Burma chronology


1942: Japanese invade Burma. The Burma Independence Army is under the command of Aung San, Aung San Suu Kyi's (ASSK) father.

1943: Aung San is Minister of War in formally independent but Japanese-occupied Burma.

1945: Burmese army, lead by Aung San, rises against the Japanese. Anti-Fascist People's League clashes with the British.

1947: Aung San assassinated.

1948: Burma gains independence.

1962: General Ne Win seizes power and establishes one party rule.

1975: Various ethnic movements join to create Democratic National Front.

1988: Anti-government demonstrations. Martial law is proclaimed and a period of bloody repression follows.

1988: In August, ASSK gives her first speech at Shwedagon Pagoda. On September 18, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) is established. On September 27, The National League for Democracy (NLD) is established led by ASSK.

1989: In July, SLORC imposes martial law and places ASSK under house arrest.

1990: The NLD wins the general election but is not allowed to take office.

1995: ASSK released from house arrest.

1996: In April, a United Nations Commission on Human Rights report reveals the existence of torture and forced labour in Burma. In August, Burma becomes a member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

1997: Following the advice of a Washington–based PR firm, SLORC changed its name to the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

2000: ASSK defies order not to leave Rangoon and is again put under house arrest.

2002: In May, ASSK is released from house arrest. On July 6, SPDC claims ASSK is a hard-headed, autocratic, vain and inflexible person, liable to make rash judgements and will remain in prison for her own protection. On July 7, the Australian government states it will continue its aid program to Burma.

During October, Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer becomes the most senior Western official to visit Rangoon following ASSK's release. Downer welcomes "commitment" by SPDC to reform the political and national reconciliation process.

2003: On May 30, ASSK and NLD members imprisoned for their own "protection" following an attack, with 70 reported dead, on their motorcade by junta-affiliated thugs during a tour in North Burma, according to the US State Department. The Australia government suspends its aid program.

2007: In August, Buddhist monks lead an unsuccessful "saffron revolution" against the junta.

2008: Cyclone Nargis brings death to the Irrawaddy delta. The junta restricts outside assistance and continues to wage war on ethnic minorities while thousands await assistance in the cyclone devastated region. The Burmese junta extend the house of ASSK for another year.

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