Thursday, August 25, 2011

Feminist Feature: Aung San Suu Kyi

"Please use your liberty to  promote ours."  -Aung San Suu Kyi

And so I will...

With the new film coming out next year, I thought it important that I bring about the awareness of all that is Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and the symbol of the Democratic revolution in Burma.  Before November 13, 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi spent fifteen years under house arrest and other types of detentions.  Heroism runs in the family.  Her father Aung San was also an advocate of independence, who was killed when she was two.  She was highly educated, having graduation from Oxford.  In 1988, Burma called her back for her ill mother.  Approximately five thousand people were killed in the revolution she got caught up in on August 8.  Five thousand!  In one day!

Photo courtesy of Asian News

Clearly something needed to be done.  Aung San Suu Kyi was appointed General Secretary of the National League for Democracy in September of 1988.  Even though the dictatorship tried its best to cheat the system of fair voting, the NLD was voted 82% of the Parliament seats in the 1990 elections.  The dictatorship never recognized the votes and refused to hand over power.  Despite being under house arrest and released, Suu Kyi never stopped her quest for Burmese independence.  She would be detained yet again for her insistence on rallying.  In 2003, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, secretly hired by the dictatorship, attempted to assassinate Aung San Suu Kyi in a convoy.  The dictatorship continually attacked the NLD parties, going as far as killing them and framing them for violent incidents caused by the dictatorship.

In 2009, Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested just days before her house arrest was lifted and kept in detention until days after the last election in November of 2010, so she would have no influence on the election process.  But 66-year-old Suu Kyi is still going strong.

The film named The Lady has a tentative release date of March 15, 2012.  Michelle Yeoh (!!!!) plays Aung San Suu Kyi, and the film is directed by Luc Besson of Leon the Professional fame.  I have high hopes that this film will bring about awareness to the issue of Burmese independence to our ignorant Western culture!  After all, only the Middle Eastern revolutions are being covered by the media.  Maybe Burma will get the attention it deserves to help it get the peace and independence it needs.

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