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Aung San Suu Kyi, Daw is a noted contemporary political leader. She was born in Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Rangoon, Burma), the daughter of the assassinated General Aung San, who was hailed as the father of Burmese independence. Aung San Suu Kyi studied in India and at Oxford, and came to be committed to the cause of democracy in her country. Social unrest forced dictator General Ne Win (1911– ) to resign in 1988, and the military took power. In response, she co-founded the National League for Democracy (NLD), but was later arrested along with many NLD members (1989). The NLD won a resounding victory in the ensuing elections, but she was to remain under house arrest. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, she was released in July 1995.

“The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation’s development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution in spirit, the forces which had produced inequities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance, and fear.”

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