Answer :

Libya was poor country of North Africa which had been colonised by Italy and became free after a long struggle in 1951. When it became independent Italy transferred power to King Idris who ruled the country with the help of a few rich and powerful families. In the year 1969 Muammar Gaddafi and a group of 70 young army officers took over the control of Kingdom of Libya. This group of officers called themselves Free Officers Movement. King Idris I fled the country, monarchy was abolished and the country was declared as the ‘Socialist Libyan Arab Republic’. The army completely supported this take over. The movement was under the leadership of a Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) consisting of 12 members from the military. The new Libyan leadership tried to encourage participation of common people in public affairs through creating people’s councils and elected People’s Assembly in the centre. It created a parallel system of leadership of ‘Revolutionary Councils’, which were appointed and closely controlled by Gaddafi and the RCC. The democratic bodies had to implement the decisions of these non-elected leaders. As a result, people lost interest in these bodies, but the government kept trying to force their participation. In the latter half of 2010 there were movements to establish democratic governments across the Arab world. It began with a small country Tunisia and spread to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria amongst others. This revolutionary wave of demonstrations, protests, and wars occurring in the Arab world that began in December 2010 is now famous as the ‘Arab Spring’

Aung San Suu Kyi began to fight for reforms in Burma. Suu Kyi has since been a central figure in the protests and the struggle for establishment of democracy in Burma. The rulers declared elections in 1990. In this election a new political party National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Suu Kyi won majority (80%) of the seats even though Suu Kyi was in prison. But the military refused to hand over power or even release Suu Kyi. She was kept under house arrest. She remained a prisoner in her house without permission to move around and interact with people. There was also international pressure created through economic sanctions. This disallowed the trade between Burma and those countries. As a result, Burma was not able to export its products or get necessary imports. This put great pressure on the economy. Even though this ultimately harms the common people of that country, ‘economic sanctions’ are used to bring pressure on the rulers. Over the years there has been a worldwide pressure on the military government to extend civil liberty and usher in a democratic government.

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