News / Asia

Aung San Suu Kyi Says Nobel Prize Dispelled Isolation

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi tours the Nobel Peace center in Oslo, Norway June 16, 2012.
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi tours the Nobel Peace center in Oslo, Norway June 16, 2012.
Selah Hennessy
21 years after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi traveled to Norway to speak about the time when she was named to receive the award in 1991, when she was held under house arrest in Rangoon. Suu Kyi said the peace prize rescued her from isolation and reunited her in spirit with the world community. 
 
Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland praised the democracy leader's long struggle for human rights and said she is "a precious gift to the world community." Turning to Suu Kyi, he said her Nobel lecture Saturday was one of the most remarkable events in the history of the peace awards.
 
"Please know: In your isolation you have become a moral voice for the whole world," Jagland said.

Due to her detention in 1991, Suu Kyi's husband and her two sons traveled to Oslo to accept the Nobel award on her behalf.

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, on the podium, second from left, receives standing ovations the Norwegian Nobel Committee her speech at the Peace Nobel Prize lecture at the city hall in Oslo, Saturday, June 16, 2012.Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, on the podium, second from left, receives standing ovations the Norwegian Nobel Committee her speech at the Peace Nobel Prize lecture at the city hall in Oslo, Saturday, June 16, 2012.
x
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, on the podium, second from left, receives standing ovations the Norwegian Nobel Committee her speech at the Peace Nobel Prize lecture at the city hall in Oslo, Saturday, June 16, 2012.
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, on the podium, second from left, receives standing ovations the Norwegian Nobel Committee her speech at the Peace Nobel Prize lecture at the city hall in Oslo, Saturday, June 16, 2012.
Addressing the Nobel Committee in Norway's capital Saturday, she recalled how that recognition long ago gave her strength during the isolation of house arrest.
 
"It had drawn me back into the wider human community," she explained. "And, what was more important, the Nobel Prize had drawn the attention of the world to the struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma. We were not going to be forgotten." 
 
Suu Kyi was either imprisoned or held under house arrest for most of the following two decades, and she refused to even try to leave Burma, out of fear that she would not be allowed to return to her homeland. Her trip to Europe now is only her second journey abroad since she was freed in 2010.
 
She spoke about the importance of world peace in her speech Saturday. The global aim, she said, should be to create a world where no one is displaced, homeless or hopeless.
 
"War is not the only arena where peace is done to death. Wherever suffering is ignored there will be the seeds for conflict, for suffering degrades and embitters and enrages," she stressed.
 
  • Burmese citizens residing in South Korea greet Aung San Suu Kyi upon her arrival at a hotel in central Seoul, January 28, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama waves to the media as he embraces Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi after they spoke to the media at her residence in Rangoon, November 19, 2012.
  • Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center, waters a sapling after planting it in Govindapuram village, north of Bangalore, India, November 17, 2012.
  • Burmese opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi pays floral tribute on the birth anniversary of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, at his memorial in New Delhi, India, November 14, 2012.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, September 19, 2012.
  • Burma's democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi holds her Congressional Gold Medal after it was presented to her by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (2nd L), at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 19, 2012.
  • Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, meets with Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi at the State Department, Washington, September 18, 2012.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, center, arrives for the Peace Nobel Prize lecture at the city hall in Oslo, June 16, 2012 to thank the Nobel committee for the prize she won in 1991.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi addresses about 4,000 people gathered outside her house in Rangoon, Burma, June 1, 1996.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi is surrounded by security guards and newsmen as she walks out of her lakeside house in Rangoon, Burma, Juy 14, 1995.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi addresses crowd of supporters in Rangoon, Burma, July 7, 1989.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi addresses crowd of supporters in Rangoon, Burma, July 7, 1989.
  • Swiss Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, left Swiss President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, center, and Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in Bern, Switzerland, June 14, 2012.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi during an election campaign rally in Thongwa village some 50 kms from Rangoon, Burma, February 26, 2012
  • Aung San Suu Kyi is presented with flowers by cheering Karen refugees at Mae La refugee camp in Tha Song Yang district, Tak province, northern Thailand, June 2, 2012.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, center, and elected lawmakers of her National League for Democracy party take an oath during a regular session of the Lower House at parliament in Naypyitaw, Burma, May 2, 2012.
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron and Aung San Suu Kyi share a light moment during their meeting in the compound of her lakeside home, April 13, 2012, Rangoon, Burma.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy party, April 2, 2012, Rangoon, Burma.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to journalists during the press conference in her residence in Rangoon, Burma, March 30, 2012.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, right, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton react after speaking to the press at Suu Kyi's residence in Rangoon, Burma, December 2, 2011.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi and her youngest son Kim Aris pay respect to her father, the late Geneneral Aung San, at the Martyr's Mausoleum in Rangoon, Burma, July 12, 2011.

Burma had been ruled by a military junta since the early 1960s - until its first general election in two decades in 2010, and a civilian government was installed the following year.
 
Suu Kyi said the recent reforms are a positive sign, but she warned the world not be excessively optimistic about how rapidly Burma is changing.
 
Trouble, she says, continues.
 
"Fires of suffering and strife are raging around the world. In my own country hostilities have not yet ceased in the far north," she noted. "To the west, communal violence resulting in arson and murder were taking place just several days before I started out on the journey that has brought me here today." 
 
Sectarian violence between Buddhists and Muslims erupted in western Burma earlier this month. Official reports say 28 people have died and tens of thousands of people have been displaced. The country's president has declared a state of emergency and sent in army troops to keep the peace.
 
Suu Kyi's 17-day tour of Europe began in Switzerland. She also will visit Britain, to address Parliament, and Ireland, to receive an award from Amnesty International in Dublin, and France.

Loading timeline...

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sunny from: the USA
June 16, 2012 9:49 PM
Yes, it has been for 21 years! She finally gets it! It is great victories
of freedom,democracy and human rights ! As she said Nobel Prize dispelled isolation. Now we are waiting for next winner, Mr. Liu Xiaobo will do the same to get this great prize some years later.Chinese Communist regime can not block this forever.Mr.Liu must stand there some day to speak out his words to the world!
In Response

by: Anonymous
June 18, 2012 1:15 AM
looking for the moment

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More