Aung San Suu Kyi: An Analysis of Her Continuous Struggles to Achieve Democracy within Myanmar - Essay Example

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Born in 1945, Aung San Suu Kyi was the daughter of prominent Burmese revolutionary Aung San. Aung San was noted for organizing what would become to be known as the modern Burmese military, a force ironically that stood in opposition to the pro-democracy movement that his daughter later founded…
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Aung San Suu Kyi: An Analysis of Her Continuous Struggles to Achieve Democracy within Myanmar
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Download file to see previous pages Assassinated in 1947 as part of a plot to weaken the government structures that he had tentatively established by shareholders who felt his changes diminished their overall strength. At only 2 years of age when this happened, the assassination doubtless had a profound effect on young Aung San Suu Kyi and the way she understood and identified with political non-violence later in her career. Throughout the next 30 years of her life, Aung San Suu Kyi studied a diverse field to include political theory, philosophy, languages, and other liberal arts; both at home, in India, and in the United Kingdom. Upon earning her Masters of Philosophy in the United Kingdom, Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma and began work within a pro democracy movement called the National League for Democracy (NDL). As a prominent member of the NDL, Aung San Suu Kyi began to rise quickly within its ranks. In 1990, the ruling military junta called an election in which the NDL garnered over 59% of the popular vote; equating to what would amount to 80% of the seats in the nation’s parliament. However, before the will of the people could be exercised, the ruling military junta refused to cede power. This created a tense standoff between the citizens, the junta, and those that supported the NDL in the election process. However, rather than resulting to strength of force (even though Aung San Suu Kyi could have likely relied on this to accomplish her desired goal), she relied on non-violence and peaceful protests in order to draw the world’s attention to the situation that was unfolding in Myanmar. Her efforts were stymied for many years as she was under house arrest for the majority of the past twenty years. Though her efforts to avert a potentially bloody conflict with the ruling military junta are no doubt laudable, it should be clearly understood that Aung San Suu Kyi did not pursue such a policy of non-violence based on a moral dictum that she lived by; rather, she pursued such a policy based on the fact that she believe it would affect the desired goal for the Burmese people in a much faster fashion than would violence. Says Aung San Suu Kyi of her decision, “I do not hold to non-violence for moral reasons, but for political and practical reasons” (Frayn 42). In this way, the reader can clearly see that although her reasons for pursuing non-violence do not necessarily correspond to those in which many Western analysts assumed, the implementation of her non-violence strategies nonetheless worked to eventually create the system that triumphed over that of the military junta. Due to her staunch refusal to engage in violent political intrigue that would likely destabilize the nation and work to de-legitimize the effectiveness of her pro-democracy stance. Although Aung San Suu Kyi may have had no idea of the length of time that would be required for her to realize the hopes and dreams she had for the people of Myanmar, she nonetheless pursued this policy of non-violence for a period of more than 20 years (Kyaw 360). Throughout her confinement there existed multiple flashpoints that she could have exploited to give her supporters an excuse to rise up and seek to overthrow the military junta and its puppet government; however, Aung San Suu Kyi took no such opportunities. Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention was unique in the fact that nearly all of her detention took place in the form of house arrest. Although many contributing factors helped to assure that Aung San Suu Kyi would not be thrown into a prison along with the general population, the largest reason for this was most likely due to the fact that she ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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