Aung San Suu Kyi

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The 8888 Uprising in Burma (8/8/1988) was spearheaded by students but participated by citizens of all walks of life. The response was a violent military coup that resulted in countless deaths (estimates get as high as 10,000). Out of this chaos and uncertainty, a badass rose from the ashes: Aung San Suu Kyi. Before the coup, Aung San Suu Kyi called for democracy, speaking at rallies that drew thousands and founded the National League for Democracy (NLD). Seen as an instigator and therefore dangerous to the status quo, she was given the option by the military junta to leave the country, or face arrest. She remained and was promptly put in house arrest until things settled down…..

Which didn’t last long. In 1990 the junta held a general election, and despite it’s influence and intimidation, the NLD won 80% of the parliament seats. The election results were swiftly denounced and nullified by the military and put the county right back into chaos. Back into house arrest Aung San Suu Kyi went, spending 15 of 21 years between 1988 and 2010). During this time, her popularity did not wane, and she became the face of democracy. Also during this time, she received many awards, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Post-release, she rose up in government positions (in many cases becoming the first woman to hold each one). She currently serves as the 1st State Counsellor of Myanmar and Leader of the NLD.

 

 

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