Sunday, 14 November 2010

House arrest

Ms Suu Kyi remained under house arrest in Rangoon for six years, until she was released in July 1995.

She was again put under house arrest in September 2000, when she tried to travel to the city of Mandalay in defiance of travel restrictions.

She was released unconditionally in May 2002, but just over a year later she was put in prison following a clash between her supporters and a government-backed mob.

She was later allowed to return home - but again under effective house arrest, where she has since remained.

During periods of confinement, Ms Suu Kyi has busied herself studying and exercising.

She has meditated, worked on her French and Japanese language skills, and relaxed by playing Bach on the piano.

In more recent years, she has also been able to meet other NLD officials and selected diplomats.

But during her early years of detention, she was often in solitary confinement. She was not allowed to see her two sons or her husband, who died of cancer in March 1999.

The military authorities offered to allow her to travel to the UK to see him when he was gravely ill, but she felt compelled to refuse for fear she would not be allowed back into the country.

She has grandchildren she has never met.

Continue reading the main story-Aung San Suu Kyi

* 1989: Put under house arrest as Burma junta declares martial law
* 1990: NLD wins election; military disregards result
* 1991: Wins Nobel Peace Prize
* 1995: Released from house arrest, but movements restricted
* 2000-02: Second period of house arrest
* May 2003: Detained after clash between NLD and junta forces
* Sep 2003: Allowed home after medical treatment, but under effective house arrest
* May 2007: House arrest is extended for another year
* Sept 2007: First public appearance since 2003, greeting protesting Buddhist monks
* May 2008: House arrest extended for another year
* May 2009: Charged with breaking detention rules after an American swims to her compound
* August 2009: Sentenced to 18 months further house arrest

'Can't stop freedom'

In recent months she has been criticised in some quarters for her decision to boycott the November 2010 elections, Burma's first in 20 years.

The NLD said the election laws were unfair and decided not to take part in the polls. Under new election laws, it then had to disband.

But a group of NLD members formed a new party to contest the polls, arguing that some representation in the new parliament would be better than none at all.

The polls - described as "neither free nor fair" by US President Barack Obama - appear to have left military-backed parties firmly in control.

This has raised speculation that she could soon be freed. She has said that she will not accept a release if any conditions are placed on her activities.

Ms Suu Kyi has often said that detention has made her even more sure that she should dedicate her life to representing the average Burmese citizen.

In a rare interview in 2007 during the uprising that was brutally put down by the military, she said democracy was "not finished in Burma".

"No matter the regime's physical power, in the end they can't stop the people; they can't stop freedom," she told British journalist John Pilger. "We shall have our time."

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