The Rise and Fall of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi Explained | NowThis World

A non-violent freedom fighter? War crimes apologist? Or something in between? Aung San Suu Kyi’s
decades-long, non-violent struggle for democracy made her a hero around the world. But once appointed to office,
many say her leadership has been disappointing. So who is she really? This is the rise and fall
of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi. Born on June 19, 1945, in what was
then known as Rangoon, Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi was destined
to be defiant from the start — it was in her blood. Her father was none other than Aung San — the former military general who negotiated Burma’s independence from the British in 1947. He became known as a national hero, and the founder of modern-day Myanmar, which was then known as Burma. But in 1947, when Suu Kyi was just
two years old, everything changed. Her father was assassinated by a rival politician. In the years following his murder, Suu Kyi’s mother, Khin Kyi,
became a politician herself. She was appointed the country’s
ambassador to India in 1960 —
a job that would bring the young
Suu Kyi abroad, and shape her world view. She went to high school in New Delhi,
finding herself studying in a country that had also gained independence
from the British just two decades prior. And while she was in India,
Suu Kyi’s country was in chaos. In 1962, General Ne Win deposed
the country’s democratically elected leader, ushering in a new era of military rule in Burma. Suu Kyi looked at her country from afar, as the progress that her father
made seemed to be unravelling. Upon graduating from high school in 1964, she went on to study with the global elite at Oxford University. She studied philosophy, politics, and economics there, but she walked away with more than a degree. Oxford was where she met Michael Aris
whom she would marry in 1972. They eventually settled in the United Kingdom,
where they had two sons. During this time,
Suu Kyi would continue to watch as her country was sinking
even further into dictatorship. As she raised her kids, Suu Kyi dove into researching and
writing a biography on her father. But in 1988, everything would
change for Aung San Suu Kyi. Her mother suffered a serious stroke,
so Suu Kyi returned to Burma to be her caregiver. Call it a coincidence or fate, but her return happened at one of the most pivotal moments in Burmese politics. Nationwide protests against
one-party rule and the military dictatorship culminated in what
later became known as the The regime cracked down on these
pro-democracy protesters violently. Some estimate that over
3,000 people were killed, even though authorities claim that
number to be much lower at 350 people. In search of a leader to get behind, the protesters looked to the then 43-year-old
Suu Kyi to fill the shoes of her father — as a fighter for Burmese democracy. And that’s exactly what she did. On August 26th, 1988 — standing before
a crowd of an estimated 500,000 people on the steps of the country’s
iconic Shwedagon Pagoda, Suu Kyi called for democracy in Burma. As the country continued
to deal with civil unrest, “the State Law and Order
Restoration Committee” was created, which was the new military
government that would rule over Burma. After the government allowed
for the creation of political parties, Suu Kyi launched the National
League for Democracy party, or the NLD. But Suu Kyi would soon discover
that her fight for democracy would be a long and constant struggle with the military. After the passing of her mother, Suu Kyi persisted in her fight for democracy — even at great personal expense. Staying in Burma meant
being separated from her family who stayed behind in the United Kingdom. Undeterred, her bold demands for human rights, as well as her growing popularity among the people, made the soft-spoken Suu Kyi, one of the biggest threats to Burma’s military establishment. The military was so concerned with Suu Kyi that it made her a political prisoner in 1989. She was placed under house arrest
and barred from elected office in the country, which was
officially renamed Myanmar. But Suu Kyi’s impact on Burmese politics
was already past the point of control. Despite her detention, Suu Kyi’s
NLD party won a landslide victory in the country’s parliamentary election in 1990. And the military was completely shocked by the results. It refused to recognize the NLD’s
victory and cracked down on the group. All the while, Suu Kyi remained dedicated to promoting non-violent resistance to military rule — even as her supporters were
being rounded up placed in prison. Her stubborn dedication to non-violence made her popular on the world stage, earning her the nickname “The Lady.” After the European Parliament awarded her its Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990, Suu Kyi wrote that” Those words would come
to haunt her in the years later. The next year she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — which cemented her as a global figure. But she wasn’t able to accept either award in person because of her continued
house arrest that lasted for six years. She was released from
house arrest on July 10, 1995. But the military would continue restricting her activity and movement over the next 5 years — banning her from traveling outside on the capital city. She was faced with the
difficult decision of choosing between her personal freedom
and her fight for democracy. And she chose to fight. It would become increasingly clear to Suu Kyi that not only was her freedom at stake, but also her life. In November 1996, an NLD motorcade that Suu Kyi was in was attacked by nearly 200 men
in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon. And security forces did nothing to stop the attack as it unfolded. But she was undeterred by the risks. [SUU KYI]: It is surprising that they should ask us to make concessions when it is
the military regime that has arrested our people, and which is continuing to arrest our people illegally outside of the law, torturing them, imprisoninig them and subjecting their families to much harasment and oppression. [HOST]:
Once again, she would face the
heartbreaking decision she had faced before. One between family and country. Her husband Michael was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate
cancer back in the United Kingdom. In 1999, he requested that the
military government allow into Myanmar to see Suu Kyi one last time. It rejected his request, but said it would allow
Suu Kyi to travel to visit him instead. Suu Kyi was now faced
with an unimaginable choice. To see her husband one last time she would risk not being allowed back into her country. She chose to stay, and fight…. And on March 27th, 1999, Michael died. Even in her time of grief, she continued to
push against political oppression in Myanmar. And on September 15th, 2000 — she had had enough. In front of NLD supporters, she boldly declared
that she would travel outside of Yangon
— defying the military government. Later that month, as she prepared
to board a train out of the city, security forces flooded the station
and prevented her from leaving. And days later, she would once again
find herself in a familiar situation. Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest AGAIN. But there was something different about this time. With Suu Kyi out of the public eye and less threatening to the government, they began secret negotiations over the country’s future. Two years later, on May 6th, 2002, Suu Kyi
emerged from the confines of her home and addressed hundreds of her supporters
who had longed for her return to public life. Government officials even said that
Myanmar was entering into a new era, where citizens could ”freely” participate in politics. Suu Kyi took advantage of this. She began touring the country to visit supporters, but she was often accompanied with government officials. Things were fianlly looking up for Suu Kyi — but one eventful day would
undo all the progress she had made. In 2003, another one of Suu Kyi’s convoys
was attacked by pro-government mobs. And this one was worse than the one before — at least 4 NLD bodyguards were killed. The government responded by arresting Suu Kyi. She was detained before being
put under house arrest again. And this time would become the longest amount of time she spent under house arrest. As the years passed, Suu Kyi
patiently waited to continue her fight. But the government tried to delay this as long as it could. It extended her sentence not once or twice,
but on four different occasions. It wasn’t until 2010, that she would
once again emerge from her house into the crowds of supporters who had
long awaited the return of their leader. And she hit the ground running. She began working with the NLD to prepare for upcoming parliamentary elections in 2012. And they won — big. Over two decades since the 8-8-88 Uprising
thrust her into the fight for democracy, she finally achieved her goal,
her party won the election in a landslide. They secured 43 of the
open 45 seats in parliament. Suu Kyi was elected the leader of the opposition — but she wasn’t finished yet. She set her sights on the country’s 2015 election — which would be the first openly-contested
general election in Myanmar in over 25 years. Even though the military government
was slowly letting go of some control, it had no plan to let go of the sweeping
powers given to it in the country’s 2008 constitution. Despite having democratic elections, the military is entitled to 25 percent of seats in parliament . That makes it impossible to change
the constitution without the military’s approval — which requires over 75 percent
of parliament to approve. Despite this political reality, Suu Kyi and her party still ran in the 2015 election. [SUU KYI]: Who said I’m gonna be prime minister? The prime minister is below the president. I’ve said I am going to be above the president. [HOST]:
And again… they won big. The NLD, which had struggled for power for
decades, had finally became the ruling party. [PROTESTER]:
She’s our mother! [HOST]:
It formed a government and in 2016 created
the position of State Counselor for Suu Kyi — making her the de facto leader of Myanmar’s government. The position was created because
Suu Kyi wasn’t allowed to become president, due to the constitutional restrictions
on citizens with foreign-born spouses or children…. But her leadrship in Myanmar has revealed a side of the leader
that the world hadn’t seen before. That she, too, was capable of falling into the
same pattern of others in positions of power… that she once warned about in 1990… Since rising to power in Myanmar Suu Kyi’s reputation on the
world stage has drastically changed as she continues to defend the
country’s violent actions in it’s Rakhine state against the ethnic and
religious minority Rohingya people. In 2016, a group known as the
Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) attacked police outposts in Rakhine. Then reports began to emerge that Myanmar security forces were committing violence against the Rohingya, which some said amounted to ethnic cleansing. The international community has looked
to the Nobel Peace Prize winning Suu Kyi to defend human rights in her country. But she’s repeatedly failed to do so as the
de facto head of Myanmar’s civilian government. In an exclusive interview with the BBC in April 2017, she denied that ethnic cleansing was taking place in Myanmar. She also pushed back against international
criticism of her handling of the crisis.. [BBC Reporter]: Do you think people in the west misjudged you? Or mischaracterized you? Or misunderstood you? Expecting you to be this amalgam of Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa? And actually, maybe you’re closer in you’re determination and steeliness to someone like Margaret Thatcher? [Suu Kyi]: Well no, I’m just a politician. I’m not quite like Margaret Thatcher, no. But on the other hand, I’m no Mother Teresa either. I’ve never said I was. Mahatma Gandhi, actually, was a very astute politician. [HOST]
Since that interview, UN officials have
called what’s happening in Myanmar genocide. Creating one of the world’s
worst humanitarian crisis today, with over 700,000 Rohingya having
fled the country for safety since 2017. Suu Kyi, once beloved around the world, now found herself fallen from grace on the world stage. Some even began calling for
her Nobel Prize to be revoked over her position on the Rohingya crisis. And in December of 2017, she’d found herself once again at the center of international criticism.. Two Reuters journalists were arrested for their investigative reporting into
the atrocities happening in Rakhine state. Suu Kyi, who could push for the reporters
to be pardoned, has refused to do so. [SUU KYI]: They were not jailed because they were journalist. They were jailed because the court has…. well, sentence has been passed on them because the court has decided that they have broken the Official Secret Act. So, if we believe in the rule of law, they have every right to appeal the judgement and to point out why the judgement is wrong, if they consider it wrong.” [HOST]:As she holds onto power in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi’s story will continue to unfold. Only time will tell if she’ll go down in history as the non-violent, freedom fighter she’s been for decades. Or just another power hungry politician who’s been complicit in war crimes?

Glenn Chapman


  1. I think Sri Lanka church bombing will awake you up, she did right thing, you are talking about political correctness, which is stupid, simple and naive.

  2. "they also got independence from biritan" britian never controlled china like they did india and at the period when they controlled the most chinese land THEY BARELY CONTROLED 1% OF CHINA

  3. funny how people judge others so quick. She is not dead yet. How do you know she will be hero again? You western method doesn't work in the east.

  4. islamist along with British was able to cheat Gandhi .. but Aung San is much more clever .. brits will pay for their dirty tricks with the islamist ……chicken will come home to roost …..now she is truly great …..truthfulness is the most valuable quality

  5. Live long enough to see your self become the villain or die and be a hero.

  6. It's always easier to criticize than making meaningful changes.

  7. Irony that she became the very thing she had fought against all her life.

  8. Most of the people commenting do not have a clue about what is happening inside Myanmar……..including the video narrator

  9. He talked about Burma after 1948 but don't know about the history.

  10. Well' she was a leader but once she was freed, she sold her soul to the devil, and her poor country men who depended on her. she now choose to save her self over her people

  11. 1:45 Oxford is not for "The global elite." Stop this Elitist exclusionary drivel. I dislike this presenters lionising of her and pays little attention to the ethnic cleasing of Rohingya. She's another tribalist.

  12. Non violent movement. Sounds beautiful but doesn't always work properly

  13. iF SHE HELP THE mUSLIM, sHE WILL STILL BE CALL AS kAFIR , what choice do she have?

  14. white people always think that they have special permission to kill others,if black,brown or yellow do same thing it is human right violation

  15. Who is Commander in Chief . How many Country have two Vice president ? Myanmar will be behind 100+ years in every sector .

  16. Islam is a peaceful religion …. Period
    Joke of the century 😂😅 😂

  17. From a personal standpoint, I can understand why she has become the leader she is. It took her over two decades to win her fight to end military rule in Myanmar, and now that she's in power to rule the country, she doesn't want to do anything that risks her being disposed. This is not a justification for what she's allowed since coming to power of course; just an explanation for why she may be governing the way she is.

  18. She should be remember for war crimes against monorities and genocide. The evidence is there but being ignored and brushed under.

  19. The west created her, the idea of her. Reality is catching up. What a shame.

  20. It seems she used the "Gandhi-Style " as a method to come to power. She knew what western media like to see and so she got support and protection for her career. Western media, especially the US, like to simplify politicians coz they like to tell a story about good versus evil. Never trust these humanitarian guys in politics. When it´s too good to be true, then it´s not true. Use your common sense. By the way; Gandhi wasn´t a holy man. He found a method for empowerment in the long run. It´s a kind of asymetric warfare.
    Update; this includes Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama.

  21. Marrying a white man can lead an Asian woman to rise in the British Media, but if you mess up with Muslims, you will fall. The British media is obsessed with promoting the idea of "Muslim masculinity and East Asian femininity" at the price of its people's lives and wellbeing.

  22. She did more for her country by NOT being a politician. Politicians can't do anything significant. All politicians all around the world are merely caretakers of the status quo. Do not look to politicians to save you or bring change – it all starts in you local community. Parliaments only act if the social change is already roaring ahead and they want to jump on board for the votes.

  23. This video is a White men project to destroy Buddhism in SEA. This is not the first time White men try to destroy Buddhism. They did that countless of times in the past by introducing Christianity via colonization to weaken the Buddhist faith among the populace there.

  24. Tsk tsk tsk….
    You did a well researched topic but you specifically left out very important details.
    "Aung San Su Kyi cannot control the military."
    There. It seems like you left these out on purpose given the amount of details you put into the video.
    Under the 2008 constitution, the military chief is not appointed by the elected government. Su Kyi cannot fire or arrest the general. They have complete autonomy on security issues such as Rohingyas crisis. General Min Aung Hlaing is the one responsible. He purposely made the crisis to make Su Kyi look bad on the world stage. He very well understands that in order to compete with Su Kyi politically, he must first destroy her image first. He has ambitions. He wishes to one day become president.
    People from the west claim to understand Myanmar. But you all seems to know very little. Pathetic.

  25. i think she did A great thing for her country getting rid of those poor moslems

  26. Good video — would flow better if you stopped showing Judah at the end of his sentences each time (you could cut away a few words before the end?). It feels a bit awkward.

  27. Aung San Suu Kyi literally proved the adage "…think globally.. act locally…". I think her conscious stand on rohinga issue was in the long-term interest of Myanmar. Future will show that her critical decision in fact justified the spirit of Nobel peace prize. The potential of perpetual violence in Myanmar will be less than it would have been. She proved herself a patriot who sacrificed her personal interests in favor of her country.

  28. No, the headline is wrong, it should be " fall and rise of aung san suu kii"…

  29. She is a democratic champion in her own country, people love her, and the same people hate the Muslim minorities, it’s no secret the Buddhist majority have deep distrust of the Muslim minorities.

  30. We in Bangladesh have sheltered the Rohingya people. Not because we wanted to but because they were human beings and they were being murdered in thousands in broad daylight. Their stories of horror was unbearable. They killed all men in villages after villages, raped women then killed them and burned them. What they to children is unimaginable. She cannot avoid responsibility. UN calls the Rohingya the most persecuted people in the modern world

  31. "It is not power that corrupts people, it is the fear of losing power" , oh yes it is!!! Suu Kyi's own quote will be haunting her now. Her noble peace price should be revoked

  32. This documentary should have include those atrocity against those helpless Rohingiya people, which were all over the social media.

  33. Success or failure ??? Will be judged only after atleast 100 years

  34. How can a person that deserts her own family be a good leader?

  35. Apparently Aung San had studied the histories of Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Xinjiang.

  36. This video is not showing enough evil side of her.I feel like she is just a power hungry puppet.Please make a video about Rohingya, including history of their ethnicity and what Bangladesh is doing for them.

  37. Anything that doesn't Pleases muslims , Now This World demonizes that.

  38. Shame on you Aung San Suu Kyi! The world is seeing you as a hypocrite!…Shame on you!…..

  39. Gotta love how the moment foreigners realize that she wouldn't allow the country to become a Western puppet and stick instead as an ally of China, they suddenly start caring about Bengali secessionist and terrorists.

  40. ❄️❄️❄️🔵🔴🔰💥💥🦄🦄🤑🤑🤑🍁🍁🏆🧿🧿🧿🧿🧲🧲🍡🍡🍡🍡🍁🍁 တစ်ဦးတည်းချစ်ခြင်းမေတ္တာအပေါ်အခြေခံပါတယ်။ ဘုရားသခင်သည်ကျွန်ုပ်တို့၏အရပျ၌အသေခံရန်သားတော်ယေရှုခရစ်ကိုစေလွှတ်။ , ထို့နောက်သုံးရက်မြောက်သောနေ့၌သေခြင်းမှထမြောက်ကိုယ်တော်ကိုမြင့်တက်လာခဲ့သည်။

    အခုတော့တစ်ဦးတည်းသညျယရှေုခရစျသသော်လည်း။ ဘုရားသခင်သည်ငါတို့အားထာဝရအသက်တာ၏အခမဲ့ဆုကြေးဇူးကိုပေးသနားခဲ့ပါသည်။ သငျသညျကိုယျတျောကိုမေးလျှင်သူသည်သင်တို့ကိုကယ်တင်နှင့်အနာရောဂါကိုငြိမ်းစေပါလိမ့်မယ်။

  41. Brits should have given Burma to India….rather than making it a separate nation😡 , sorry failed nation😢

  42. Make a video about kachin and chin states in the northern region of Burma.Even military commanders dare to enter those regions 😉.

  43. “You can live like a king and die early, or you can live long enough to see yourself become the enemy”

  44. So Gandhi didn’t get the Nobel peace prize but Hitler almost did?

  45. All those defending her – have you not heard her PUBLIC statements which amount to hate speech against the Rohingya population? She knows her words have an impact and that’s how she chooses to use said impact. It’s not about whether the Junta still holds real power – of course it does. It’s about a ‘non violence icon’ contributing immensely to a genocidal climate.

  46. Go do more research please because it’s clear that you don’t fully understand the Burmese government and how it functions.

  47. India does not support the rehabilitation of Rohingyas to Rakhine because of three reasons:
    1. It wants a share of natural resources of Rakhine from Burmese government.
    2. It wants to see Bangladesh a failed state so that it can incorporate Bangladesh as one of its states.
    3. Rohingyas are Muslims.
    Indian’s are waging a propaganda war against Bangladesh to prove Rohingyas as Bengali Muslims. However, contrary to their claims, Rohingyas have been living in Rakhine from long time before the British occupation and are regarded as an ethnic group of Rakhine by all international organizations including the UN and EU. India also hijacked Bangladesh’s hard earned democracy by supporting an undemocratic government. Bangladeshis are keeping a close look at India’s activities in Bangladesh and all of their evil actions will be paid back at right time.

  48. She didn't speak out because she knew fake news media are going to mischaracterized & smeared her whatever she said.

  49. I can translate all of Myanmar if you wish 🙂 All of her families died as a hero, then when she grow old, she was locked in her home not allowing her to get out the house.

  50. When you criticize how your government uses too much power but then stop when you get a taste of power

  51. Allah helping dearest sung sang sukei please tell hasina she can't play with I am politicale game if she grab myanmer one inch land inshallhhulaziz I am abale to grab mama land in 5 minite I am warning hasina.may Allah peace on all the lover Earth soile Allah huakbar.allah hafez

  52. Don't blame Suu Kyi , it's the corrupt military junta has more power
    than her , and they want to hold on
    to it.

  53. Useless and biased analysis…all these Europeans don’t have any knowledge abt the country’s historic problems…y they not say anything about Holocaust in which Christians killed 30 lakhs jews and claim they are champions of human rights…..what a joke

  54. "All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs." – Enoch Powell

    Where would Martin Luther King's reputation have ended up if he had lived to old age? Who knows?

  55. A bit misleading. The government has no control over the army or what it does. She has the problem of having to work with the army, who shot dead her main legal advisor after winning majority in government, as a warning to her, and her party, DO NOT PUSH THE ARMY OR THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES. She has wait and hope for pressure from the UN and world leaders, as she has done in the past, for more change to occur.This is in no way an attempt to stand by the horrific and genocide ethnic cleansing occurring of the Rohingya people.

  56. 10:37 I like the way he said aung san su kei (dog) is his mother😂😂🤣🤣😆

  57. Myanmar is a still country partly under military and our government doesn’t have full authority to commend the military due to 2008 constitution. It was the military that did so-called ethnic cleansing , not the government and she tried and is still trying to help the refugees on both sides. U may see it was a human right violation but actually it was a side-effect Of 2008 constitution and the past of Myanmar . We all trying to amend the constitution and one day Myanmar will become a fully democratic nation.

  58. ေဒၚေအာင္ဆန္းစုၾကည္

  59. This goes to show that power corrupts all no matter who the person is.
    We might even see Bashar al-Assad get nominated for nobel peace prize

  60. did u say "power hungry politician?" Oh wow… you're such a… 🙂

    rohingya,… minority which people would described as usual, the Burmese government wouldn't had to do anything if they were legally and peacefully living as the immigration laws are mentioned. They started out crazy thing and govenment crack them down; u called that genocide? oh my…

  61. The west and Europe fell under the spell of Islamic manipulation, especially the Labour Party in Europe, they don't care what will be the danger that looms ahead, provided they will be perpetuated to stay in power. As they are those who abet, collaborate and Connive to muslim immigrants in hordes to immigrate on different countries in Europe, giving them access on citizenship, priveledges on their host country, provided the voting Bloc of the Muslim community in Europe would rally behind the Labour Party in Europe. Actually, these are Political in nature, in order to continue their rule by the demagogue politicians, who does not actually cares about their country nor their culture but their perpetuation of grip of their power on the government. With the support of Petro dollars from Arab countries, who may support the backing of money or logistics as well as the voting Bloc of the Muslim communities. Those greedy politicians in Europe and in America would surely fall or be enchanted by this opportunity.

  62. Rohingyas are TERRORISTS, not only in Myanmar, but also in Bangladesh & India. They're rebels & islamically radicalised ! Don't misunderstand them as the victims please.

  63. What do they expect her to do? She is the de facto leader but the military can take back the power any time. She cannot afford to offend them. She is looking at the larger picture and putting her people's (ethnic burmese) interests first.

  64. Burma is only for Burmese but not for illegal immigrants from neighboring countries mainly from Bangladesh.

  65. 1. It took her decades (and in captivity) to get a free and fair election in the country. Expecting her to solve Rohingya issue right away is not correct. It does take time.
    2. Rakhinae muslims peacefully coexit with the Burmese, unlike Rohingya.
    3. They are Bengalis, migrants from India/Bangladesh. why cant these 2 countries take them back, rather than forcing them on Burmese?
    4. Bangladesh quarentines them onto seperate island, this shows how much problamatic these ppl are
    5. Why can't rich Islamic countries offer asylum to them?

  66. this prostitiute will understand when bangladesh trainng and provinding arms to rohinga. russia can handale chechen just 2 million peoples how how ur pig country will handale .

  67. Here in myanmar, it's seen that one party won and has become the government by the entire world. The truth is that the former military government is always behind the country's every crisis, starting from economic troubles to ethical problems, civil wars. But the world sees that the present NLD government has the responsibility. How sad it is, one woman had to let go of her life and took risk for her country but the world views her as a villain.

  68. The military still holds power in Burma/Myanmar. she could be saying what she is saying, so they won't shoot in the face.

  69. Gandhi has bigger balls than her. She is nothing compared to that legend. India’s freedom struggle was much more bloodier than myanmar can ever cook up. The more i grew up, the more I appreciated Gandhi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *