Like the South African leader Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi has become an international symbol of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression.
The 65-year-old has spent most of the last 20 years in some form of detention because of her efforts to bring democracy to military-ruled Burma.
In 1991, a year after her National League for Democracy won an overwhelming victory in an election the junta later nullified, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The committee chairman, Francis Sejested, called her “an outstanding example of the power of the powerless”.
Sidelined for Burma’s first elections in two decades in November 2010, she remains nonetheless a potent symbol of hope to many Burmese people.
Source: BBC News