Suu Kyi to give Nobel speech, 21 years late

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Aung San Suu Kyi will finally get a chance to deliver her acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, nearly 21 years after she won it.

The Burmese opposition leader will deliver her speech in Oslo's city hall on 16 June during a visit to Norway, Sigrid Langebrekke, a Nobel Peace Institute spokeswoman, said yesterday.

Norway's government said Ms Suu Kyi will meet Jens Stoltenberg, the Prime Minister, during her trip on 15-18 June.

She is also expected to visit Britain, where she will address both Houses of Parliament, a rare honour accorded in the past to figures such as Nelson Mandela, the former South African President, and, last year, to US President Barack Obama. Her trip will also include a visit to Oxford, where she attended university in the 1970s.

Ms Suu Kyi received her first passport in 24 years this month. After becoming leader of Burma's pro-democracy movement in 1989, she was placed under house arrest for 15 of the following 22 years of military rule. She refused to leave the country during the brief periods when she was not held by authorities, for fear of not being allowed to return.

Her confinement kept her from attending the ceremony for the 1991 Nobel Prize. Ms Suu Kyi's eldest son, Alexander Aris, accepted the prize on her behalf. This will be her first trip abroad since 1988, when she returned to Burma to care for her sick mother.