Aung San Suu Kyi facts for kids

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Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi.jpg
Aung San Suu Kyi
Born 19 June 1945 (1945-06-19) (age 75)
Occupation Prime Minister-elect
Known for Leader of the National League for Democracy, Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Spouse(s) Michael Aris
(m. 1972-1999, his death)

Aung San Suu Kyi (born 19 June 1945, Yangon, Burma) was elected in 1990 as the Prime Minister of Burma. The Burmese military, who have governed Burma since 1962, did not let her political party, the National League for Democracy join the government. Suu Kyi was arrested and forced her to stay in her house and not have any visitors.

Since then she has brought democracy to her country using nonviolence. She is the leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma and a famous prisoner. Suu Kyi won the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize in 1990, and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. In 1992, she was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru peace prize by India for her culture of personality.

After elections in Burma in 2010, she was released from house arrest in November 2010. Suu Kyi was not allowed to take part in the 2010 election as the government banned anyone who had been arrested.

She is sometimes called Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Daw is not part of her name, but a title for older women. This name shows respect for her.

Personal life

Aung San Suu Kyi was the third child in her family. Her name "Aung San" comes from her father, who is also named Aung San; "Kyi" comes from her mother; and "Suu" comes from her grandmother.

Her father helped to make Burma independent from the United Kingdom in 1947. He was killed in the same year. She grew up with her mother, Khin Kyi, and two brothers, Aung San Lin and Aung San Oo in Yangon. Her favourite brother, Aung San Lin, drowned in a pool accident when Suu Kyi was eight. Her other brother lives in San Diego, California and is an American citizen.

Suu Kyi went to Catholic schools for much of her childhood in Burma. She learned English in school.

Khin Kyi became famous as a politician. She became the Burmese ambassador to India in 1960. Aung San Suu Kyi went to college in India at the Lady Shri Ram College for Women in New Delhi. She continued her education at St Hugh's College, Oxford, and learned about philosophy, politics, and economics. She also went to the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in the 1980s.

She moved to New York and worked at the United Nations. In 1972, Aung San Suu Kyi married Michael Aris (1946-1999), a professor of Tibetan culture who lived in Bhutan. She had met Aris when they were both students at Oxford. In 1973, she gave birth to her first son, Alexander, in London; and in 1977 she had her second son, Kim.

Political beginnings

Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988 to take care of her sick mother. That year, the long-time leader of the socialist ruling party, General Nay Win, stopped being a politician. Many Burmese people wanted a democracy after the military ruled the country for several years.

She admired Mohandas Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence. She was also inspired by Buddhism. Aung San Suu Kyi tried to work for democracy and helped make the National League for Democracy on 27 September 1988.

She was offered freedom if she left the country, but she refused.

House arrest and release

She was arrested in 1989 and placed in prison in 1990. This was after an election in which her party, then National League for Democracy, won, but was not allowed to be in charge of the country. Between 1990 and 2010, she was always in prison or at her home, which is called house arrest. Burma released her in November 2010. This made many countries and groups around the world very happy. She was then arrested for violating her house arrest.

At all times, her dedication to her beliefs is evident. Her morals and beliefs are kept closely to her and used whenever confronted by a situation.

Political belief

Ms. magazine Cover - Winter 2012
Suu Kyi on the front of Ms. magazine in 2012

Asked what democratic models Myanmar could look to, she said: "We have many, many lessons to learn from various places, not just the Asian countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia and Indonesia." She also cited "the eastern European countries, which made the transition from communist autocracy to democracy in the 1980s and 1990s, and the Latin American countries, which made the transition from military governments. "And we cannot of course forget South Africa, because although it wasn't a military regime, it was certainly an authoritarian regime." She added: "We wish to learn from everybody who has achieved a transition to democracy, and also ... our great strong point is that, because we are so far behind everybody else, we can also learn which mistakes we should avoid."




  • Tibetan Studies in Honour of Hugh Richardson. Edited by Michael Aris and Aung San Suu Kyi. (1979). Vikas Publishing house, New Delhi.

Mentioned in


Nobel Prize

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