Here are some facts about Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, the 75-year-old who rode to power after a 2015 landslide election win that established the country’s first civilian government in half a century.
-She is the daughter of independence hero Aung San and spent much of her youth overseas.
-In 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Yangon, then the capital, to care for her dying mother and was swept up in student-led protests against the military that had ruled since a 1962 coup.
-An eloquent public speaker, she was a likely candidate to lead the movement, but the protests were crushed, its leaders killed and jailed, and she was soon imprisoned in her lakeside family home, where she remained until 2010.
-She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, which her elder son Alexander collected on her behalf.
-In August 2011, Aung San Suu Kyi had her first meeting with then-President Thein Sein, a former general and head of the quasi-civilian administration, marking the start of a pragmatic period of engagement with the government of former soldiers.
-In 2015, she came to power on a platform of ending civil war, drumming up foreign investment, and reducing the army’s role in politics. She also promised Western allies she would address the plight of the Rohingya Muslim people.
-Rohingya militants attacked security forces in Rakhine State in August 2017. The military responded with a campaign that included the torching of hundreds of villages and killings. Aung San Suu Kyi blamed “terrorists” for an “iceberg of misinformation” about the crisis and said the military was exercising the “rule of law.”
-She went to the Hague in 2019 to face charges of genocide brought against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. She acknowledged the possibility war crimes had been committed but framed the crackdown as a legitimate military operation against terrorists.
-Results from a November 2020 parliamentary election showed her ruling National League of Democracy party had won enough parliamentary seats to form the next administration. The NLD said it would seek to form a government of national unity.
-After weeks of disputes about the election results involving the military, in the early hours of Feb. 1, Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other senior figures from the ruling party were detained in an early morning raid.
Voice of America – English