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Models of Success

Her Excellency Aung San Suu Kyi: The Lady’s Love of Freedom, Democracy and Peace, Part 2of 2



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Following last week’s episode, we will continue to re-trace the remarkable life of Aung San Suu Kyi. In July 1995, Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest but with restrictions on travel. Being undeterred, three years later she formed a representative committee and declared the NLD as Myanmar’s legitimate ruling parliament.

In 2000, Aung San Suu Kyi was sent into house arrest after several attempts to leave the capital city to hold political meetings. In 2002, she was once again released from house arrest following successful negotiations with help from the UN Special Envoy to Myanmar, His Excellency Razali Ismail. On May 30, 2003, members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) political party attacked a convoy of National League for Democracy (NLD) vehicles including the one Aung San Suu Kyi was traveling in. Aung San Suu Kyi emphasizes that for the sake of stability and national reconciliation, she will not seek vengeance for the incident, of which she was the main target. In November 2015, the NLD party won a landslide victory in Myanmar’s first openly contested parliamentary election. In the November 8, 2020, parliamentary elections, the NLD party again won a majority.

Facing enormous adversities in life, how does Her Excellency Aung San Suu Kyi overcome despair and maintain her spirit? Suu Kyi revealed in the following statement at the Harvard Kennedy School in September 2012: “So, if you want to keep up your strength when you are working towards something, I think you have to learn not to think of yourself as the center of the world. You are just the one working towards the goal with others. And if you keep that in mind, you don't lose confidence in yourself because it is required of you to keep strong for the sake of others.”

When she received the Nobel Prize, she shared her insights on what it was like to be detained or under house arrest for almost 15 years. To some, this is also a window into seeing how a loving, peaceful woman lives under tyrannical oppression and political bullying. Her statements also include strong messages about freedom and hope. “What the Nobel Peace Prize did was to draw me once again into the world of other human beings outside the isolated area in which I lived, to restore a sense of reality to me. And what was more important, the Nobel Prize had drawn the attention of the world to the struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma (Myanmar). We were not going to be forgotten.”
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