Aung San Suu Kyi (/aʊŋ ˌsɑːn suː ˈtʃiː/; Burmese: MLCTS: aung hcan: cu. krany [ʔàʊɰ̃ sʰáɰ̃ sṵ tɕì]; born 19 June 1945), 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 (equivalent to a prime minister) and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2016 to 2021. She has served as the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) since the party’s founding in 1988, and was registered as its chairperson while it was a legal party from 2011 to 2023. She 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. After graduating from the University of Delhi in 1964 and St Hugh’s College, Oxford in 1968, she worked at the United Nations for three years. She 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. In the 1990 elections, NLD won 81% of the seats in Parliament, but the results were nullified, as the military government (the State Peace and Development Council – SPDC) refused to hand over power, resulting in an international outcry. She 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. In 1999, Time magazine named her one of the “Children of Gandhi” and his spiritual heir to nonviolence. She survived an assassination attempt in the 2003 Depayin massacre when at least 70 people associated with the NLD were killed.