then due to the life-threatening security crisis.

“If we live in this situation, how will my children grow? I’m very worried about their future. I just want to live in peace”, she told UNICEF.   


UN chief urges united action to prevent Myanmar catastrophe

Antonio Guterres

The UN chief’s urgent call for a united international and regional response indicates that with ASEAN’s slow movement, Guterres feels it is time for broader international action as well

The United Nations chief is urging unified regional and international action to prevent the crisis in Myanmar from becoming a large-scale conflict and multi-faceted catastrophe in the heart of Southeast Asia and beyond.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned in a report to the U.N. General Assembly circulated Wednesday that the opportunity to prevent the army from entrenching its rule could be narrowing and said it is urgent that regional and international countries help put Myanmar back on the path to democratic reform.

When Myanmar’s army ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb. 1, it claimed with scant evidence that the general election her party won last November in a landslide was marred by widespread fraud. The takeover almost immediately sparked widespread street protests that security forces tried to crush. The pushback has left more than 1,100 people dead, according to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and right groups.

The United Nations has supported a five-point plan adopted by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Myanmar, that calls for stopping violence, constructive dialogue, appointment of an ASEAN special envoy as mediator and humanitarian aid. It took until early August for ASEAN to pick Brunei’s Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof as their special envoy, and he is reportedly still negotiating with the military on the terms of a visit.

In the report, Guterres welcomed Yusof’s appointment, called for timely and comprehensive implementation of the five-point consensus to facilitate a peaceful solution, and strongly encouraged ASEAN to work with the U.N. special envoy.

His urgent call for a united international and regional response indicates that with ASEAN’s slow movement, Guterres feels it is time for broader international action as well.

The risk of a large-scale armed conflict requires a collective approach to prevent a multi-dimensional catastrophe in the heart of Southeast Asia and beyond, the secretary-general said. Grave humanitarian implications, including rapidly deteriorating food security, an increase in mass displacements and a weakened public health system compounded by a new wave of COVID-19 infections require a coordinated approach in complementarity with regional actors.

He said it is imperative to restore Myanmar’s constitutional order and uphold the results of the November 2020 election. He suggested neighbouring countries could leverage their influence over the military to have it respect the will of the people and to act in the greater interest of peace and stability in the country and region.

Guterres said the international and regional effort must be accompanied by the immediate release of Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other government officials as well as immediate humanitarian access and aid, especially to vulnerable communities, including some 600,000 Rohingya Muslims still in northern Rakhine state and the more than 700,000 who fled a 2017 military crackdown and are now in camps in neighboring Bangladesh.

The report, covering the period from mid-August 2020 to mid-August 2021, said that since the military takeover, security forces have engaged in wide-ranging brutal repression, especially of those protesting Suu Kyi’s ouster, sparked a political crisis with wide implications for the region, and carried out serious human rights violations.

Those expressing opposition to the military and joining democratic movements, as well as their relatives and associates, have been subject to arbitrary killings and detentions, disappearances, night raids, intimidation and torture, Guterres said. There have also been numerous reports of sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated by the security forces.

Between February 1 and late July, he said, there have been at least 150 instances in which security forces reportedly used lethal force against unarmed protesters.

Guterres said students and education staff have been primary targets of repression, pointing to reports by the Myanmar Teachers’ Federation that at least 70 students and five teachers have been killed by security forces, that 775 students and 76 teachers have been detained, and that more than 125,000 teachers and 13,000 school staff in higher education institutions have been suspended or dismissed.

The secretary-general said there have also been numerous reports of violence targeting security forces as well as killings of individuals suspected of collaborating with the military.


Activists fear for life of detained students’ union leader

Members of Aye Nandar Soe’s students’ union say they fear for her life (Supplied) 

Aye Nandar Soe was taken away on Sunday and her whereabouts are unknown

Activists say they fear for the life of a students’ union chairperson after she was detained by junta forces on Sunday afternoon while travelling on a long distance bus.

Aye Nandar Soe, 21, was stopped and arrested at the Yadanabon bridge connecting Mandalay and Sagaing regions. She leads the students’ union at the Sagaing University of Education, where she is in her fourth year of studies. 

Her friends say her whereabouts are unknown and believe she was arrested because of her opposition to the military’s February coup. Her detention comes as the junta steps up its crackdown against student and youth activists across the country. 

The junta has not made a public announcement about Aye Nandar Soe’s arrest or the grounds on which she is being detained. Many other student activists who were detained recently have been charged with incitement.  

“Our comrade Aye Nandar Soe is being detained… but we still do not know where she is being held,” the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), of which Aye Nandar Soe’s union is a member, said in a statement. 

“We fear for our comrade Aye Nandar Soe’s life and safety,” the statement said. 

An ABFSU spokesperson said he had no information about where she was travelling when she was detained.  

The military has stepped up arrests of anti-junta student activists in recent weeks, but the exact number detained is unknown, the spokesperson added.  

“Many students from the ABFSU and other students’ unions were arrested, but the ones who were not will continue to revolt against the military,” he told Myanmar Now.

On Sunday three young activists, including two members of the ABFSU, were detained in Yangon and accused of being involved in bank robberies to fund armed resistance against the junta. 

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 1,122 people have now been killed by the junta and 6,698 others are in detention. 


Framework for Political Dialogue to be Completed Prior to Next Peace Conference

MS. AUNG SAN SUU KYI KICKSTARTED THE PEACE CONFERENCE ON AUGYST 31, 2016During a press conference held on the third day of the Panglong Union Peace Conference, it was announced that the ‘Framework for Political Dialogue’ (FPD) will be finalized before the second round of the Union Peace Conference. Speaking on the occasion, Retired Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo stated that a common ground is being sought for discussions and in order to achieve that aim the political dialogue framework will be finalized before the next conference. Dr SalaiLian Hmung Sakhong , who was also present at the vent shared that the coalition of seven armed ethnic organizations named United Nationalities Federal Council, which has not yet signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement has presented a paper on its policies to the third-day session of the conference.

U.S. Considering Easing Sanctions on Myanmar during Ms. Suu Kyi’s White House Visit

U.S. CONSIDERING EASING SANCTIONS ON MYANMAR DURING MS. SUU KYI’S WHITE HOUSE VISITThe U.S. Government is considering easing sanctions against Myanmar during the time of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit which is scheduled for later this month. This will be her first visit to the United States after her party came in power. Despite democratically held elections in November last year and National League of Democracy coming in power in Myanmar, military still has a lot of power in Myanmar. Mr. Obama will decide on how much to ease the sanctions after consultations between his administration and Ms. Suu Kyi.

The sanctions were originally imposed as a result of Ms. Suu Kyi’s efforts who during her time as a jailed opposition leader was able to convince the Western countries to use them to make the Military Government make way for democracy. Now that she is in power, she is trying to get the citizens of her country to enjoy the economic benefits of a democracy while at the same time pushing the Military for further reforms.

Some of the sanctions were already eased by Mr. Obama previously which includes removal of Myanmar’s state-owned banks from the U.S. blacklist and of measures against seven key state-owned timber and mining firms. How much will Ms. Suu Kyi want U.S. to ease pressure on Myanmar’s military is yet to be seen.

History Of Burma

Early Burma

History Of BurmaThe Nation we know as Burma was first formed during the goldenage of Pagan in the 11th century. King Anawratha ascended the throne in 1044, uniting Burma under his monarchy. His belief in Buddhism lead him to begin building the temples and pagodas for which the city of Pagan (above) is renowned. Pagan became the first capital of a Burmese kingdom that included virtually all of modern Burma. The golden age of pagan reached its peak in during the reign of Anawratha’s successor,Kyanzitta (1084-1113), another devout Buddhist, under whom it aquired the name
” City of four million pagodas “.

Under Colonial Rule

Although Burma was at times divided into independent states, a series of monarchs attempted to establish their absolute rule, with varying degrees of success. Eventually, an expansionist British Government took advantage of Burma’s political instability. After three Anglo-Burmese wars over a period of 60 years, the British completed their colonization of the country in 1886, Burma was immediately annexed as a province of British India, and the British began to permeate the ancient Burmese culture with foreign elements. Burmese customs were often weakened by the imposition of British traditions.

The British also further divided the numerous ethnic minorities by favouring some groups, such as the Karen, for positions in the military and in local rural administrations. During the 1920s, the first protests by Burma’s intelligentsia and Buddhist monks were launched against British rule. By 1935, the Students Union at Rangoon University was at the forefront of what would evolve into an active and powerful movement for national independence. A young law student Aung San, executive-committee member and magazine editor for the Students Union, emerged as the potential new leader of the national movement. In the years that followed, he successfully organized a series of student strikes at the university, gaining the support of the nation.

Independence and Democracy

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Aung San seized the opportunity to bring about Burmese independence. He and 29 others, known as the Thirty Comrades, left Burma to undergo military training in Japan. In 1941, they fought alongside the Japanese who invaded Burma. The Japanese promised Aung San that if the British were defeated, they would grant Burma her freedom. When it became clear that the Japanese would not follow through with their promise, Aung San quickly negotiated an agreement with the British to help them defeat the Japanese.

History Of BurmaHailed as the architect of Burma’s new-found independence by the majority of Burmese, Aung San was able to negotiate an agreement in January 1947 with the British, under which Burma would be granted total independence from Britain. Although a controversial figure to some ethnic minorities, he also had regular meetings with ethnic leaders throughout Burma in an effort to create reconciliation and unity for all Burmese.

As the new leader drafted a constitution with his party’s ministers in July 1947, the course of Burmese history was dramatically and tragically altered. Aung San and members of his newly-formed cabinet were assasinated when an opposition group with machine guns burst into the room. A member of Aung San’s cabinet, U Nu, was delegated to fill the position suddenly left vacant by Aung San’s death. A Burma was finally granted independence on January 4, 1948, at 4:20am – a moment selected most auspicious by an astrologer.

For the next ten years, Burma’s fledging democratic government was continuously challenged by communist and ethnic groups who felt under-represented in the 1948 constitution. Periods of intense civil war destabilized the nation. Although the constitution declared that minority states could be granted some level of independence in ten years, their long-awaited day of autonomy never arrived. As the economy floundered, U Nu was removed from office in 1958 by a caretaker government led by General Ne Win, one of Aung San’s fellow thakins. In order to “restore law and order” to Burma, Ne Win took control of the whole country including the minority states, forcing them to remain under the jurisdiction of the central government. Although he allowed U Nu to be re-elected Prime Minister in 1960, two years later he staged a coup and solidified his position as Burma’s military dictator.

Burma Under a Dictatorship

History Of BurmaNe Win’s new Revolutionary Coucil suspended the constitution and instituted authoritarian military rule. Full attention turned to the military defeat of communist

and ethnic-minority rebel groups. The country was closed off from the outside world as the new despot promoted an isolation ideology based on what he called the Burmese Way to Socialism. Superstitious, xenophobic and ruthless, for the next three decades Ne Win set a thriving nation on a disatrious path of cultural, environmental and economic ruin. Outside visitors were few and restricted to Rangoon, Mandalay and a handful of other tightly controlled towns close to the central plains. Insurgency remained endemic and in many areas of Burma armed struggle became a way of life.

The People’s Demands Are Met With Bullets

In July 1988 Ne Win suddenly announced that he was preparing to leave the stage. Seeing at last a possible escape from military rule, economic decline and routine human rights abuses, thousands of people took to the streets of Rangoon.

Demonstrations broke out across the country during the so-called "Democracy Summer" that followed. But on August 8, 1988 troops began a four day massacre, firing into crowds of men, women and children gathered in Rangoon. At least 10,000 demonstrators were killed across the country.

Demonstrations broke out across the country during the so-called "Democracy Summer" that followed. But on August 8, 1988 troops began a four day massacre, firing into crowds of men, women and children gathered in Rangoon. At least 10,000 demonstrators were killed across the country.Thousands of students and democracy advocates fled to the border regions under ethnic control and forged alliances with ethnic resistance movements. Some of these groups include the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), the All Burma Student Democratic Front, the Democratic Alliance of Burma, and the longstanding National Democratic Front situated in Manerplaw (the former headquarters of the Karen National Union which fell to SLORC in January 1995). Together these groups formed the National Council of the Union of Burma, an umbrella organization representing all the groups.A Leader Emerges

It just so happened that during this time of unrest in 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi, daughter of independence hero Aung San, who had been living abroad, returned to Burma to care for her ailing mother. Her devotion kept her there and brought her into the political foray. Attempting to quell international condemnation for its violence, the military announced it would hold multi-party elections. Under the persuasion of students and others opposed to the regime, Aung San Suu Kyi and like-minded colleagues founded the National League for Democracy (NLD). Her party quickly gathered country-wide support. Just when democratic changes seemed imminent Ne Win commandeered the army from behind the scenes to take over the country in a staged “coup”.

On September 18, 1988, control of the country was handed to a 19-member State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) and a vicious crackdown followed. Although committed to non-violence, Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest in July 1989 for “endangering the state” and kept there for the next six years. Desperate to improve their image and generate foreign investment, the SLORC went ahead on May 27, 1990 and held the multi-party elections they had promised. Despite the SLORC’s severe repression against members of opposition parties (Aung San Suu Kyi was kept under house arrest) and the complete lack of freedom of expression throughout the country, Suu Kyi’s NLD party swept to victory with 82% of the vote. Surprised and outraged, the SLORC refused to acknowledge the election results and has retained its repressive grip on power ever since.

Current Situation

Eventhough Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in May of 2002 the military has refused to relinquish power. The generals have not engaged in any sort of dialogue. The humanitarian situation in Burma is disasterous and civil war still ravages the border areas. The effect of military rule has been a severly impoverished and underdevelopmed nation, Burma has rated as the second least developed nation on the United Nations Development Index. Peace, democracy and the most basic human rights do not exist. Millions have been forced to flee due to military rule and are scattered all over the world longing for the day when they can return to their homeland and be re-united with the families and live in peace.

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Suu Kyi Speaks at Peace Conference to Boost Myanmar Cease-Fire

v14-13Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s newly appointed State Counselor, spoke at the Union Peace Conference for the first time. This event was held on 12 January, 2016 which was after the election results were announced but before she had accepted any position in Myanmar Government. In the past, Ms. Suu Kyi has called this peace conference a sham and openly criticized it. Therefore, her presence at the event and making a speech there was a big surprise to everyone. These talks were attended by the members of parliament, military and some of the armed guerrilla groups.

These groups have been at war with Myanmar Government for the last many years and have caused serious disruptions and damage. Ms. Suu Kyi’s presence and speech at the event has provided a big boost to the chances of the talks being successful which can bring about a much needed long term peace in country. Ms. Suu Kyi was against these talks earlier because she doubted the intentions of the army. She was of the opinion that these talks and even the ceasefire agreement reached between some rebel groups and Myanmar Governments earlier are both meaningless and just a show-off ploy to project false image to the people.

Showing up at the peace conference and speaking there shows that Ms. Suu Kyi has now changed her opinion on the matter. Her making this gesture after her party wining the elections comfortably and ready to form the new Government shows that she is willing to cooperate and work harmoniously with the previous Government leaders and the army towards the betterment of Myanmar. Her involvement may also help to persuade the other rebel groups who have been so far resisting the peace process to lay down their arms and enter negotiations with the Government.


ang san suiAung San Suu Kyi has openly criticized The Union Peace Conference in the past and therefore no one expected her to be present on the occasion. However, she surprised everyone by suddenly appearing at the event and even making a speech there. These talks were attended by the military, members of parliament, and some of the armed guerrilla groups that are with war with Myanmar government. Ms. Suu Kyi’s presence and speech at the event would surely provide a big boost to the chances of the talks being successful which can bring about a much needed long term peace in country. Even though Ms. Suu Kyi is banned from becoming the president of Myanmar as per the country’s current laws, she has still made it clear that she intends to lead the country through her party National League for Democracy which scored a landslide victory in the recently held Myanmar elections.

The Union Peace Conference was held in Naypyidaw on 12th January, 2016. Aung San Suu Kyi’s initial objection to the event was linked to her disbelief in the intentions of the army. She had dismissed the ceasefire agreement reached last year between the army and some of the armed rebel groups as a pre-election stunt. However, her now showing up at the peace talks and participating in it shows that she is willing to work harmoniously with the previous government leaders and the army towards the betterment of Myanmar. Her involvement may also help to persuade the other rebel groups who have been so far resisting the peace process to lay down their arms and enter negotiations with the government.



Aung San Su Kyi is a legend in her own right. The numerous awards and recognitions that have been bestowed on her are a proof of her greatness. She received the biggest award that any humanitarian can receive, the Nobel Peace Prize, in the year 1991. Besides that she has been awarded the Rafto Prize, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Wallenberg Medal, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding from the Government of India, International Simón Bolívar Prize from the Government of Venezuela, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Award for Democracy from the Government of Pakistan, and Congressional Gold Medal from the Government of the United States. Her life story is filled with numerous struggles and countless sacrifices that she selflessly and courageously made in order to make life better for millions of Myanmar citizens.


Early Years

Aung San Su Kyi was born in Yangon (now Rangoon) on 19 June, 1945. Her father Aung San was the founder of the Burmese Army and he was the one who negotiated with the British Empire and got Myanmar its independence. Unfortunately, he was assassinated by his rivals in the very same year. Aung San Su Kyi and her two brothers were brought up by their mother Khin Kyi. Another tragedy struck the family when one of her brothers Aung San Lin died at the age of eight. Her second brother Aung San Oo emigrated to San Diego, California and became a United States citizen. Soon after Aung San Lin’s death, Aung San Su Kyi’s family moved to a house by Inya Lake and here her mother grew prominent as a political figure. Khin Kyi was posted in India and Nepal as Myanmar’s Ambassador and Aung San Suu Kyi lived there along with her. She also completed most of her schooling and college studies in India.



For her higher studies Aung San Su Kyi went to England and studies at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. After getting a M.A degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics she moved to New York U.S.A. She worked at the United Nations for three years and in 1972 she married Dr. Michael Aris who was a scholar of Tibetan culture and lived in Bhutan. She gave birth to two children Alexander Aris and Kim. Suu Kyi further worked to obtain an M.Phil degree in Burmese literature as a research student at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She went on to be elected as an Honorary Fellow of SOAS in 1990 and for two years she was also a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS) in Shimla, India. She also had the honor of working for the government of the Union of Burma for some time.

In order to attend to her ailing mother, Su Kyi returned to Myanmar in 1988. However, during this visit she got deeply touched by the plight of the Myanmar citizens and went on to lead the pro-democracy movement in order to change things for better. She remained in Myanmar to continue her fight while her husband was denied entry visas thus making it impossible for them to meet. Most of the time of her struggle for democracy was spent under house arrest which was only lifted in 2010. In 1997 Aung San Su Kyi faced one of the biggest dilemmas of her life when her husband Mr. Aris was diagnosed with prostate cancer which was found to be fatal. Myanmar government still refused to allow him to enter the country and Su Kyi didn’t want to leave as she feared she wouldn’t be allowed to enter the country again if she left. Michael Aris died on his 53rd birthday on 27 March 1999.

Political Career


National League for Democracy (NLD) was formed in 1988 under the leadership of Aung San Su Kyi. The party was very popular among the people of Myanmar and it won a significant parliamentary majority in the elections that took place in 1990. Many people believe that Aung San Suu Kyi would have assumed the office of Prime Minister after winning these elections but she was not permitted to stand as a candidate. Eventually, the ruling Military government even refused to acknowledge the election results. Later, NLD refused to register for the elections which were to take place in November 2010 as a protest against many of its members being barred from standing in the elections. Due to this reason, the military junta declared the party illegal and ordered for it to be disbanded. In 2011, Su Kyi engaged in Discussions with the Myanmar Government which went well and they agreed to take measures to meet many of her demands. Two of the most significant outcomes of these talks were the legalization of trade unions and freedom of lot of Myanmar’s political prisoners.


In November 2011, NLD announced its intention to re-register as a political party. Under the leadership of Aung San Su Kyi, the party believes in appealing for pro-democracy in a nonviolent way. Now that Myanmar is gearing up for 2015 elections to be held in November, NLD is expected to fare really well and win the majority of the seats. Even if NLD wins the election, Aung San Su Kyi might not be eligible to become the president as there is a law forbidding anyone with a foreign spouse to hold that post.  However, she still can play a very important role by acting as a leader and a guide for both NLD and the people of Myanmar.