Saturday, January 2, 2010

 Aung San Suu Kyi on Non-Violence

In 1990, the military junta in Burma called a general election, which the National League for Democracy Party won by an overwhelming 82% of the votes. Aung San Suu Kyi was the NLD's candidate for Prime Minister. Unfortunately, the results of the election were nullified, and the military junta refused to hand over power. This resulted in an international outcry.

Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest at her home on University Avenue in Rangoon. During her arrest, she was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990, and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Since then she has remained under house arrest in Myanmar for almost 14 out of the past 20 years.

Her sons Alexander and Kim accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on her behalf. Aung San Suu Kyi used the Nobel Peace Prize's (1.3 million) prize money to establish a health and education trust for the Burmese people.

In response to international pressure, encouraging the Burmese military government towards democratic reform, the junta has recently granted Aung San Suu Kyi varying degrees of freedom. It is still unclear if she will be released in time for the upcoming Burmese general election.

A successful general election would be an indicator of the Burmese government’s sincerity towards eventual democracy.

To read more about Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma click here.

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