The daughter of Burma’s former democratic leader, and a non-violent defender of human rights and freedom, Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced Ong Son Su She) was elected to the Presidency of Burma in 1990 by more than 80% of the popular vote.
A military junta refused to allow the elected Parliament to convene, and placed Aung San Suu Kyi under arrest. They have continued to rule the country since, in one of the world’s most brutal regimes.
After years spent under house arrest or restricted movement, Aung San Suu Kyi was released in 2002. On 30 May, 2003, following an attack on her convoy and massacre of up to 70 of her supporters, and to the outrage of the international community, Suu Kyi was again arrested and taken into “protective custody” by the country’s military junta. More than 100 supporters who were with her that day are unaccounted for.
In May 2008 her house arrest extended for another year, an illegal action under both international law and Burma’s own law.
In August 2009 the house arrest was again extended, this time for 18 more months because of “violation” of her house arrest. The “violation” occurred when an American man, John Yettaw, swam across Inya Lake to her house, uninvited. When he pled exhaustion, she allowed him to stay in her house for two days before attempting to swim back.
Diplomats and journalists were barred from attending the trial.
A delicate woman who has never been broken and never given up, Aung San Suu Kyi stands for the rest of the world as an example of unswerving integrity and striving for justice in the face of oppression.
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To follow events in Burma relating to her detention and upcoming elections, click here.