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June 18, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi Honored in Ireland

by VOA News

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi received a rock star welcome in Ireland Monday where she received Amnesty International's highest human rights award at a concert in her honor.
 
The Nobel peace laureate took to the stage with rock singer and philanthropist Bono to collect her long-postponed Ambassador of Conscience Award.  She won the human rights group's most prestigious prize in 2009, but could not collect it, because she was under house arrest in Burma at the time.
 
Amnesty's annual presentation is awarded to those showing "exceptional leadership" in promoting human rights and human conscience.

Aung San Suu Kyi was greeted at a riverside theater by crowds of wellwishers.  She attended a three-hour show organized in her honor by the London-based human rights group.  The show featured Irish stars, including Bono and Bob Geldof, as well as singers and entertainers from around the world. 
 
Aung San Suu Kyi, detained under harsh military rule in her homeland for much of the past two decades, arrived in Dublin from the Norwegian capital, Oslo, where she received a thunderous welcome and the Nobel Peace Prize denied her in 1991 by her jailers.
 
From Ireland, the democracy icon will continue to London, where she will be reunited with her two grown children.  On Wednesday, she will speak to students at Oxford University and on Thursday she will address both Houses of Parliament.
 
Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in late 2010, as a period of political change began in Burma, also known as Myanmar, following half a century of military rule.  A new, nominally civilian government was elected in November 2010 and took office four months later. 
 
After her release, Aung San Suu Kyi resumed active leadership of the National League for Democracy, which she co-founded, and won election to an open seat in parliament in April. 

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.