110 Facts About Aung San Suu Kyi


Aung San Suu Kyi, sometimes abbreviated to Suu Kyi, is a Burmese politician, diplomat, author, and a 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate who served as State Counsellor of Myanmar and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2016 to 2021.


Aung San Suu Kyi has served as the leader of the National League for Democracy since the party's founding in 1988, and was registered as its chairperson while it was a legal party from 2011 to 2023.


Aung San Suu Kyi played a vital role in Myanmar's transition from military junta to partial democracy in the 2010s.


The youngest daughter of Aung San, Father of the Nation of modern-day Myanmar, and Khin Kyi, Aung San Suu Kyi was born in Rangoon, British Burma.


Aung San Suu Kyi married Michael Aris in 1972, with whom she had two children.


Aung San Suu Kyi rose to prominence in the 8888 Uprising of 8 August 1988 and became the General Secretary of the NLD, which she had newly formed with the help of several retired army officials who criticized the military junta.


Aung San Suu Kyi had been detained before the elections and remained under house arrest for almost 15 of the 21 years from 1989 to 2010, becoming one of the world's most prominent political prisoners.


Aung San Suu Kyi survived an assassination attempt in the 2003 Depayin massacre when at least 70 people associated with the NLD were killed.


Aung San Suu Kyi's party boycotted the 2010 elections, resulting in a decisive victory for the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party.


Aung San Suu Kyi became a Pyithu Hluttaw MP while her party won 43 of the 45 vacant seats in the 2012 by-elections.


In 2019, Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in the International Court of Justice where she defended the Burmese military against allegations of genocide against the Rohingya.


In Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi is often referred to as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.


Aung San Suu Kyi was born on 19 June 1945 in Rangoon, British Burma.


Aung San founded the modern Burmese army and negotiated Burma's independence from the United Kingdom in 1947; he was assassinated by his rivals in the same year.


Aung San Suu Kyi is a niece of Thakin Than Tun who was the husband of Khin Khin Gyi, the elder sister of her mother Khin Kyi.


Aung San Suu Kyi grew up with her mother, Khin Kyi, and two brothers, Aung San Lin and Aung San Oo, in Rangoon.


Aung San Lin died at the age of eight when he drowned in an ornamental lake on the grounds of the house.


Aung San Suu Kyi was educated in Methodist English High School for much of her childhood in Burma, where she was noted as having a talent for learning languages.


Aung San Suu Kyi speaks four languages: Burmese, English, French, and Japanese.


Aung San Suu Kyi was appointed Burmese ambassador to India and Nepal in 1960, and Aung San Suu Kyi followed her there.


Aung San Suu Kyi studied in the Convent of Jesus and Mary School in New Delhi, and graduated from Lady Shri Ram College, a constituent college of the University of Delhi in New Delhi, with a degree in politics in 1964.


Aung San Suu Kyi worked at the United Nations for three years, primarily on budget matters, writing daily to her future husband, Dr Michael Aris.


On 1 January 1972, Aung San Suu Kyi and Aris, a scholar of Tibetan culture and literature, living abroad in Bhutan, were married.


Between 1985 and 1987, Aung San Suu Kyi was working toward a Master of Philosophy degree in Burmese literature as a research student at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.


Aung San Suu Kyi was elected as an Honorary Fellow of St Hugh's in 1990.


Aung San Suu Kyi worked for the government of the Union of Burma.


In 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma to tend for her ailing mother.


Aris' visit in Christmas 1995 was the last time that he and Aung San Suu Kyi met, as she remained in Burma and the Burmese dictatorship denied him any further entry visas.


Aung San Suu Kyi was at that time temporarily free from house arrest but was unwilling to depart, fearing that she would be refused re-entry if she left, as she did not trust the military junta's assurance that she could return.


Aung San Suu Kyi was separated from her children, who live in the United Kingdom, until 2011.


Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest on 13 November 2010.


Coincidentally, when Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988, the long-time military leader of Burma and head of the ruling party, General Ne Win, stepped down.


Aung San Suu Kyi was offered freedom if she left the country, but she refused.


However, Aung San Suu Kyi categorically rejected U Nu's plan by saying "the future of the opposition would be decided by masses of the people".


Some claim that Aung San Suu Kyi would have assumed the office of Prime Minister.


Aung San Suu Kyi has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression.


In 1995 Aung San Suu Kyi delivered the keynote address at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.


On 9 November 1996, the motorcade that Aung San Suu Kyi was traveling in with other National League for Democracy leaders Tin Oo and Kyi Maung, was attacked in Yangon.


The car that Aung San Suu Kyi was in had its rear window smashed, and the car with Tin Oo and Kyi Maung had its rear window and two backdoor windows shattered.


Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest for a total of 15 years over a 21-year period, on numerous occasions, since she began her political career, during which time she was prevented from meeting her party supporters and international visitors.


Aung San Suu Kyi passed the time playing the piano and was occasionally allowed visits from foreign diplomats as well as from her personal physician.


The media were prevented from visiting Aung San Suu Kyi, as occurred in 1998 when journalist Maurizio Giuliano, after photographing her, was stopped by customs officials who then confiscated all his films, tapes and some notes.


In contrast, Aung San Suu Kyi did have visits from government representatives, such as during her autumn 1994 house arrest when she met the leader of Burma, General Than Shwe and General Khin Nyunt on 20 September in the first meeting since she had been placed in detention.


The Burmese government detained and kept Aung San Suu Kyi imprisoned because it viewed her as someone "likely to undermine the community peace and stability" of the country, and used both Article 10 and 10 of the 1975 State Protection Act, and Section 22 of the "Law to Safeguard the State Against the Dangers of Those Desiring to Cause Subversive Acts" as legal tools against her.


Aung San Suu Kyi continuously appealed her detention, and many nations and figures continued to call for her release and that of 2,100 other political prisoners in the country.


Aung San Suu Kyi proclaimed "a new dawn for the country".


Aung San Suu Kyi fled the scene with the help of her driver, Kyaw Soe Lin, but was arrested upon reaching Ye-U.


In November 2007, it was reported that Aung San Suu Kyi would meet her political allies National League for Democracy along with a government minister.


However, on departing from Burma, Ban Ki-moon said he was "disappointed" with the visit after junta leader Than Shwe refused permission for him to visit Aung San Suu Kyi, citing her ongoing trial.


On 22 September 2007, although still under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi made a brief public appearance at the gate of her residence in Yangon to accept the blessings of Buddhist monks who were marching in support of human rights.


Aung San Suu Kyi had attempted to make a similar trip two years earlier, but for unknown reasons was turned away.


Aung San Suu Kyi later claimed at trial that he was motivated by a divine vision requiring him to notify her of an impending terrorist assassination attempt.


Aung San Suu Kyi was later taken to Insein Prison, where she could have faced up to five years' confinement for the intrusion.


Aung San Suu Kyi's arrest and subsequent trial received worldwide condemnation by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Security Council, Western governments, South Africa, Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Burma is a member.


On 11 August 2009, the trial concluded with Aung San Suu Kyi being sentenced to imprisonment for three years with hard labour.


Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyer stated that her legal team would pursue a new appeal within 60 days.


Aung San Suu Kyi has received vocal support from Western nations in Europe, Australia and North and South America, as well as India, Israel, Japan the Philippines and South Korea.


Aung San Suu Kyi is the first recipient in American history to receive the prize while imprisoned.


Aung San Suu Kyi met with many heads of state and opened a dialog with the Minister of Labor Aung Kyi.


Aung San Suu Kyi was allowed to meet with senior members of her NLD party at the State House, however these meetings took place under close supervision.


Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in front of a crowd of her supporters, who rushed to her house in Rangoon when nearby barricades were removed by the security forces.


Aung San Suu Kyi had been detained for 15 of the past 21 years.


Aung San Suu Kyi visited again on 5 July 2011, to accompany her on a trip to Bagan, her first trip outside Yangon since 2003.


Aung San Suu Kyi's son visited again on 8 August 2011, to accompany her on a trip to Pegu, her second trip.


On 1 December 2011, Aung San Suu Kyi met with Hillary Clinton at the residence of the top-ranking US diplomat in Yangon.


Aung San Suu Kyi studied in the UK and maintains many ties there, whilst Britain is Burma's largest bilateral donor.


In December 2011, there was speculation that Aung San Suu Kyi would run in the 2012 national by-elections to fill vacant seats.


On 18 January 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi formally registered to contest a Pyithu Hluttaw seat in the Kawhmu Township constituency in special parliamentary elections to be held on 1 April 2012.


Aung San Suu Kyi ran against Union Solidarity and Development Party candidate Soe Min, a retired army physician and native of Twante Township.


On 3 March 2012, at a large campaign rally in Mandalay, Aung San Suu Kyi unexpectedly left after 15 minutes, because of exhaustion and airsickness.


On 26 March 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi suspended her nationwide campaign tour early, after a campaign rally in Myeik, a coastal town in the south, citing health problems due to exhaustion and hot weather.


On 1 April 2012, the NLD announced that Aung San Suu Kyi had won the vote for a seat in Parliament.


On 2 May 2012, National League for Democracy MP-elects, including Aung San Suu Kyi, took their oaths and took office, though the wording of the oath was not changed.


On 16 June 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi was finally able to deliver her Nobel acceptance speech at Oslo's City Hall, two decades after being awarded the peace prize.


In September 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi received in person the United States Congressional Gold Medal, which is the highest Congressional award.


Aung San Suu Kyi was greeted with bipartisan support at Congress, as part of a coast-to-coast tour in the United States.


On 6 July 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi announced on the World Economic Forum's website that she wanted to run for the presidency in Myanmar's 2015 elections.


However, soon Aung San Suu Kyi's government did not manage with the ethnic conflicts in Shan and Kachin states, where thousands of refugees fled to China, and by 2017 the persecution of the Rohingya by the government forces escalated to the point that it is not uncommonly called a genocide.


Aung San Suu Kyi, when interviewed, has denied the allegations of ethnic cleansing.


Aung San Suu Kyi has refused to grant citizenship to the Rohingya, instead taking steps to issue ID cards for residency but no guarantees of citizenship.


Aung San Suu Kyi did condemn "hate of any kind" in the interview.


In May 2016, Aung San Suu Kyi asked the newly appointed United States Ambassador to Myanmar, Scot Marciel, not to refer to the Rohingya by that name as they "are not recognized as among the 135 official ethnic groups" in Myanmar.


In 2016, Aung San Suu Kyi was accused of failing to protect Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims during the Rohingya genocide.


State crime experts from Queen Mary University of London warned that Aung San Suu Kyi is "legitimising genocide" in Myanmar.


On 13 November 2017, Bob Geldof returned his Freedom of the City of Dublin award in protest over Aung San Suu Kyi holding the accolade, stating that he does not "wish to be associated in any way with an individual currently engaged in the mass ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people of north-west Burma".


In May 2018, Aung San Suu Kyi was considered complicit in the crimes against Rohingyas in a report by Britain's International Development Committee.


Aung San Suu Kyi had received the award in 2005 for promoting peace and democracy in Burma.


In December 2019, Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in the International Court of Justice at The Hague where she defended the Burmese military against allegations of genocide against the Rohingya.


Aung San Suu Kyi stated that the allegations of genocide were "incomplete and misleading", claiming that the situation was actually a Burmese military response to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army.


Aung San Suu Kyi questioned how there could be "genocidal intent" when the Burmese government had opened investigations and encouraged Rohingya to return after being displaced.


Suu Kyi publicly commented in June 2018 that the journalists "weren't arrested for covering the Rakhine issue", but because they had broken Myanmar's Official Secrets Act.


American diplomat Bill Richardson said that he had privately discussed the arrest with Suu Kyi, and that Aung San Suu Kyi reacted angrily and labelled the journalists "traitors".


Aung San Suu Kyi reacted to widespread international criticism of the verdict by stating: "I don't think anyone has bothered to read" the judgement as it had "nothing to do with freedom of expression at all", but the Official Secrets Act.


On 1 February 2021, Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested and deposed by the Myanmar military, along with other leaders of her National League for Democracy party, after the Myanmar military declared the November 2020 general election results fraudulent.


On 1 April 2021, Aung San Suu Kyi was charged with the fifth offence in relation to violating the official secrets act.


On 12 April 2021, Aung San Suu Kyi was hit with another charge, this time "under section 25 of the natural disaster management law".


Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in court via video link and now faces five charges in the capital Naypyidaw and one in Yangon.


On 28 April 2021, the National Unity Government, in which Aung San Suu Kyi symbolically remains in her position, anticipated that there would be no talks with the junta until all political prisoners, including her, are set free.


Aung San Suu Kyi had been previously only allowed to do so remotely from her home.


On 22 May 2021, during his first interview since the coup, junta leader Min Aung San Suu Kyi Hlaing reported that she was in good health at her home and that she would appear in court in a matter of days.


On 24 May 2021, Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in person in court for the first time since the coup to face the "incitement to sedition" charge against her.


On 10 June 2021, Aung San Suu Kyi was charged with corruption, the most serious charge brought against her, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years' imprisonment.


Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyers attempted to have prosecution testimony against her on the sedition charge disqualified but the motion was denied by the judge.


On 13 September 2021, court proceedings were to resume against her, but it was postponed due to Aung San Suu Kyi presenting "minor health issues" that impeded her from attending the court in person.


On 4 October 2021, Aung San Suu Kyi asked the judge to reduce her times of court appearances because of her fragile health.


On 6 December 2021, Suu Kyi was sentenced to 4 years in jail.


On 27 April 2022, Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to five years in jail on corruption charges.


The military confirmed that Suu Kyi had been moved to prison.


Aung San Suu Kyi underwent surgery for a gynecological condition in September 2003 at Asia Royal Hospital during her house arrest.


Aung San Suu Kyi underwent minor foot surgery in December 2013 and eye surgery in April 2016.