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Aung San Suu Kyi's Biography

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Aung San Suu Kyi was born on 19 June 1945 in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar).

Her father, U Aung San, who was assassinated when she was two on 19 July 1947, negotiated Burma's independence from the British after the second World War and the removal of the Japanese occupation.

In 1960 her mother, Daw Khin Kyi, became the Burmese ambassador to India. Suu Kyi was later to be inspired by Gandhi and his practice of non-violent resistance.

Meanwhile in 1962, General Ne Win led a military coup in Burma and formed a single-party state.

In 1967, having studied at Delhi University, Aung San Suu Kyi gained a BA in PPE at Oxford University. After which she worked in the UN Secretariat (U. Thant of Burma was Secretary-General).

On January 1 1972 Aung San Suu Kyi married a Briton, Michael Vaillancourt Aris. She joined Aris in Bhutan, where he taught the royal family and ran the translation department.

In 1973 they returned to England where they had two sons.

Motherhood and the academic life proceeded relatively calmly until Suu Kyi's return to Burma in 1988.

On March 31 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi heard of her mother's stroke and went to Rangoon.

In the summer of 1988 General Ne Win resigned, and there were mass uprisings throughout Burma. In response, the military killed thousands of the protesters.

Aung San Suu Kyi became involved in 'the second struggle for national independence' and became the leader of a democratic opposition, National League for Democracy (NLD), which employed non-violent opposition.

Aung San Suu Kyi's mother passed away on December 27, 1988.

In spite of intimidation Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD continued their protests. On July 20 1989 Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest without charge. 

On May 27 1990, the National League for Democracy gained a landslide election victory, however, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) refused to recognise the results.

The 1990s saw awards and international recognition, most notably the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize but it had little effect on the stubbornness from those in power in Burma.

On March 27, 1999, Aung San Suu Kyi's husband Michael Aris died of prostate cancer in London. He had been refused permission to visit Suu Kyi and had not seen her since a Christmas visit in 1995.

Aung San Suu Kyi resisted the Burmese authorities urgings for her to join her family abroad, believing that she would not be allowed to return.

Some of her beliefs and thoughts are encapsulated in Letters from Burma.

In May 2007, the BBC reported: "Burma's military junta has extended the house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi by one year ..."

In September 2007, Aung San Suu Kyi greeted Buddhist monks protesting against the military junta. She emerged from the house she has been detained in since 2003 to greet the monks.

In May 2009, the BBC reported that Aung San Suu Kyi was suffering from low blood pressure and dehydration.

On 14 May 2009, the BBC reported that Aung San Suu Kyi was to face trial for breaching the conditions of her detention under house arrest.

On 11 August 2009, Aung San Suu Kyi was convicted of violating Burmese security laws by allowing a US national into her lakeside home and was sentenced to an additional 18 months' house arrest.

On 13 November 2010, the military authorities in Burma released Aung San Suu Kyi. She had been detained for 15 of the previous 21 years.

On 1 April 2012, her party reported that Suu Kyi had won her by-election contest in the poor Kawhmu township just outside of Rangoon with 99 per cent of the vote.

In 2015, she led her National League for Democracy (NLD) to victory in Myanmar's first openly contested election in 25 years.

She was deposed by a coup in 2021 when the military took control and arrested her.

In December 2022, Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to a further seven years in prison, taking her overall sentence to 33 years.

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