Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi has become the face of the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma. Suu Kyi is the general secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD), a leading opposition party in Burma.
After living in Oxford for many years, Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988 to nurse her mother. Aung San Suu Kyi was in her homeland when students and other Burmese demonstrated against the 26-year-old one-party socialist government and spoke out in favor of democracy. The military State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) seized power on September 18, 1988 and crushed the pro-democracy movement. In the ensuing crackdown, several thousand people were killed.
SLORC allowed multi-party general elections in 1990. The NLD, headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, won the elections in a landslide. SLORC refused to recognize the election results and put elected government leaders under house arrest. Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her efforts to get democracy in Burma. She was released from house arrest in 1995, but her movements are restricted to the area around Yangon (formerly Rangoon), Myanmar’s capital.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter
of assassinated independence hero Aung San, was held under house arrest
from 1989 to 1995. She was placed back under house arrest in 2000 when
she tried to travel by train to Mandalay in defiance of restrictions put
Herself a refugee, Dr. Cynthia has become a "Mother Teresa" to the Burmese refugees along the Thai-Burma border. In 1988, she established a clinic which treats thousands of patients each year for free. She also serves as health advisor to eastern Burma and manages many of the relief projects in the area including medic, midwife, and community health worker training, rice and blanket distribution, mobile medical teams, and sattelite clinic development. Her main clinic serves as a model health care facility and as a training center for the many lay health workers in the area.
The founder and head of the Mae Tao Clinic in the border town of Mae Sot, Thailand, is the 2002 Ramon Magsaysay (Asia's Nobel Prize) awardee for Community Leadership. Dr. Maung is being cited for her humane and fearless response to the urgent medical needs of thousands of refugees and displaced persons along the Thailand-Burma border.
In 1999, Maung was awarded the first Jonathan
Mann Award for humanitarianism. She also won the 1999 John Humphrey Freedom
Award of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development.
San San Nwe
Her works include books on socio-political
subjects, including such titles as Alone in the Wind and Rain, A Small
Umbrella Does Not Cover Enough, and The Prison of Chalcedony.
One of her short stories, "The Children Who Play in the Back Alleyways",
relates to traumatic memories of the violent suppression of demonstrations
in Burma in 1988.