In pictures: the life of Aung San Suu Kyi

By MSN UK News/PA AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel
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A timeline in images of the life and career of the Burmese activist and politician

Aung San Suu Kyi is on a four-day visit to the UK, the first time in 24 years that she has visited the country that was once her home. The Burmese activist and politician, who spent much of the last 21 years under house arrest in her native country, is meeting politicians, academics and members of the royal family during her trip. Click through the images to see more about Ms Suu Kyi's remarkable life.

AP Photo/Kyodo News
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Early years

As the daughter of a Burmese independence hero, it was perhaps inevitable that Aung San Suu Kyi would be thrust under the political spotlight.

She was born on 19 June 1945 and was just two years old when her father, General Aung San, was assassinated.

This picture shows the two-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi, centre, with her parents and two elder brothers in 1947.

AUSTRAL/Rex Features
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Campaigning for democracy

After growing up in India and Burma, she went to Oxford University where she met Michael Aris, a Tibet scholar.

The pair married in 1972, going on to have two sons, Alexander and Kim. The boys were raised in England, but Ms Suu Kyi returned to Burma in 1988 to care for her dying mother, despite the fact mass demonstrations were breaking out against the 25 years of military rule.

She became involved in the uprising and was appointed general secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in September 1988, the month after up to 5,000 demonstrators were killed by the military.

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Arrest and detention

Ms Suu Kyi became a prominent figure and was placed under detention by the Burmese military in 1989 and banned from standing in the general election the following year, called by the dictatorship following national and international pressure.

The NLD went on to win 82% of the seats in parliament but the military refused to hand over power to them.

AP Photo/Aye Aye Win
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Release and bereavement

Ms Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, remained under house arrest until July 1995, facing restrictions on her movements when finally released.

Her husband died of prostate cancer in 1999 at the age of 53. He had asked Burmese authorities to grant him a visa to visit her one last time, but was refused.

Ms Suu Kyi had chosen not to join her family abroad, fearing she would never be allowed back into Burma if she did so. The last time the couple saw each other was at Christmas in 1995.

In this picture, US ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright, right, shakes hands with Aung San Suu Kyi at her residence in Rangoon in September 1995.

AP Photo/David Longstreath
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Back under house arrest

In 2000, she was placed under house arrest again after trying to leave the capital Rangoon in order to hold political meetings in other parts of Burma. Two years later, she was released and given the freedom to travel around the country in a deal negotiated by United Nations envoy on Burma, Razali Ismail.

Meetings were held at which tens of thousands of people turned out to see Ms Suu Kyi. In 2003 an attempt was made on her life and 70 of her supporters were beaten to death. She was held in detention following the attacks.

She was due to be released in 2009, but was charged with breaking the rules of her house arrest when an American man swam across a lake to enter her home.

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The terms of her sentence meant she was still in detention when elections were held in Burma in November 2010, the first since 1990.

But later that month her 15 years of detention finally came to an end amid wild celebrations by supporters outside her home.

AP Photo/Khin Maung Win
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Election to parliament

Ms Suu Kyi has met with several significant international politicians since being freed, including US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and UK prime minister David Cameron.

By-elections held on 1 April - in which the NLD won 43 out of the 44 seats it contested - saw her elected to parliament to represent the constituency of Kawhmu following a landslide victory.

But she cautioned her party's supporters to remain dignified. She said in a statement: "It is natural that the NLD members and their supporters are joyous at this point. However, it is necessary to avoid manners and actions that will make the other parties and members upset. It is very important that NLD members take special care that the success of the people is a dignified one."

Julien Behal/PA Wire
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Flying the world

Since her election in 2012 Aung San Suu Kyi has visited a number of countries, including the UK, Switzerland, France, Norway and Ireland, where she received Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award from U2 singer Bono.

During her visit to Norway, Ms Suu Kyi gave her Nobel Peace Prize speech in Oslo more than 20 years after being awarded the prize. She chose not to collect it in 1991 for fear of not being allowed to return to Burma.