January 21, 2020
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TIME’s Most Influential Person of the Decade—Aung San Suu Kyi

  • Category: Myanmar
Myanmar opposition leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and TIME magazine's Most Influential Person of the Decade Aung San Suu Kyi, pictured upon her release from house arrest on November 13, 2010, greeting throngs of cheering supporters in front of her house on University Avenue in Yangon. Photo: Mizzima
Myanmar opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was voted TIME magazine’s most influential person of the decade on Wednesday, narrowly defeating pop star Lady Gaga, US President Barack Obama and Google founder Larry Page.

Suu Kyi was also included in TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential Persons of 2013.

On Thursday, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright wrote Suu Kyi’s profile for TIME:

“In 1990 the Burmese military refused to recognize the electoral victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party. Five years later, when Suu Kyi was released from house arrest, I visited her in Rangoon, where she was firm in her demands: real democracy, freedom for political prisoners, an end to government by fear.

“There followed a test of wills to determine Burma’s future; on one side was a totalitarian junta, and on the other this indomitable woman.

“For years, there seemed no hope; but then, in 2011, the authorities began to back down. Censorship was reduced; prisoners were released. Suu Kyi was elected to parliament. Now, real democracy is promised.

“No longer a prisoner, Suu Kyi is a political leader with decisions to make in a fragile political environment. Aung San Suu Kyi’s bravery in defying—and defeating—repression gives hope to all who cherish liberty.”

The award comes at a time when Myanmar’s pro-democracy icon has been heavily criticized for her posture on the country’s ethnic conflicts, anti-Muslim riots and communal violence, and an inquiry committee decision that she chaired which advocated the continuation of a controversial copper mine project despite a violent crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Related articles:
  1. Suu Kyi wins Japanese peace award
  2. Suu Kyi prepares to receive highest US award
  3. Suu Kyi sets off to Hawaii, Seoul to receive peace awards

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