Unit I.  Myanmar

Myanmar, 1988.
A military junta seizes power and kills thousands of demonstrators, imposes forced labor, arrests opposition leaders, and represses minorities.

Government propaganda poster states: "Tatmadaw and the people, cooperate and crush all those harming the union."
Mandalay, Myanmar, September 26, 2007

43-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi in 1988
One Person's Response

In 1988, Aung San Suu Kyi helped form the National League for Democracy party (NLD) which used nonviolence and civil disobedience in its campaign for democratic government in Myanmar. She faced harassment, arrest, and death. Once, she walked directly toward rifles soldiers were aiming at her. In 1989, she was placed under house arrest. She was neither charged nor tried.

In 1991, Dr. Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for trying to bring democracy to Myanmar. Her children accepted the prize for her because she was unwilling to accept an offer of freedom in exchange for her withdrawal from Burmese politics. Though the government-controlled media continued to denounce her, she remained a popular and important figure, representing hope for an end to military repression to the Myanmar people.

Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest on November 13, 2010.

Sources: Nobel Peace Prize, Aung San Suu Kyi
BBC News Profile, Aung San Suu Kyi

on Frontline World

Run Time = 25:29

What risks would you take to promote change under a regime committing crimes against humanity?

If you could gain your own freedom by relinquishing your right to protest, what would you do?

In this unit, you’ll learn about Myanmar’s recent history, some of the effects it has suffered as the result of genocide and crimes against humanity, and the response from the international community.
Current History
Effects of Oppression
Response from the International Community

Aung San Suu Kyi’s Site
Britannica: National League for Democracy
Karen Human Rights Group
Myanmar News on Yahoo
Newshour Extra: Myanmar
Wikipedia: Aung San Suu Kyi

Module Two. Genocide and Crimes
Against Humanity: Introduction