Aung San Suu Kyi – The Lady
Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
The decision of the Nobel Committee mentions:
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar (Burma) for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights….
Suu Kyi’s struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression……
In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means.
—Oslo, 14 October 1991
Photo Johnny Leo Johansen(c) Oslo 2012 16.06 I went to Oslo on my own initiative to get a picture of this great Lady and living Legend between other photo jobs 100km away –
During her early years of detention, she was often in solitary confinement. She was not allowed to see her two sons or her husband, who died of cancer in March 1999.
The military authorities offered to allow her to travel to the UK to see him when he was gravely ill, but she felt compelled to refuse for fear she would not be allowed back into the country.
Coincident with Aung San Suu Kyi’s return to Burma in 1988, the long-time military leader of Burma 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.”
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. She was occasionally allowed visits from foreign diplomats as well as from her personal physician.