Saturday, May 19, 2012

Daw Aung Sun Su Kyi,How to avail policy chaning in Myanmar? (1)

Aung San Suu Kyi (born 19 June 1945) is a Myanmar opposition politician and General Secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Myanmar(Burma). In the 1990 general election, the NLD won 59% of the national votes and 81% (392 of 485) of the seats in Parliament.She had, however, already been detained under house arrest before the elections. She remained under house arrest in Myanmar for almost 15 of the 21 years from 20 July 1989 until her most recent release on 13 November 2010,becoming one of the world's most prominent (now former) political prisoners.
She received the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. In 1992 she was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding by the government of India and the International Simón Bolívar Prize from the government of Venezuela. In 2007, the Government of Canada made her an honorary citizen of that country; at the time, she was one of only four people ever to receive the honor. In 2011, she was awarded the Wallenberg Medal.
On 1 April 2012, her opposition party, the National League for Democracy, announced that she was elected to the Pyithu Hluttaw, the lower house of the Myanmar parliament, representing the constituency of Kawhmu; her party also won 43 of the 45 vacant seats in the lower house.The election results were confirmed by the official electoral commission the following day.
Suu Kyi is the third child and only daughter of General Aung San, considered to be the father of modern-day Myanmar.
Aung San Suu Kyi derives her name from three relatives: "Aung San" from her father, "Suu" from her paternal grandmother and "Kyi" from her mother Khin Kyi. She is frequently called Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Daw is not part of her name, but is an honorific, similar to madame, for older, revered women, literally meaning "aunt." She is also often referred to as Daw Suu by the Myanmar (or Amay Suu, lit. "Mother Suu," by some followers), or "Aunty Suu", and as Dr. Suu Kyi, Ms. Suu Kyi, or Mrs. Suu Kyi by the foreign media. However, like other Myanmar, she has no surname (see Myanmar names). The pronunciation of her name is approximated as "Awn Sahn Sue Chee," although the "ch" in "Chee" is unaspirated.

Personal life

Aung San Suu Kyi was born in Rangoon (now named Yangon). Her father, Aung San, founded the modern Myanmar army and negotiated Myanmar's independence from the British Empire in 1947; he was assassinated by his rivals in the same year. She grew up with her mother, Khin Kyi, and two brothers, Aung San Lin and Aung San Oo, in Yangon. Aung San Lin died at age eight, when he drowned in an ornamental lake on the grounds of the house. Her elder brother emigrated to San Diego, California, becoming a United States citizen. After Aung San Lin's death, the family moved to a house by Inya Lake where Suu Kyi met people of very different backgrounds, political views and religions.She was educated in Methodist English High School (now Basic Education High School No. 1 Dagon) for much of her childhood in Myanmar, where she was noted as having a talent for learning languages. She is a Theravada Buddhist.
Suu Kyi's mother, Khin Kyi, gained prominence as a political figure in the newly formed Myanmar government. She was appointed Myanmar ambassador to India and Nepal in 1960, and Aung San Suu Kyi followed her there, she studied in the Convent of Jesus and Mary School, New Delhi and graduated from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi with a degree in politics in 1964. Suu Kyi continued her education at St Hugh's College, Oxford, obtaining a B.A. degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1969. After graduating, she lived in New York City with a family friend and worked at the UN for three years, primarily on budget matters, writing daily to her future husband, Dr. Michael Aris. In 1972, Aung San Suu Kyi married Aris, a scholar of Tibetan culture, living abroad in Bhutan.The following year she gave birth to their first son, Alexander Aris, in London; their second son, Kim, was born in 1977. Subsequently, she earned a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 1985. She was elected as an Honorary Fellow in 1990.For two years she was a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS) in Shimla, India. She also worked for the government of the Union of Myanmar.
Daw Aung San Su Kyi
In 1988 Suu Kyi returned to Myanmar, 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 Myanmar and the Myanmar 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 organizations, including the United States, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Pope John Paul II, the Myanmar 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.
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 Myanmar, 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. Suu Kyi was released from house arrest on 13 November 2010.

Political beginnings

Coincident with Aung San Suu Kyi's return to Myanmar in 1988, the long-time military leader of Myanmar 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.
Influenced by both Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence and more specifically by Buddhist concepts, Aung San Suu Kyi entered politics to work for democratization, helped found the National League for Democracy on 27 September 1988, 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."

1990 general election

In 1990, the military junta called a general election, in which the National League for Democracy (NLD) received 59% of the votes, guaranteeing NLD 80% of the parliament seats. Some claim that Aung San Suu Kyi would have assumed the office of Prime Minister; in fact, however, as she wasn't permitted, she did not stand as a candidate in the elections (although being a MP isn't a strict prerequisite for becoming PM in most parliamentary systems). Instead, the results were nullified and the military refused to hand over power, resulting in an international outcry. Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest at her home on University Avenue (16°49′32″N 96°9′1″E) in Yangon, during which time she was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990, and the Nobel Peace Prize the year after. Her sons Alexander and Kim accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on her behalf.Around this time, Suu Kyi chose non-violence as an expedient political tactic, stating in 2007, "I do not hold to non-violence for moral reasons, but for political and practical reasons," however, nonviolent action as well as civil resistance in lieu of armed conflict are also political tactics in keeping with the overall philosophy of her Theravada Buddhist religion.

1996 attack

On 9 November 1996, the motorcade that she was traveling in with other National League for Democracy leaders Tin Oo and U Kyi Maung, was attacked in Yangon. About 200 men swooped down on the motorcade, wielding metal chains, metal batons, stones and other weapons. The car that Aung San Suu Kyi was in had its rear window smashed, and the car with Tin Oo and U Kyi Maung had its rear window and two backdoor windows shattered. It is believed the offenders were members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA). The NLD lodged an official complaint with the police, and according to reports the government launched an investigation, but no action was taken.

House arrest

Aung San Suu Kyi has been placed under house arrest for 15 of the past 21 years, on different occasions, since she began her political career, during which time she was prevented from meeting her party supporters and international visitors. In an interview, Suu Kyi said that while under house arrest she spent her time reading philosophy, politics and biographies that her husband had sent her. She also passed the time playing the piano, and was occasionally allowed visits from foreign diplomats as well as from her personal physician.
General Aung San and His Family
The media were also prevented from visiting Suu Kyi, as occurred in 1998 when journalist Maurizio Giuliano, after photographing her, was stopped by customs officials who then confiscated all his films, tapes and some notes.In contrast, Suu Kyi did have visits from government representatives, such as during her autumn 1994 house arrest when she met the leader of Myanmar, General Than Shwe and General Khin Nyunt on 20 September in the first meeting since she had been placed in detention. On several occasions during Suu Kyi's house arrest, she had periods of poor health and as a result was hospitalized.
The Myanmar government detained and kept Suu Kyi imprisoned because it viewed her as someone "likely to undermine the community peace and stability" of the country, and used both Article 10(a) and 10(b) of the 1975 State Protection Act (granting the government the power to imprison people for up to five years without a trial), and Section 22 of the "Law to Safeguard the State Against the Dangers of Those Desiring to Cause Subversive Acts" as legal tools against her. She continuously appealed her detention,and many nations and figures continued to call for her release and that of 2,100 other political prisoners in the country. On 12 November 2010, days after the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) won elections conducted after a gap of almost 20 years, the junta finally agreed to sign orders allowing Suu Kyi's release, and Suu Kyi's house arrest term came to an end on 13 November 2010.

UN involvement

The UN has attempted to facilitate dialogue between the junta and Suu Kyi. On 6 May 2002, following secret confidence-building negotiations led by the UN, the government released her; a government spokesman said that she was free to move "because we are confident that we can trust each other". Aung San Suu Kyi proclaimed "a new dawn for the country". However on 30 May 2003 in an incident similar to the 1996 attack on her, a government-sponsored mob attacked her caravan in the northern village of Depayin, murdering and wounding many of her supporters. Aung San Suu Kyi fled the scene with the help of her driver, Ko Kyaw Soe Lin, but was arrested upon reaching Ye-U. The government imprisoned her at Insein Prison in Yangon. After she underwent a hysterectomy in September 2003, the government again placed her under house arrest in Yangon.
The results from the UN facilitation have been mixed; Razali Ismail, UN special envoy to Myanmar, met with Aung San Suu Kyi. Ismail resigned from his post the following year, partly because he was denied re-entry to Myanmar on several occasions. Several years later in 2006, Ibrahim Gambari, UN Undersecretary-General (USG) of Department of Political Affairs, met with Aung San Suu Kyi, the first visit by a foreign official since 2004. He also met with Suu Kyi later the same year. On 2 October 2007 Gambari returned to talk to her again after seeing Than Shwe and other members of the senior leadership in Naypyidaw.State television broadcast Suu Kyi with Gambari, stating that they had met twice. This was Suu Kyi's first appearance in state media in the four years since her current detention began.
The United Nations Working Group for Arbitrary Detention published an Opinion that Aung San Suu Kyi's deprivation of liberty was arbitrary and in contravention of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, and requested that the authorities in Myanmar set her free, but the authorities ignored the request at that time. The U.N. report said that according to the Myanmar Government’s reply, "Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has not been arrested, but has only been taken into protective custody, for her own safety", and while "it could have instituted legal action against her under the country’s domestic legislation ... it has preferred to adopt a magnanimous attitude, and is providing her with protection in her own interests."
Such claims were rejected by Brig-General Khin Yi, Chief of Myanmar Police Force (MPF). On 18 January 2007, the state-run paper New Light of Myanmar accused Suu Kyi of tax evasion for spending her Nobel Prize money outside of the country. The accusation followed the defeat of a US-sponsored United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Myanmar as a threat to international security; the resolution was defeated because of strong opposition from China, which has strong ties with the military junta (China later voted against the resolution, along with Russia and South Africa).
In November 2007, it was reported that Suu Kyi would meet her political allies National League for Democracy along with a government minister. The ruling junta made the official announcement on state TV and radio just hours after UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari ended his second visit to Myanmar. The NLD confirmed that it had received the invitation to hold talks with Suu Kyi. However, the process delivered few concrete results.
On 3 July 2009, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon went to Myanmar to pressure the junta into releasing Suu Kyi and to institute democratic reform. However, on departing from Myanmar, Ban Ki-moon said he was "disappointed" with the visit after junta leader Than Shwe refused permission for him to visit Suu Kyi, citing her ongoing trial. Ban said he was "deeply disappointed that they have missed a very important opportunity."

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