For decades the name of Aung San Suu Kyi has been associated with the peaceful struggle for democracy in Myanmar. Prize Peace Nobelpolitical detainee and leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), at 78 years old, Suu Kyi still sports dark hair and an expectant look stands out on her face, hardened by the deprivation of liberty, various reprisals against her and a personal life subordinated to politics. However, their moral authority worn out in recent times: he kept silent before the rohingya genocide and, in the international process for that crime against humanitygave favorable testimony to the army tried for the massacre.
In addition, over the decades, its political influence has decreased due to the appearance of new pro democracy leaders. While she was detained, the endurance traveled other paths to which more joined political groups of diverse origins, strategies and ideologies. In this sum of factors, suu kyi represents for the first time only one important protest among many others, which also attract international attention, according to The Interpreter.
In August 2023 The Ladyas it was called after receiving the Nobel In 1991, he received a partial pardon for his 33-year sentence, the regime in his country decided. However, even reduced her sentence is 27 years, which probably means that she ends the days of her detention.
The greatest challenge of his life came when he commanded a nation with deep wounds, so deep that they are still open. The cost of going down in history Myanmar as a banner of resistance against the power of the armed forces was not being able to accompany the growth of their children. Today, moreover, he faces the questioning and repudiation of other international activists, while his image seems to remain in the past as other dynamics of pro-democracy fightfrom multiple sectors of the population, which arose after the 2021 coupin accordance with Guardian.
The Lady at the head of the riots
Aung San Suu Kyi was born on June 19, 1945 in ragoonthe largest city in Myanmaran Asian country formerly known as burma. From the first years of his life, the fire of the fight for independence would consume his father, the General Aung-san, who died on the battlefield when she was two years old. her mother, Daw Khin Kyimade the decision to go to India, as an ambassador, with the girl.
That diplomatic position allowed suu kyi crossed the militarized borders of Myanmar. Once The Lady reached the age to receive a university education, she traveled to Oxford. His political and philosophical training would be the first foundations of his vocation as a activistinspired by the struggles of historical figures such as Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhiaccording to BBC.
His country was sunk in another crisis and the dictatorship of the General Ne Win, established in 1962, repressed any type of demonstration against it. The regime was marked by the brutality with which any hope for a democratic transition was crushed. One of the most remembered repressions in the history of that country was the destruction of the building of the student union of the University of Ragunin accordance with French 24.
Extreme violence victimized people from any social sphere. However, students, workers, civil servants, Buddhist monks and even other soldiers took to the streets in protests that ended with thousands of murders by gunfire. This turning point came in 1988, a turbulent year for a new military order headed by the General Saw Maungwho implemented the martial law.
The Maung regime experienced historic moments: it baptized the country under the name of Myanmaras it is currently known, and witnessed the rise of a new political force. It was about one opposition structured through democratic ideas, human rights and civil liberties. Leading these ideals and the mass demonstrations was a woman: Aung San Suu Kyiwho had returned that year to his homeland.
The Brief Victory of the National League for Democracy
The main drivers of the democracy they associated in the NLD. The political party born in 1988 sought to form a force of peaceful opposition against the military dictatorship that had shed blood since the independence of Myanmar. The Lady She served as Secretary General, a position from which she articulated proposals and mobilizations to end the entrenched power of General Maung.
The combative period was marked by repressions with extreme violence. It was an agonizing year for the nation that saw one of his daughters leading a peaceful resistance be sentenced to house arrest in June 1989. The charges were based on an alleged imminent danger to the State. The deprivation of liberty would be a constant in the life of Aung San Suu Kyi.
The sacrifice paid off, as the military dictatorship made a call for elections during 1990. The results showed a clear victory for NLDthe political party of The Lady; but the armed forces in command ignored any indication of their defeat and refused to cede power. The process through which the woman had fought had a fleeting permanence, it was a disappointment that she faced alone.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s life in solitary confinement
Despite the repression in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi she had the opportunity to form a family: a husband she could never say goodbye to and two children whom she barely knows. During her time in Oxford met british michael aris, who did you fall in love with. She with him had two children, Alexander and Kim Aris.
He lived a relatively quiet life with his family until the 1980s, when he returned to his country and became a political leader. However, since she was imprisoned in 1989, she has lost the right to visits. She was released in 1995 with restrictions on leaving the country, she was arrested again by military meeting in 2000 after traveling to the city of Mandalay, which violated the impositions against him, according to the Anadolu Agency. During that period, the husband of Aung San Suu Kyi he died of cancer in 1999. Despite the fact that the United Kingdom tried to negotiate with the dictatorship a trip for La Dama to visit Aris, she feared that if she left the regime would prevent her from returning.
In 2002 he was released but for a short time: after a fight between his party activists against the followers of the military regime, he was left in house arrest. There they could visit only their closest colleagues; instead, she was forbidden to meet with her children.
After eight years in detention, in November 2010 suu kyi was released and was able to see one of her children who visited Myanmar. KimThe boy she had last seen before Aris’s death was a man and a stranger.
The fight that suu kyi incarnated for 21 years between arrests and rigged elections by the military regime became an international symbol of peaceful resistance for democracy and human rights against violence, which is why in 1991 he received the award Peace Nobel.
Myanmar’s democracy overshadowed by the Rohingya genocide
The 2010 government in Myanmar showed greater openness compared to 50 years of military totalitarianism. The reforms that were adopted allowed the NLD had a greater presence in the political transition. The ex-president Thein Sein considered necessary by-elections in parliament. In that way, The Lady was elected to the position of congressman in 2012. Furthermore, his party managed to win 43 of the 45 seats. That occasion was the first time that elections were called in two decades, according to The world.
The political improvement led to the presidential elections in 2015 and the victory went to the NLD with htin kyaw as the first democratically installed president in 54 years. The man is one of the childhood friends of suu kyiwho was unable to compete in the elections due to the constitutional reform —made for her case— that prohibits a person from being a candidate if they have first-degree relatives with foreign nationality.
Htin Kyaw left his position in 2018 due to health problems, while The Lady, as foreign minister, denounced how the armed forces still held a powerful grip on the country’s politics. Her replacement for the presidency was win myintand with your help suu kyi she achieved stability in the government and established herself as the true leader.
However, the repression of the armed forces against Muslims rohingya —in which the circulation of discriminatory content played a role in Facebook— eclipsed the political trajectory of The Lady, who had promised to resolve the conflicts between this ethnic minority and the Buddhist population. The escalation of violence began with the events that occurred in August 2017: the military rohingya coordinated an attack on different police stations in the town of Rakhine and, in response, the army began a brutal pursuit with mass murder, rape and burning of villagesaccording to Evening Standard.
The repression left more than 75,000 refugees in Bangladesh, according to data from International Amnesty. About, suu kyi stated that the army only enforced the “rule of law”; he also did not know the number of displaced by violence. His attitude was criticized by international activists and for this reason some of the awards he received were withdrawn. Although the comments have had minimal repercussions on his government, there was a genocide trial before the international Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague during 2019. suu kyi He said that the crackdown had been a legitimate action against terrorists.
The fall of Suu Kyi in a new coup
The democratic transition of Myanmar It was fragile and besieged by the army since its inception. The point that began to outline the fall of the government was the electoral process held in November 2020. Although the NLD was victorious again, the armed forces disregarded the results and declared an alleged fraud. The Union, Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) opponent and with support of the military demanded a recount of votes, in accordance with the Anadolu Agency.
The memory of a past between the military dictatorship and extreme violence revived on February 1, 2021, when the army gave a new coup. During the offensive there were massive arrests of officials, blocking of flights and the suspension of the internet. Among the detainees, the most important was Aung San Suu Kyi. She was accused of violating a hitherto unknown import law, according to The New York Times.
The military also arrested the former president win myint and power fell to the commander-in-chief Min Aunghlaing. Thus, hope of preserving the fragile democracy that they had known in the country’s recent history was lost again.
The charges under which the military regime imprisoned suu kyi since 2021 they are inciting dissent, stifling freedoms, breaking with the rules adopted during the covid-19 pandemic, violating the Official Secrets Law and committing electoral fraud. For all this she was sentenced to 33 years in prison. However, some of these sentences have been annulled or reduced by the dictatorship, which is still prosecuting her.
The last sentence he received was handed down at the beginning of August 2023, when the military junta granted a partial pardon with which it would annul five of the 19 sentences he faces. That doesn’t change that the last chapter in the life of The Lady is defined by imprisonment, since the penalties ensure at least 27 years without freedom in the state of emergency that is devastating Myanmar.
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