kids encyclopedia robot

Aung San Suu Kyi facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids

Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi 2016.jpg
1st State Counsellor of Myanmar
Assumed office
6 April 2016
President Htin Kyaw
Win Myint
Preceded by Thein Sein (Prime Minister, 2011)
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
30 March 2016
President Htin Kyaw
Win Myint
Deputy Kyaw Tin
Preceded by Wunna Maung Lwin
Minister of the President's Office
Assumed office
30 March 2016
President Htin Kyaw
Win Myint
Preceded by Aung Min
Hla Tun
Soe Maung
Soe Thein
Thein Nyunt
President of the National League for Democracy
Assumed office
18 November 2011
Preceded by Aung Shwe
Leader of the Opposition
In office
2 May 2012 – 29 January 2016
President Thein Sein
Preceded by Sai Hla Kyaw
General Secretary of the National League for Democracy
In office
27 September 1988 – 18 November 2011
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Member of the Burmese House of Representatives
for Kawhmu
In office
2 May 2012 – 30 March 2016
Preceded by Soe Tint
Succeeded by Vacant
Majority 46,73 (71.38%)
Personal details
Born (1945-06-19) 19 June 1945 (age 76)
Rangoon, British Burma
(now Yangon)
Political party National League for Democracy
Michael Aris
(m. 1972; died 1999)
Children 2, including Alex
Parents Aung San (Father)
Khin Kyi (Mother)
Residence 54 University Avenue
Alma mater University of Delhi
St Hugh's College, Oxford
University of London
Awards Rafto Prize
Sakharov Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
Jawaharlal Nehru Award
International Simón Bolívar Prize
Olof Palme Prize
Bhagwan Mahavir World Peace
Congressional Gold Medal
Signature Aung San Suu Kyi signature 2013.svg

Aung San Suu Kyi (born June 19, 1945 in Yangon, Burma) is a human rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and the current State Counsellor of Myanmar. She brought democracy to her country with nonviolence. She is the leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma and a famous prisoner. She has been on house arrest multiple times. 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.

She has wanted to become the prime minister and the president of Myanmar, but she has had many challenges. There are many rules in Myanmar about who can become a president, Suu Kyi was not able to be a president due to these rules. Instead, she became the State Counsellor of Myanmar, a job that is even higher than being president.

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 to 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. One of her brothers, Aung San Lin, drowned when Suu Kyi was eight. Her other brother, Aung San Oo currently 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, Suu Kyi's mother, 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. Suu Kyi 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 at 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 use of nonviolence. She was also inspired by Buddhism. Aung San Suu Kyi worked for democracy and helped make the National League for Democracy on September 27th 1988.

Because Suu Kyi was fighting against the government, she was asked to leave the country, but she did not.

House arrest and release

She was arrested in 1989 and placed in prison in 1990. This was after an election which her party, the National League for Democracy, won, but they were not allowed to be in charge of the country. Between 1990 and 2010, she was almost always in prison or in her home, which is called house arrest. Burma released her in November 2010. Suu Kyi was going to be released in 2009, but when a man was found entering her home, she was kept on house arrest for another year because she had broken the rules of the house arrest.

Time as a politician

After she was released from house arrest, she was elected to be State Counsellor. When she was State Counsellor, Burma had serious problems with the genocide of the Rohingya.

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."



  • Letters from Burma (1998) with Fergal Keane ISBN: 978-0140264036
  • The Voice of Hope (1998) with Alan Clements, ISBN: 978-1888363838
  • Freedom from Fear and Other Writings (1995) with Václav Havel, Desmond M. Tutu, and Michael Aris, ISBN: 978-0140253177
  • Der Weg zur Freiheit (1999) with U Kyi Maung, U Tin Oo, ISBN: 978-3404614356
  • Letter to Daniel: Despatches from the Heart (1996) by Fergal Keane, foreword by Aung San Suu Kyi, edited by Tony Grant ISBN: 978-0140262896
  • Burma's Revolution of the Spirit: The Struggle for Democratic Freedom and Dignity (1994) with Alan Clements, Leslie Kean, The Dalai Lama, Sein Win ISBN: 978-0893815806
  • Aung San of Burma: A Biographical Portrait by His Daughter (1991) ISBN: 978-1870838801, 2nd edition 1995
  • Aung San (Leaders of Asia Series) (1990) ISBN: 978-9990288834
  • Burma and India: Some aspects of intellectual life under colonialism (1990) ISBN: 978-8170231349
  • Bhutan (Let's Visit Series) (1986) ISBN: 978-0222010995
  • Nepal (Let's Visit Series) (1985) ISBN: 978-0222009814
  • Burma (Let's Visit Series) (1985) ISBN: 978-0222009791


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

Mentioned in

  • Aung San Suu Kyi (Modern Peacemakers) (2007) by Judy L. Hasday, ISBN: 978-0791094358
  • The Lady: Aung San Suu Kyi: Nobel Laureate and Burma's Prisoner (2002) by Barbara Victor, ISBN: 978-0571211777, or 1998 hardcover: ISBN: 978-0571199440
  • Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi (2007) by Justin Wintle, ISBN: 978-0091796815
  • Tyrants: The World's 20 Worst Living Dictators (2006) by David Wallechinsky, ISBN: 978-0060590048
  • Aung San Suu Kyi (Trailblazers of the Modern World) (2004) by William Thomas, ISBN: 978-0836852639
  • No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs (2002) by Naomi Klein ISBN: 978-0312421434
  • Mental culture in Burmese crisis politics: Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (ILCAA Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa Monograph Series) (1999) by Gustaaf Houtman, ISBN: 978-4872977486
  • Aung San Suu Kyi: Standing Up for Democracy in Burma (Women Changing the World) (1998) by Bettina Ling ISBN: 978-1558611979
  • Aung San Suu Kyi: Fearless Voice of Burma (Newsmakers Biographies Series) (1997) by Whitney Stewart, ISBN: 978-0822549314
  • Prisoner for Peace: Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma's Struggle for Democracy (Champions of Freedom Series) (1994) by John Parenteau, ISBN: 978-1883846053
  • Des femmes prix Nobel de Marie Curie à Aung San Suu Kyi, 1903-1991 (1992) by Charlotte Kerner, Nicole Casanova, Gidske Anderson, ISBN: 978-2721004277
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, towards a new freedom (1998) by Chin Geok Ang ISBN: 978-9814024303
  • Aung San Suu Kyi's struggle: Its principles and strategy (1997) by Mikio Oishi ISBN: 978-9839861068
  • Finding George Orwell in Burma (2004) by Emma Larkin ISBN: 1594-20052-1


Images for kids

kids search engine
Aung San Suu Kyi Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.