News / Asia

Suu Kyi Collects Prize Awarded in 1990

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (L) holds her 1990 Sakharov Prize, besides European Parliament President Martin Schulz, during an award ceremony in Strasbourg, France, Oct. 22, 2013.
Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (L) holds her 1990 Sakharov Prize, besides European Parliament President Martin Schulz, during an award ceremony in Strasbourg, France, Oct. 22, 2013.
VOA News
More than two decades late, Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has finally collected the European Union's Sakharov Prize for human rights.

She won the prize in 1990. But the Burmese military, which ran the country until 2011, did not allow her to collect it.

Speaking before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday, the Burmese opposition leader said it was a joyful occasion for her, but the work of bring full democracy to her country was still in progress.

"[Andrei Sakharov] would have wished us to be in a place where freedom of thought was the birthright of every single citizen of our country. And to achieve this position, of a society which would have had the approval of Professor Sakharov, we will have to work a lot harder. Our people will have to do the greater part of the work, but I do believe that all of you can help us in our endeavors," she said.

During her trip to Europe, the Nobel Laureate has been calling on EU countries and the United States to support her push for changes to the Burmese constitution.

The opposition National League for Democracy [NLD] wants to lift a ban that prohibits citizens with foreign spouses or children from running for president. This directly affects Aung San Suu Kyi's ability to run in 2015 because her children are British nationals.

The opposition also wants to abolish the special place in politics the current constitution reserves for the military.

An NLD spokesman, Nyan Win, told VOA's Burmese service that the opposition party currently is conducting a survey on public attitudes towards changes to the constitution.

"Most of the respondents agree to amend the constitution. Especially in one township in Pago Division [north of Rangoon], they even insist on rewriting the whole constitution. But we are still waiting for more data, which is still coming in," said Win.

He said the survey will continue until mid-November.

Burma has won praise for its political reforms of the past two years, including elections that allowed Aung San Suu Kyi and her party to win a significant number of seats in parliament. The military and its political allies still control the legislature, however, and wield considerable power.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid