Aung San Suu Kyi by Siobahan Dowd

Siobahan Dowd

Aung San Suu Kyi

 

HOW DO YOU remain unafraid in a society where fear lurks around every corner? An answer can be found in Aung San Suu Kyi's classic book of dissent, Freedom from Fear (1991). Here she charts how democracy can be born in an individual, as well as a country, and explains how it offers citizens a chance to unite and cooperate, rather than be powerless and divided in the face of tyranny.

Today more than at any time in recent Burmese history, Aung San Suu Kyi is being forced to live up to her words. Although she has for the last fifteen years lived either under house arrest or with her movements strictlv controlled, she has never before been imprisoned. On 30 May that changed. She was taken into what the government euphemistically termed 'protective custody', and reportedly placed in a specially built compound in the country's notorious Insein Jail. Meanwhile, the offices of the National League for Democracy (NLD), which she heads, were shut down. All negotiations towards loosening the junta's political stranglehold unravelled. The outlook for democracy in Burma has seldom been grimmer.

Aung San Suu Kyi has led a remarkable life. She was just two when her father, Burma's famous

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