Friday, October 26, 2012


Aung San Suu Kui is a Burmese politician, known for her efforts to turn her nation into a democracy and improve the lives of the Burmese people. She became a political prisoner as a result of her outspoken political beliefs, but has earned praise and recognition in Burma and around the world. Now free, she is the chair of Burma’s National League for Democracy (NLD).  She became a representative in the Burmese parliament in 2012.          

Early Life and Family

Aung San Suu Kui was born on June 19, 1945, the youngest child and only daughter of Aung San, a founder of modern Burma, and Khin Kyi, a nurse. Both of her parents were active in the Burmese independence movement, so it is not surprising that Suu Kui would later become a prominent advocate for reform. Her father, who had recently become Prime Minister of Burma, was assassinated by a group of his political enemies in 1947; in the 1960s, however, her mother went on to become an ambassador for the Burmese government. Suu Kui accompanied Khin Kyi to Nepal as well as to India, where she became interested in the work of Mahatma Gandhi. She was still in India at the age of 19, when she earned a degree in politics from New Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College.

In 1972, Suu Kui married Michael Aris, a British author and scholar she had met while attending Oxford University. Suu Kui and Aris had two sons, Alexander and Kim. Aris died of cancer in 1999. Because the Burmese government would not allow him to re-enter the country, he and Suu Kui only saw each other five times in the decade before his death.    

Political Actions

Suu Kui did not become politically active in Burma until 1988, when she returned to her home country after her mother suffered a stroke. Before this, she had lived in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Bhutan and worked for the United Nations and the Bhutanese government.  Soon after her return to Burma, the country’s military dictator, Ne Win, resigned.  Mass protests ensued and the military killed thousands of citizens. Amid the chaos, Suu Kui began calling for multi-party elections and a democratic government in Burma. Her first speech attracted hundreds of thousands of people. The crowd included her husband and sons, who were all with her in Burma at the time.

Although the Burmese government quickly banned political gatherings, Suu Kui began a speaking tour around the country in the latter part of 1988. She became General Secretary of the NLD, which embraced a platform of civil disobedience and non-violence.   

House Arrest and Release

In 1989, the government placed Suu Kui under house arrest for continuing her political campaign.  She received no trial. Her book, Freedom from Fear, was published in a number of Western countries in 1991. That same year, she won the Nobel Peace Prize and a human rights prize from the European parliament for her efforts to promote democracy in Burma. She refused to keep the money she earned from her Nobel Prize, instead putting it into a trust she dedicated to the health and education of Burmese citizens. Suu Kui was released from house arrest in 1995, after the United Nations and the United States put pressure on the Burmese government. She was allowed to visit her family in the United Kingdom and remained extremely popular among the people of Burma, sometimes speaking to crowds of her supporters there. However, she was placed under house arrest again in 2000 and remained in this position for the better part of the next ten years. 

Under mounting pressure from the U.N. and a variety of countries (including the U.S.), the Burmese government released Suu Kui in November 2010. Since her latest release, Suu Kui has been elected to the Burmese parliament, received the United States Congressional Gold Medal, and given an acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize her sons previously had to accept for her.            

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

What You Need to Know About Myanmar’s Rainy Season

Myanmar is located in the Southeastern part of Asia, and known for its long rainy season from April to November. This characteristic of the country is one of the ordeals of the Burmese people because it greatly affects their livelihood and industry. Two of the most affected industries of heavy rain fall are construction and agriculture.   

In the year 2011, Myanmar went through a series of unusual weather conditions. With the strong impact of the moderate to strong La Nina in the mid part of the year 2010, it gave rise to the colder and wetter conditions last year through the month of October. Such constant unseasonal rains and cold weather proved highly detrimental for the country’s agriculture sector, with beans and paddy crops damaged, affecting overall crop production.

In fact, 23 records for heavy rainfall were broken across Myanmar, especially in the State of Rakhine wherein the heaviest rainfall of the country reached 29.1 inches in just 12 hours and resulted to flooding in farmlands and towns.  It also caused landslides in some hilly regions, damaging rural infrastructures which include bridges and roads. On the other hand, several rivers in Myanmar also burst their banks, thereby causing flooding in regions such as Karen State, Ayeyarwady, Magwe and Bago.

In accordance with the Department of Agricultural Planning’s figures, about 97,000 acres of plants and crops were destroyed by floods last year. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) also released report about a flash flood event on the month of November last year that 161 people have been recorded missing or dead. The government figures also recorded that 2335 out of 9523 infrastructures, mostly houses have been destroyed.

This just shows how strong the impact of heavy rain fall in Myanmar to the Burmese people is. In order to address the calamity brought by rainfall, the Myanmar government is doing the best they can. Since the agricultural industry is one of the gravely affected sectors, the government is consistently doing measures in order to improve the agricultural techniques and strategies of the country.

Several activities that are under ESFSP, financed by the Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs having a total contribution of 5.3 million US dollars was started in January 2010. The program covers activities related to fisheries and crops sector, namely hatcheries rehabilitation, trainings, fisheries and mangroves management activities, rehabilitation of water tanks, inputs distribution and farmer field schools activities.

To boost the agricultural industry, the FFS trainings on enhanced strategies coupled with methodologies on postharvest loss reduction, quality declared seeds and registered seeds paved the way to the increase of farmers’ yields.

Apart from these, Myanmar also boosted their disaster preparedness plans in order to avoid casualties and to inform people on the right things to do when there is heavy rainfall.
To lessen the impact of rainfall to the livelihood of people and to different industries, the government of Myanmar is continuously doing their best to come up with effective disaster prevention plans, more especially in agriculture.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Myanmar Photo

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Trip 1 to Louisiana 2010

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Flowers at the Farm

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dylan's Senior Pictures

Monday, August 03, 2009

Steven and Lindsay 2009