Letters from Burma by Aung San Suu KyiFor the last decade of Burmas traumatic history, Aung San Suu Kyi - winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize - has been the inspirational leader of attempts to restore democracy to her country. In these fifty-two pieces, originally written for a Japanese newspaper and begun soon after her release from house arrest, she paints a vivid, poignant yet fundamentally optimistic picture of her native land. She evokes the countrys seasons and scenery, customs and festivities, and describes an inspirational pilgrimage to the Buddhist abbot of Thamanya. She celebrates the courageous army officers, academics and actors who have supported the National League for Democracy, often at great personal risk, and she sets out a comprehensive programme for economic reform. A passionate advocate of better health care and education, and the need for ethical foreign investment in Burmas future, Aung San Suu Kyi reveals an acute insight into the impact of political decisions on ordinary peoples lives. She examines the terrible traumas inflicted on children of imprisoned dissidents - children allowed to see their parents for fifteen minutes every fortnight - the effect of inflation on the national diet and of state repression on traditions of hospitality.
Today, her reputation is sullied. What happened? She emerged from years of house arrest in a near-mythical figure, admired for her strength and integrity. She was swept into power in a landslide election that many around the world hoped would bring greater freedom and stability to her country. Three years later, Aung San Suu Kyi is isolated and besieged by critics. She is no longer hailed as a moral icon, but condemned for forsaking the oppressed.
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She held multiple governmental posts since , including that of state counselor , which essentially made her the de facto leader of the country. He was assassinated in Her mother was Khin Kyi, a prominent Burmese diplomat. Aung San Suu Kyi was two years old when her father, then the de facto prime minister of what would shortly become independent Burma, was assassinated. She attended schools in Burma until , when her mother was appointed ambassador to India. After further study in India, she attended the University of Oxford , where she met her future husband, the British scholar Michael Aris.
She is the leader of the National League for Democracy and the first and incumbent State Counsellor , a position akin to a prime minister. After graduating from the University of Delhi in and the University of Oxford in , she worked at the United Nations for three years. She married Michael Aris in , with whom she had two children. Aung San Suu Kyi rose to prominence in the Uprisings , and became the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy NLD , which she had newly formed with the help of several retired army officials who criticized the military junta. She had, however, already been detained under house arrest before the elections. She remained under house arrest for almost 15 of the 21 years from to , becoming one of the world's most prominent political prisoners.
According to the Burmese law under which she is being held, democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is scheduled for release from house arrest on November 13, Burma's military rulers have repeatedly imprisoned Suu Kyi, the daughter of Burma's leading independence figure, General Aung San, for her charismatic promotion of democracy and human rights in Burma and her leadership of the opposition party, the National League for Democracy NLD , which won an election landslide in but was never permitted to assume power. As the following chronology shows, Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for 15 of the past 21 years. She was first arrested by Burma's military government in and held under house arrest until She was placed under house arrest a second time in o and released in The military junta, the State Peace and Development Council SPDC , detained her for a third time in after an attack on her convoy while traveling in the country.