A Six Year Old Arrested For Picking A Flower Burma’s Iron lady

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Burma’s Iron lady

The Burmese freedom fighter, referred to by the Dalai Lama as his ‘little sister’, has worked tirelessly for democracy in her country for the past 16 years…

Danube, Myanmar. April 5, 1989: Two months before the Tiananmen Square massacre in nearby China.

A woman is walking in the middle of the street, accompanied by several men.

Six soldiers from the State Law and Order Restoration Council – the junta that crushed the democracy movement and killed thousands in Rangoon – ordered the group to stop.

The group doesn’t pay attention. A young army captain pulls out his revolver and jumps out of his jeep ready to fire.

The woman asks the men to step aside. “It seemed much easier to provide them with a single target than to bring everyone else in,” she later explained.

At some point, a chief intervenes and tells the captain to hold fire. The woman walks.

She is Dr Aung San Suu Kyi, the Iron Lady of Burma.

The fearless daughter of Burmese independence hero General Aung San, Suu Kyi has spent the past 16 years in prison or under house arrest – an almost perpetual state of incarceration. But she always remained faithful to one project: democracy.

Why Burma Matters

Aung San Suu Kyi was born on 19 April 1945. His father General Aung San was one of the ‘Thirty Comrades’ who led the Japanese advance into British Burma before turning against Japan and negotiating Burmese independence with the British.

General Aung San was assassinated just as he was taking office as the first head of Burmese state. It was the first national tragedy.

In a statement to the press that same day, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru declared: “I mourn Aung San, friend and comrade, who in his youth became the architect of Burmese independence. I mourn Burma at this critical moment of her election. Leader and I mourn for Asia which has lost her bravest and most visionary son.”

In 1960, her mother Dr Khin Kee was appointed Burmese Ambassador to India. A fifteen-year-old girl with long thick hair, Soo Kee, joined Lady Shriram College in Delhi.

“Her circle of Indian friends grew. It was a great opportunity to discover and understand Mahatma Gandhi’s country,” recalls Ma Than Ee, a family friend and diplomat.

Outside of college, Sue kept busy with Japanese flower arranging, piano classes, or riding lessons. She also met Indira Gandhi’s sons Rajiv and Sanjay.

Do we have a Burma Policy?

As Ma Than Ee said in 1991: “India was a thrilling, vital experience for Su. Her memories and bonds of love for this country remain strong today.”

While her mother led the busy social life of a diplomat, Sue became acquainted with many senior Indian politicians, officials and diplomats in the capital. In 1964, she moved to Oxford where she read philosophy, politics and economics. Later, she got her first work experience as an Assistant Secretary at the United Nations Secretariat.

Her life took another turn when she met a young and brilliant British scholar Dr. Michael met Eris, whose expertise was in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Before her wedding, Suu Kyi asked her future husband for a ‘favour’: “I only ask one thing, if my people need me, you will help me to fulfill my duty to them.”

Her life as a mother of two and a scholar continued smoothly over the next few years.

She became separated from her family in 1985 when she decided to study Japanese and work as a visiting scholar at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University.

In 1987, the family was reunited and she returned to India. For two years Dr. Aris researched ‘A Study of Buddhist Hagiography’ at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Simla.

His main subject of study was the life and times of the 6th Dalai Lama, born in the Twang district of Arunachal in the 17th century. Su was awarded a scholarship to work on ‘The Growth and Development of Burmese and Indian Intellectual Tradition under Colonialism’.

It was a great opportunity for her to master the political and spiritual thought of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Tagore, Gandhi and Radhakrishnan.

In her dissertation, she writes of her admiration for these men who “could use the English language to make their views known to the world. Because they could handle Western intellectual idioms so skillfully, the world took those views seriously. Thoughts.”

After traveling extensively through the Himalayas and writing on India’s age-old traditions of peace and tolerance, the couple returned to London in early 1988.

Fate caught up with her in March of that year, when her mother suffered a stroke in Burma and Su had to immediately return to her home country of England.

A few months after her arrival in Rangoon, the old military dictator General Ne Win resigned, sparking a pro-democracy student movement.

Soon millions of Burmese joined the demand for true democracy.

It culminated on August 8, when the army massacred thousands of protesters – a brutal foreshadowing of the Tiananmen Square massacre that took place less than a year later.

The time of reckoning had come for Suu Kyi.

“Her knowledge of her Burmese heritage, her wonderful fluency in her own language, and her refusal to give up her Burmese citizenship and passport all made her engagement inevitable in the tragic circumstances of her mother’s final illness,” her husband later wrote.

On 26 August 1988, she addressed one million people gathered at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon.

“As my father’s daughter I cannot remain indifferent to what is going on. This national crisis can in fact be called the second struggle for national independence.”

She thus became the leader of the opposition National League for Democracy which opposes the military junta to this day.

Over the next few months, she criss-crossed Burma and addressed hundreds of meetings. The junta was becoming increasingly nervous and she was arrested on 20 July 1989. Since that day she has spent most of her time in prison or in captivity.

In May 1990, despite her continued detention, her party won a landslide victory in the general election; The NLD won 82 percent of the seats. But till date the General has refused to certify the results of the election.

She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, but her fortunes did not improve.

In the years that followed, despite appeals by the US president, the UN secretary general, the Dalai Lama, other Nobel laureates and thousands of other figures in the West and Asia, the junta made no move.

The most tragic event was the death of her husband in March 1999.

Although she had not seen him since 1995 and he was dying of prostate cancer, he was denied a visa and was not allowed to see her one last time.

Sue Kyi could have left Myanmar to meet them, but it was clear that the junta would not have allowed her to return.

Forced to choose between her husband and her country, she chooses the latter.

What gave Aung San Suu Kyi the strength to resist global pressure and keep her under house arrest for 16 years?

look north; It was this regime that forced the Dalai Lama to flee his country in 1959. In China, the communist/capitalist regime is terrified of the word su ki: freedom.

There is no doubt that Burma would be a democracy today without Beijing’s active support (and India not acting on its proven principles).

“Always practicing what he preached, Aung San himself constantly showed courage that enabled him to speak the truth, stand by his word, accept criticism, admit his mistakes, correct his mistakes, respect his opponents,” says. Soo Ki about her father.

She adheres to all these values ​​and above all abhaya, ‘fearlessness’, that ‘gift of ancient India’ which is ‘not merely physical courage but the absence of fear in the mind.’

Whether or not she lived to see her dream come true, Su Qiu will forever live on in the hearts of those who championed the spirit of freedom.

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