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Aung San Suu Kyi
Transcript of Aung San Suu Kyi
Imagine this scenario and respond in
approximately 3-5 sentences:
One of your older loved ones (mother, father, grandparent, etc.) is a leader in a movement to create a democracy in a struggling nation. They are loved by, and have the total support of, the people. However, the military wants all of the power for themselves and decides to imprison your loved one. You are not allowed to see them for over a decade.
feelings that you would have. Also, try to draw a comparison to a person that we have discussed earlier in the year. What makes this scenario similar to the previous one.
This is the story of Aung San Suu Kyi...
Burma is also known as "Myanmar". 'Burma' is the English version of the name and was once the official name of the country. In 1989, the nation changed its name to "Myanmar" although even to this day there are disputes over it.
GDP Per Capita = $6,000 (162nd in the world)
Population = 56 million people (25th in the world)
Official Language = Burmese
Religion = 88% Buddhist
The World Health Organization lists Burma as one of the worst countries in the world at providing medical care to its citizens
Aung San Suu Kyi was born in 1945 in Burma. At the time, Burma was a colony of Great Britain. Her father, General Aung San, was the leader of the movement for independence. He was a hero in Burma and was unfortunately assassinated during the 'transition period'-- when Aung San Suu Kyi was only a toddler.
In 1960 she moved to India with her mother who had been appointed as the Burmese
Ambassador to India. Only four years later she went on to study at Oxford University where she studied philosophy, politics and economics.
While at Oxford, Suu Kyi met her husband, Michael Aris.
After stints of living and working in Japan and Bhutan, they settled in the UK to raise their two children, Alexander and Kim.
But Burma was never far from her thoughts...
When she arrived back in Rangoon (the largest city in Burma) in 1988 - to look after her critically ill mother - Burma was in the midst of major political upheaval.
Thousands of students, office workers and monks took to the streets demanding democratic reform.
"I could not, as my father's daughter, remain indifferent to all that was going on," she said in a speech in Rangoon on August 26th, 1988.
Suu Kyi was soon propelled into leading the revolt against the then-dictator, General Ne Win.
Inspired by the non-violent campaigns of US civil rights leader Martin Luther King and India's Mahatma Gandhi, she organized rallies and traveled around the country, calling for peaceful democratic reform and free elections.
The demonstrations were brutally suppressed by the army, who seized power in a coup on September 18th, 1988 and has remained in power ever since.
Suu Kyi remained under house arrest in Rangoon for six years, until she was released in July 1995.
She was again put under house arrest in September 2000, when she tried to travel to the city of Mandalay in defiance of travel restrictions.
She was released unconditionally in May 2002, but just over a year later she was put in prison following a clash between her supporters and a government-backed mob.
During her years of detention, she was often in solitary confinement. She was not allowed to see her two sons or her husband, who died of cancer in March 1999.
The military authorities offered to allow her to travel to the UK to see him when he was gravely ill, but she felt compelled to refuse for fear she would not be allowed back into the country.
Her last period of house arrest ended in November 2010 and her son Kim Aris was allowed to visit her for the first time in a decade.
With her husband in 1972
With her son Alexander a few months after birth
Suu Kyi with her sons in 1995, following her first release from house arrest.
Suu Kyi with her son Kim, following
her second release in 2000.
Suu Kyi with her son Kim following her final release from house arrest in 2010.
Following her most recent release from house arrest in 2010, Suu Kyi immediately resumed campaigning for true democracy.
Her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won sweeping victories in the 2012 & 2015 elections.
Despite there being overwhelming support for Aung San Suu Kyi to serve as the President, a constitutional law prevents her from doing so since she married a "foreigner".
Suu Kyi has since been named "State Counselor of Myanmar"-- a new position in the government created solely for her.
Aung San Suu Kyi has become a symbol for freedom, not only in Burma, but also around the world.
She is living proof that democracy and freedom are worth fighting, sacrificing, and even dying for.
What about the idea of "democracy" causes millions of people to yearn for it?
What about the idea of "democracy" threatens those who currently possess absolute power?
Tuesday, May 8th, 2018
Homework: Read "Aung San Suu Kyi" doc. on GC
Asia Map Quiz on 5/18!
Have out your laptop, open to your "Do Now".
PARCC is TOMORROW!
Burma's first civilian government after more than five decades of military dictatorship was sworn into office on March 30th, 2016.
*CIA World Factbook