Like Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi is an international symbol of heroic and peaceful resistance in the face of oppression.
Aung San Suu Kyi is a woman few men can hold a candle to - except the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
Since 1988 she has been at the forefront of a non-violent struggle to restore democracy to Burma, and dislodge one of the world's most brutal military governments, installed by the dictator General Ne Win in 1962. But for most of that time she has either been under house arrest or in prison. She has also had to face assassination attempts, most infamously at Depayin in 2003, when a hundred of her followers were slaughtered before her very eyes.
But nothing can or will deter Aung San Suu Kyi, as the free world has acknowledged by the award of the Nobel Peace Prize and many other honours. She just is, or has become, a political Madonna par excellence, a torchbearer for human rights who face is a global icon.
Crucially, her father, Aung San, was the man who led Burma to independence from British colonial rule, and it is his vision of a democratic Burma that his daughter has sought to perpetuate.
Just as much Aung San Suu Kyi was moulded by her mother, Daw Khin Kyi, who, in 1947, was confronted by the difficulties of raising a family single-handedly, following Aung San's murder by his political rivals.
Aung San Suu Kyi never forgot the lessons of her childhood. When the call came to help her fellow Burmese she responded unflinchingly, even though this meant separation from her English husband Dr Michael Aris and the sons she loved.
In this revelatory biography, Justin Wintle tells her whole story, as well as the story of her parents and her people, and shows the real woman behind the headlines: the impossibly difficult choices she has had to make; and how, insidiously Burma's generals slowly turned her opposition to their advantage.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 03 / 2007