Aung San Suu Kyi, a 1991 Nobel Laureate


Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi is “… the most famous pro-democracy activist in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. This country is one of the world’s most remote and authoritarian nations” (New York Times 2012).

By being the Daughter of General Aung San, the hero of Myanmar’s independence from Britain, and the founder of the Burmese Army Suu Kyi appeared destined for a quiet academic life in Britain. As a housewife in Oxford, England, Aung San Suu Kyi was pushed into the leadership of Myanmar’s opponent and to world fame by the amalgamation of heredity and timing. Though, for more than two years, the 1991 Nobel Peace prize winner has been under house arrest in Yangon.

In April 1988, Suu Kyi returned to Myanmar to care for her dying mother and was involved in fast-expanding protests against the military-dominated, one-party rule. Afterward, she quickly became the focus of the anti-government movement pulling many of the citizens as the spoke person for the need for democracy and human rights.

Suu Kyi was the best choice to head the most determined of the new parties, the National League for Democracy. Consequently, her calm determination and boldness assisted in uniting the party in the face of mounting military pressure. Despite all these, she is reported to have highly participated in the show at the World Economic Forum in Bangkok, Thailand at the end of May (Hookway 2012).

This paper will critically analyze the work of Aung San Suu Kyi, why the Nobel Prize committee awarded the Peace Prize to her, the challenges and conditions she faced over the years, as well as her accomplishment in life and for her country.

Democracy and the Council of Europe

Democracy and human rights are the Council of Europe’s key values. Its responsibility is to promote them wherever they are treated with contemptuous disregard. In the present day, the council of Europe must authenticate its connection to social equality, constitutional rights, and the state of order in which events conform to the law in Myanmar by deciding to explore the situation of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Why was the Nobel Prize committee awarded the Peace Prize?

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe resolved to look into the recent situations of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi. As a figure of Myanmar opponent to the military authoritarianism, an advocate of peaceful action, and the Secretary-General of the National League for Democracy (NLD), Aung San Suu Kyi is presently one of the most eminent political prisoners worldwide. Despite being an opposition leader, she was presented with the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee due to her “civilian courage” and “non-violent organization” of Myanmar’s opposition ( n.d).

Challenges, Conditions Faced, and Accomplishment

Since 1989, she has been shuttling between prisons or under house arrest and was awarded the Sakharov Prize and the Rafto Prize in 1990, the Olof Palme Prize in 2005, and the Nobel Prize in 1991 for her political work in Myanmar ( n.d).

After her party won the 1990 general elections and she was planning to take over as prime minister before the military junta annulled the election results. Since then, she has become the chief rival of the Myanmar Government. Aung San Suu Kyi has endured considerable physical and mental pressure. She has been hospitalized many times because of insanitary states of detention. Moreover, she and her followers have been assailed by paramilitary groups associated with the authorities for the period of their exceptional moments of freedom.

She was granted restricted freedom between 1995 and 2000, but in 1997, she was prohibited from seeing her husband, who was denied an entry visa even though he had cancer (from which he died in 1999). She refused to depart from Myanmar for fear of not being allowed to come back. This led to her separation from her children who resides in the United Kingdom.

Aung San Suu Kyi is almost disconnected from the outside world, by the disconnection of her phone line and filtration of her mails. She has had virtually no links with top international officials. The only exception is Ibrahim Gambari, the United Nations Secretary-General, who was able to talk to her in November 2006, two years after the United Nation’s special envoy, Razali Ismail, was refused entry to Myanmar.

At the age of 62, Aung San Suu Kyi has been confined for eleven years. This led to the deterioration of her health, and she felt isolated. In 2007, a letter signed by 57 world leaders including the former United States presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the former Czech President, Vaclav Havel, and the Ex-President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors appealed to the Government of Myanmar to release her. On 15th September 2007, the United Nations Security Council decided to place Myanmar on its discussion agenda (Hookway 2012).

The Council of Europe and its Parliamentary Assembly cannot be unmoved by Aung San Suu Kyi’s circumstances and decided to participate in the struggle for her to gain freedom.

Works Cited

Hookway, James. “Aung San Suu Kyi Steals the Show,” Wall Street Journal, 2012, Web.

New York Times. “Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.” 2012. Web. All about the Nobel Prize Awarded Achievements. The Official Web Site of the Nobel Prize. Nobel Prize Foundation, n.d. Web. 2012.

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