The Fight for Freedom

The Fight for Freedom

A Story by bailish

This is the true story of Aung San Suu Kyi, elected to lead Burma in 1990, but never allowed to serve.


    Before she was born, her father Aung San was a general of the Burmese forces in World War II. These forces aligned with the Japanese in the hopes that they would push the colonial British out of their country. But as the war came to a close and the tide turned against the Japanese, the country re-aligned with the Allied powers to push back the Japanese. Aung San Suu Kyi, commonly called Suu Kyi or Daw, was born when the war was in the final stages. Her father went on to negotiate with the British for the terms of independence, and in 1947 when independence was granted, he became the father of modern Burma. He was popularly elected as the first prime minister, but was assassinated, along with most of his cabinet, before the beginning of his term. Suu Kyi was only 2 years old at the time.
    She spent many years in other countries, receiving education in Burma, India, and the UK. She didn’t return to Burma until 1988 to help take care of her sick mother. While she was there, the students voiced their complaints against the government, which was now controlled by the military. After giving her first political speech at a rally, Suu Kyi instantly became a symbol of using nonviolent means for establishing democracy and the leader of the opposition to the government.
    The government didn’t take this newly organized resistance lightly, and began systematically killing the protesting students. The number of students killed or missing during that time ranges from 3000 to 10,000. Another 10,000 is believed to have fled into the hills.
    When this strategy failed to quell the anti-government sentiment, the military leaders decided to allow an election. As Suu Kyi’s popularity began to grow with her active campaigning, she was placed under house arrest. Even so, in 1990, her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won an overwhelming victory. The government declared the results void and has never allowed any of the elected officials to serve.
    In 1991, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  The citation included the following: “In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means.”
    When her husband, Michael Aris, a British citizen, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997, the government refused to grant him an entry visa.  He died in 1999 without ever seeing his wife again.  She is still separated from her children, who live in the UK.
    During this time, the government periodically released her from house arrest, only to reinstate it later. This culminated in 2003, during her travels around the country, when a government-sponsored group attacked her convoy, killing about 100 of her supporters. Suu Kyi fled into the jungle, but was later arrested and imprisoned. She was later moved back to her house arrest status, and has stayed there ever since.

   The name Myanmar is the name that the military government gave to the country, but the people prefer the name of their country to be Burma.


© 2008 bailish

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So easy for us
Living in the West
To speak words of protest
But do nothing more.

Your piece goes beyond this barrier
Educating and informing people
About a couragous woman
Struggling to find freedom
For all.

Only wish more people
Would be willing to sacrifice
On a similar degree
As Aung San Suu Kyi.

Posted 10 Years Ago

And we sit in our houses safe and worry about pointless things. . . There is too much we don't know.

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Well written, needless to say.Full of facts, making it informative. It is moving. You write it as if you were there, or are her?

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What a sacrifice for something most of us pretty much take for granted. Good piece, bailish!

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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4 Reviews
Added on August 3, 2008



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