Aung San Suu Kyi

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Aung San Suu Kyi 10.02.2008 23:01:31 (permalink)
 

Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi : Tự do khỏi nỗi khiếp sợ  
Freedom from Fear speech by Aung Sang Suu Kyi, 1990





Welcome to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's pages

Aung San Suu Kyi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aung San Suu Kyi - Biography

1942:
September 6. Marriage of Aung San, commander of the Burma Independence Army, and Ma Khin Kyi (becoming Daw Khin Kyi), senior nurse of Rangoon General Hospital, where he had recovered from the rigours of the march into Burma.

1945:
June 19. Aung San Suu Kyi born in Rangoon, third child in family. "Aung San" for father, "Kyi" for mother, "Suu" for grandmother, also day of week of birth.
Favourite brother is to drown tragically at an early age. The older brother, will settle in San Diego, California, becoming United States citizen.

1947:
July 19. General Aung San assassinated. Suu Kyi is two years old. Daw Khin Kyi becomes a prominent public figure, heading social planning and social policy bodies.

1948:
January 4. The Independent Union of Burma is established.

1960:
Daw Khin Kyi appointed Burma's ambassador to India. Suu Kyi accompanies mother to New Delhi.

1960-64:
Suu Kyi at high school and Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi.

1964-67:
Oxford University, B.A. in philosophy, politics and economics at St. Hugh's College (elected Honorary Fellow, 1990).
British "parents" are Lord Gore-Booth, former British ambassador to Burma and High Commissioner in India, and his wife, at whose home Suu Kyi meets Michael Aris, student of Tibetan civilisation.

1969-71:
She goes to New York for graduate study, staying with family friend Ma Than E, staff member at the United Nations, where U. Thant of Burma is Secretary-General. Postponing studies, Suu Kyi joins U.N. secretariat as Assistant Secretary, Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions. Evenings and weekends volunteers at hospital, helping indigent patients in programs of reading and companionship.

1972:
January 1. Marries Michael Aris, joins him in Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, where he tutors royal family and heads Translation Department. She becomes Research Officer in the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

1973:
They return to England for birth of Alexander in London.

1974:
Michael assumes appointment in Tibetan and Himalayan studies at Oxford University.

1977:
Birth of second son, Kim at Oxford.
While raising her children, Suu Kyi begins writing, researches for biography of father, and assists Michael in Himalayan studies.

1984:
Publishes Aung San in Leaders of Asia series of University of Queensland Press. (See Freedom from Fear, pp. 3-38.)

1985:
For juvenile readers publishes Let's Visit Burma (see Freedom from Fear, pp. 39-81), also books on Nepal and Bhutan in same series for Burke Publishing Company, London.

1985-86:
Visiting Scholar, Center of Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, researching father's time in Japan. Kim with her, Alexander with Michael, who has fellowship at Indian Institute of Advanced Studies at Simla in northern India.

1986:
On annual visit to grandmother in Rangoon, Alexander and Kim take part in traditional Buddhist ceremony of initiation into monkhood.

1987:
With fellowship at Indian Institute Suu Kyi, with Kim, joins Michael and Alexander in Simla. Travels to London when mother is there for cataract surgery.
Publishes "Socio-Political Currents in Burmese Literature, 1910-1940" in journal of Tokyo University. (See Freedom from Fear, pp. 140-164.) September. Family returns to Oxford. Suu Kyi enrolls at London School of Oriental and African Studies to work on advanced degree.

1988:
March 31. Informed by telephone of mother's severe stroke, she takes plane next day to Rangoon to help care for Daw Khin Kyi at hospital, then moves her to family home on University Avenue next to Inya Lake in Rangoon.
July 23. Resignation of General Ne Win, since 1962 military dictator of Burma. Popular demonstrations of protest continuing.
August 8. Mass uprising throughout country. Violent suppression by military kills thousands.
August 15. Suu Kyi, in first political action, sends open letter to government, asking for formation of independent consultative committee to prepare multi-party elections.
August 26. In first public speech, she addresses several hundred thousand people outside Shwedagon Pagoda, calling for democratic government. Michael and her two sons are there.
September 18. Military establishes State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Political gatherings of more than four persons banned. Arrests and sentencing without trial reaffirmed. Parliamentary elections to be held, but in expectation that multiplicity of parties will prevent clear result.
September 24. National League for Democracy (NLD) formed, with Suu Kyi general-secretary. Policy of non-violence and civil disobedience. October-December. Defying ban, Suu Kyi makes speech-making tour throughout country to large audiences.
December 27. Daw Khin Kyi dies at age of seventy-six.

1989:
January 2. Funeral of Daw Khin Kyi. Huge funeral procession. Suu Kyi vows that as her father and mother had served the people of Burma, so too would she, even unto death.
January-July. Suu Kyi continues campaign despite harassment, arrests and killings by soldiers.
February 17. Suu Kyi prohibited from standing for election.
April 5. Incident in Irawaddy Delta when Suu Kyi courageously walks toward rifles soldiers are aiming at her.
July 20. Suu Kyi placed under house arrest, without charge or trial. Sons already with her. Michael flies to Rangoon, finds her on third day of hunger strike, asking to be sent to prison to join students arrested at her home. Ends strike when good treatment of students is promised.

1990:
May 27. Despite detention of Suu Kyi, NLD wins election with 82% of parliamentary seats. SLORC refuses to recognise results.
October 12. Suu Kyi granted 1990 Rafto Human Rights Prize.

1991:
July 10. European Parliament awards Suu Kyi Sakharov human rights prize.
October 14. Norwegian Nobel Committee announces Suu Kyi is winner of 1991 Peace Prize.

1991:
December. Freedom from Fear published by Penguin in New York, England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. Also in Norwegian, French, Spanish translations.
December 10. Alexander and Kim accept prize for mother in Oslo ceremony. Suu Kyi remains in detention, having rejected offer to free her if she will leave Burma and withdraw from politics. Worldwide appeal growing for her release.

1992:
Suu Kyi announces that she will use $1.3 million prize money to establish health and education trust for Burmese people.

1993:
Group of Nobel Peace Laureates, denied entry to Burma, visit Burmese refugees on Thailand border, call for Suu Kyi's release, Their appeal later repeated at UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva.

1994:
February. First non-family visitors to Suu Kyi: UN representative, U.S. congressman, New York Times reporter.
September-October. SLORC leaders meet with Suu Kyi, who still asks for a public dialogue.

1995:
July 10. SLORC releases Suu Kyi from house arrest after six years of detention.
In the last four years her movements have still been restricted. While she has had some opportunities to telephone her family in England, she is regularly denounced in the government-controlled media, and there is concern for her personal safety. Efforts to revive any NLD party activities have been balked, and its members have been jailed and physically attacked. In the first months after detention was ended, she was able to speak to large gatherings of supporters outside her home, but this was stopped. Yet her popularity in the country has not diminished.
Internationally her voice has been heard not infrequently. Reporters with cameras and videotape have been able to interview her in person, and telephone interviews with the media outside Burma have also been published. Using video cassettes she has sent out statements, including the keynote address to the NGO Forum at the U.N. International Women's Conference in Beijing in August 1995.
There have been a number of visitors from abroad, including a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, whom she told that Norway will be the first country she will visit when free to travel. SLORC has changed its name to the State Peace and Development Council, but its repressive policies and violation of human rights continue unabated.
Suu Kyi discourages tourists from visiting Burma and businessmen from investing in the country until it is free. She finds hearing for such pleas among western nations, and the United States has applied economic sanctions against Burma, but Burma's neighbours follow their policy of not intervening in the internal affairs of other sovereign states, and Burma has been admitted into the Association of South Eastern Asian Nations.
On March 27, 1999, Michael Aris died of prostate cancer in London. He had petitioned the Burmese authorities to allow him to visit Suu Kyi one last time, but they had rejected his request. He had not seen her since a Christmas visit in 1995. The government always urged her to join her family abroad, but she knew that she would not be allowed to return. This separation she regarded as one of the sacrifices she had had to make in order to work for a free Burma.


Selected Bibliography

By Aung San Suu Kyi

Freedom from Fear and Other Writings. Edited with introduction by Michael Aris. 2nd ed., revised. New York and London: Penguin, 1995. (Includes essays by friends and scholars.)

Voice of Hope: Conversations. London: Penguin, 1997 and New York City: Seven Stories Press, 1997 (Conversations beginning in November 1995 with Alan Clements, the founder of the Burma Project in California who helped with the script for the film based on her life, “Beyond Rangoon”.)

Other Sources

“Aung San Suu Kyi”, in Current Biography, February 1992.

Clements, Alan and Leslie Kean. Burma’s Revolution of the Spirit: The Struggle for Democratic Freedom and Dignity. New York: Aperture, 1994. (Many colour photographs with text, Includes essay by Aung San Suu Kyi.)

Clements, Alan. Burma: The Next Killing Fields. Tucson, Arizona; Odonian Press, 1992. (With a foreword by the Dalai Lama.)

Lintner, Bertil. Burma in Revolt: Opium and Insurgency since 1948. Boulder. Colorado: Westview, 1994. (By a well-informed Swedish journalist.)

Lintner, Bertil. Outrage: Burma’s Struggle for Democracy. 2nd ed., Edinburgh: Kiscadale, 1995.

Mirante, Edith T. Burmese Looking Glass. A Human Rights Adventure and a Jungle Revolution. New York: Grove, 1993.

Smith, Martin J. Burma: Intrangency and the Politics of Ethnicity. London: Zed Books, 1991. (A detailed and well-organised account by a journalist of the violent conflict between the military government and the many minorities.)

Victor, Barbara. The Lady: Aung San Suu Kyi: Nobel Laureate and Burma’s Prisoner. Boston and London: Faber & Faber, 1998. (A sympathetic account by a wellpublished author and journalist, whose research in Burma included interviews with government leaders.)












* Since no biography was printed in Les Prix Nobel 1991, this chronology has been assembled by the editor.
From Nobel Lectures, Peace 1991-1995, Editor Irwin Abrams, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1999
This autobiography/biography was first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1991

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1991/kyi-bio.html
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    Aung San Suu Kyi: Freedom From Fear 11.02.2008 02:51:26 (permalink)
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    Freedom from Fear
    Aung San Suu Kyi : Tự do khỏi nỗi khiếp sợ  


    by Aung Sang Suu Kyi, 1990


     

    It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it. Most Burmese are familiar with the four a-gati, the four kinds of corruption. Chanda-gati, corruption induced by desire, is deviation from the right path in pursuit of bribes or for the sake of those one loves. Dosa-gati is taking the wrong path to spite those against whom one bears ill will, and moga-gati is aberration due to ignorance. But perhaps the worst of the four is bhaya-gati, for not only does bhaya, fear, stifle and slowly destroy all sense of right and wrong, it so often lies at the root of the other three kinds of corruption. Just as chanda-gati, when not the result of sheer avarice, can be caused by fear of want or fear of losing the goodwill of those one loves, so fear of being surpassed, humiliated or injured in some way can provide the impetus for ill will. And it would be difficult to dispel ignorance unless there is freedom to pursue the truth unfettered by fear. With so close a relationship between fear and corruption it is little wonder that in any society where fear is rife corruption in all forms becomes deeply entrenched.


    Public dissatisfaction with economic hardships has been seen as the chief cause of the movement for democracy in Burma, sparked off by the student demonstrations 1988. It is true that years of incoherent policies, inept official measures, burgeoning inflation and falling real income had turned the country into an economic shambles. But it was more than the difficulties of eking out a barely acceptable standard of living that had eroded the patience of a traditionally good-natured, quiescent people - it was also the humiliation of a way of life disfigured by corruption and fear.


    The students were protesting not just against the death of their comrades but against the denial of their right to life by a totalitarian regime which deprived the present of meaningfulness and held out no hope for the future. And because the students' protests articulated the frustrations of the people at large, the demonstrations quickly grew into a nationwide movement. Some of its keenest supporters were businessmen who had developed the skills and the contacts necessary not only to survive but to prosper within the system. But their affluence offered them no genuine sense of security or fulfilment, and they could not but see that if they and their fellow citizens, regardless of economic status, were to achieve a worthwhile existence, an accountable administration was at least a necessary if not a sufficient condition. The people of Burma had wearied of a precarious state of passive apprehension where they were 'as water in the cupped hands' of the powers that be.


    Emerald cool we may be
    As water in cupped hands
    But oh that we might be
    As splinters of glass
    In cupped hands.


    Glass splinters, the smallest with its sharp, glinting power to defend itself against hands that try to crush, could be seen as a vivid symbol of the spark of courage that is an essential attribute of those who would free themselves from the grip of oppression. Bogyoke Aung San regarded himself as a revolutionary and searched tirelessly for answers to the problems that beset Burma during her times of trial. He exhorted the people to develop courage: 'Don't just depend on the courage and intrepidity of others. Each and every one of you must make sacrifices to become a hero possessed of courage and intrepidity. Then only shall we all be able to enjoy true freedom.'


    The effort necessary to remain uncorrupted in an environment where fear is an integral part of everyday existence is not immediately apparent to those fortunate enough to live in states governed by the rule of law. Just laws do not merely prevent corruption by meting out impartial punishment to offenders. They also help to create a society in which people can fulfil the basic requirements necessary for the preservation of human dignity without recourse to corrupt practices. Where there are no such laws, the burden of upholding the principles of justice and common decency falls on the ordinary people. It is the cumulative effect on their sustained effort and steady endurance which will change a nation where reason and conscience are warped by fear into one where legal rules exist to promote man's desire for harmony and justice while restraining the less desirable destructive traits in his nature.


    In an age when immense technological advances have created lethal weapons which could be, and are, used by the powefful and the unprincipled to dominate the weak and the helpless, there is a compelling need for a closer relationship between politics and ethics at both the national and international levels. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations proclaims that 'every individual and every organ of society' should strive to promote the basic rights and freedoms to which all human beings regardless of race, nationality or religion are entitled. But as long as there are governments whose authority is founded on coercion rather than on the mandate of the people, and interest groups which place short-term profits above long-term peace and prosperity, concerted international action to protect and promote human rights will remain at best a partially realized struggle. There willcontinue to be arenas of struggle where victims of oppression have to draw on their own inner resources to defend their inalienable rights as members of the human family.


    The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution of the spirit, the forces which produced the iniquities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences ofdesire, ill will, ignorance and fear.


    Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.


    Always one to practise what he preached, Aung San himself constantly demonstrated courage - not just the physical sort but the kind that enabled him to speak the truth, to stand by his word, to accept criticism, to admit his faults, to correct his mistakes, to respect the opposition, to parley with the enemy and to let people be the judge of his worthiness as a leader. It is for such moral courage that he will always be loved and respected in Burma - not merely as a warrior hero but as the inspiration and conscience of the nation. The words used by Jawaharlal Nehru to describe Mahatma Gandhi could well be applied to Aung San:


    'The essence of his teaching was fearlessness and truth, and action allied to these, always keeping the welfare of the masses in view.'


    Gandhi, that great apostle of non-violence, and Aung San, the founder of a national army, were very different personalities, but as there is an inevitable sameness about the challenges ofauthoritarian rule anywhere at any time, so there is a similarity in the intrinsic qualities of those who rise up to meet the challenge. Nehru, who considered the instillation of courage in the people of India one of Gandhi's greatest achievements, was a political modernist, but as he assessed the needs for a twentieth-century movement for independence, he found himself looking back to the philosophy of ancient India: 'The greatest gift for an individual or a nation . .. was abhaya, fearlessness, not merely bodily courage but absence of fear from the mind.'


    Fearlessness may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavour, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one's actions, courage that could be described as 'grace under pressure' - grace which is renewed repeatedly in the face of harsh, unremitting pressure.


    Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear ofdeath, fear oflosing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man's self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.

    The wellspring of courage and endurance in the face of unbridled power is generally a firm belief in the sanctity of ethical principles combined with a historical sense that despite all setbacks the condition of man is set on an ultimate course for both spiritual and material advancement. It is his capacity for self-improvement and self-redemption which most distinguishes man from the mere brute. At the root of human responsibility is the concept of peffection, the urge to achieve it, the intelligence to find a path towards it, and the will to follow that path if not to the end at least the distance needed to rise above individual limitations and environmental impediments. It is man's vision of a world fit for rational, civilized humanity which leads him to dare and to suffer to build societies free from want and fear. Concepts such as truth, justice and compassion cannot be dismissed as trite when these are often the only bulwarks which stand against ruthless power.








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