Aung San Sochi, or “the phoenix of Burma”, returned to the world lights again after the military coup that overthrew her ruler last Monday and brought her back to prison again.
On February 1 this year, the Myanmar army (formerly Burma) arrested Sochi, President Win Myint and leading figures from the ruling National League for Democracy party, claiming that elections were rigged, which prompted many countries in the world, led by the United States, to condemn the coup and threaten to impose Sanctions against army commanders.
And five years before the coup, specifically in November 2015, the victory of the National League for Democracy party in the elections, and the assumption of power by Sochi in a position specially created for it under the name of the state advisor, represented a defining moment in the history of the country that has been ruled by the army for decades.
Sochi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and is described as Mrs. Yangon, is very popular in her country. It also has Western and American support in particular, and is seen in the West as Mandela or Gandhi.
Conflict with the army
The dispute resumed between the army and Sochi on January 29, 2019, when the National League for Democracy party clashed with the army deputies, after the party proposed steps to amend the constitution, in the biggest challenge of its kind in nearly 30 years to the influence of the army in the stipulated political life. In the constitution.
On November 13, the National League Party said that it would seek to form a national unity government after the official results of the elections showed that it had won a comfortable enough majority of parliamentary seats to form the next government, but the Unionist Solidarity and Development Party, which is supported by the army, claimed that there were irregularities and demanded the reinstatement of The election.
On January 26, 2021, the Myanmar military spokesman, General Zhao Min Tun, warned that the army would “take action” if the disagreement over the election was not resolved, and asked the Election Commission to investigate the voter lists he said contained inconsistencies.
Two days later, the Election Commission announced its rejection of the allegations of fraud in the elections, and said that there were no major irregularities affecting the credibility of the results.
In conjunction with the first scheduled session of the House of Representatives emanating from the recent legislative elections, the second to take place since the end of the military rule in 2011, the military leadership in Myanmar announced the dissolution of the country’s government and the arrest of 24 ministers with their deputies, and the appointment of 11 ministers to manage the country’s affairs as a first step after the coup. Which was carried out by the army.
The Rohingya case
However, its international reputation was greatly affected by its position on the massacres carried out by the army on 25 August 2017 against the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State (Rakhine), which caused hundreds of deaths and prompted more than 730,000 Rohingya to leave for Bangladesh.
On 13 November 2018, Amnesty International withdrew its most prominent human rights awards from Sochi, accusing it of prolonging human rights violations by not talking about violence against the Rohingya.
Sochi was born on 19 June 1945 in Yangon, the daughter of Aung San, who has been described as the hero of Myanmar’s independence, and who was assassinated in 1945.
She received her education in Yangon schools, then completed her studies in India, where her mother was an ambassador in 1960. She then continued her studies at Oxford, where she obtained her BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1969. She then obtained her PhD from the University of London in 1985. She worked as a lecturer at the School of Oriental Studies in London.
She married British professor Michael Aris, who specialized in Tibetan and Buddhist affairs, and they had two children, Alexander and Kim. She returned home in April 1988 to take care of her ailing mother.
Years of struggle
She gave her first public speech in August 1988, calling for the formation of a transitional government for her martial law country, calling for free elections, and then taking the initiative and other opponents to establish the National League for Democracy party. In May 1990, her party won a major multiparty election, but the military government refused to recognize it.
During the years of the opposition, Sochi called for a move away from violence in a country that has been subject to successive military governments since 1962. Attributed to it is a 1999 statement in which it said, “The generals do not understand the meaning of the word dialogue.”
She was subjected to house arrest and sometimes complete isolation for more than a decade. She was not even allowed to see her two children or her husband, the British academic Michael Arris, who passed away in 1999 after suffering cancer without being able to take a last farewell look at him.
Sochi was placed under house arrest for the first time from mid-1989 to mid-1995. She was then placed under house arrest in 2000 on the shores of Yangon Lake for 19 months. She was also placed under house arrest for the third time in May 2003, following a deadly attack on her convoy.
Despite what her supporters describe her as being intelligent, popular and strong will, her opponents take her severe obstinacy, especially after her call for the imposition of international sanctions on her country and its tourism boycott.