News / Asia

    Aung San Suu Kyi Thanks Britain for Years of Support

    Burmese political leader Aung San Suu Kyi takes part in a round table at The London School of Economics and Political Science in London, June, 19, 2012.
    Burmese political leader Aung San Suu Kyi takes part in a round table at The London School of Economics and Political Science in London, June, 19, 2012.
    VOA News
    Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi thanked the British people for two and a half decades of support during the start of her visit to Britain Tuesday, on her 67th birthday.

    She left the country and her husband and sons there 24 years ago when she returned to Burma to take care of her sick mother.   She spent most of the next 20 years in some form of detention under the military dictatorship in her country.   

    The Nobel Peace laureate was greeted with a standing ovation on arrival to the London School of Economics where she addressed a packed auditorium.

    She said people like the audience combined with her stubbornness gave her strength to continue.  She also talked of the difficulty of being separated from her husband Michael Aris and their sons Kim and Alexander for 24 years.  

    Aung San Suu Kyi was separated from her family for many years after her return to Burma in 1988 because she refused to leave the country for fear that she would not be allowed to return. Her sons were teenagers at the time and her husband died of cancer in 1999 without her at his side.  

    She told reporters Tuesday that she is responsible for the choices she made for the sake of Burma.

    "I don't justify it. I don't justify it. I think that everybody must accept their responsibility for what they do," said Aung San Suu Kyi. "I accept responsibility for what I did and what I am and so must my sons. They must also accept responsibility for what they are not just put it on the fact that their mother was not there or their father died early, this we could always have all kinds of reasons for being what we are. In the end I think we, each of us, have to accept responsibility for what we are."

    • Aung San Suu Kyi and British Prime Minister David Cameron walk in the Rose Garden at the Prime Minister's country residence Chequers, near Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire, England, June 22, 2012.
    • Burma's opposition leader makes an address to a joint session of both Houses of Parliament, in Westminster Hall, in London, June 21, 2012.
    • Aung San Suu Kyi, Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall in the gardens of Clarence House, in London, 21 June 2012
    • Aung San Suu Kyi greets British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street in London, June 21, 2012.
    • Burmese opposition leader leaves through The Great Gate after receiving her honorary degree at Oxford University, in Oxford southern England, June 20, 2012.
    • Aung San Suu Kyi, center, meets with people at a reception in Oxford, England, June 19, 2012.
    • Burma's political leader is given a picture of her father for her birthday at The London School of Economics and Political Science in London, June, 19, 2012.
    • Aung San Suu Kyi accepts the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award from Amnesty International Secretary-General Salil Shetty (L) and singer Bono (R), Dublin, Ireland, June 18, 2012.
    • From left, Aung San Suu Kyi, Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere and Irish singer and activist Bono address the media after attending a conference of the Oslo Forum, Norway, June 18, 2012.
    • Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi (L) meets Naw Star Ri during a meeting with the Burmese community in Bergen, Norway, June 17, 2012.
    • Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, left, welcomes Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at the Foreign Ministry for a meeting in Oslo, June 17, 2012.
    • Aung San Suu Kyi signs a book at the Nobel Institute after a meeting with the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo, June 16, 2012.
    • Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to a large audience outside Oslo's City Hall, Norway, June 16, 2012.
    • Aung San Suu Kyi, holds her speech during the Peace Nobel Prize lecture at the city hall in Oslo, June 16, 2012. She formally accepts the prize that thrust her into the global limelight two decades ago.
    • Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is greeted by Norwegian King Harald and Norway's Queen Sonja (L-R) at the Royal Castle in Oslo, June 16, 2012.
    • Aung San Suu Kyi attends a news conference with Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in central Oslo, June 15, 2012.
    • Burma's pro-democracy leader signs autographs outside the Swiss Parliament in Bern, Switzerland, June 14, 2012.
    • Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a speech during the last day of the 101st session of the International Labor Conference of the International Labor Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, June 14, 2012.

    Aung San Suu Kyi attended the Oxford University in the 1960s and lived with her family there until her return to Burma.   She visited the university town later Tuesday and planned to celebrate her birthday with her family there.  

    The university will present her with an honorary degree awarded to her in her absence in 1993.

    Later in the week, Aung San Suu Kyi will address both houses of parliament in London - a rare honor.  

    England is the last leg of Aung San Suu Kyi's emotional visit to Europe, which also included stops in Switzerland, Ireland and Norway.

    Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won a landslide election in 1990, but Burmese military leaders refused to relinquish power.

    She was released from her latest house arrest in November 2010 following an election which led to political changes in Burma after half a century of military rule.  A new, nominally civilian government took office in March of last year.  

    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.

    You May Like

    Video Somali, AU Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    Somalia’s Western backers frustrated over country’s slow progress in establishing its armed forces to bring security after 25 years of chaos

    Israel Makes Push for Gaza Strip Recovery

    After years of economic blockade and attempts to disable Hamas, Israeli leaders eventually realized that Hamas’ downfall could lead to chaos or the rise of a more radical Jihadist group

    Slump in Chinese Tourists Hitting Hong Kong Retail

    Mainland Chinese account for up to three-quarters of visitors to Hong Kong, but that number is falling, and shopping centers are struggling to 'shift gears' and maintain sales

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Indah dewi noer shouen from: Indonesia
    June 20, 2012 12:57 AM
    Ww world Asalamuallaikum good day, I hope mom prayer AungSan Suu Kyi, always healthy, and hopefully the country can be safe, peaceful, honest I do love him struggle for his homeland, for the sake of his country, women are very brave and great, the mother of Aung San I love you mom Kyi is beautiful, always smiling when the photos, sign of peace in the hearts of peace on earth god of this world and hopefully no more violence danperang brother, who only brought destruction and prolonged sadness, Indonesia holiday greetings, independence, tq

    by: Anonymous
    June 19, 2012 9:14 AM
    Suu Kyi likes Boris Yelsin while Thein Sein likes Govbachop of Burma. Things could happen in Russia, also can happen in Asia.
    In Response

    by: John C. Kimbrough from: Brooklyn, New York
    June 19, 2012 10:23 AM
    Have compassion for and give human rights and sanctuary to the Rohingyas.....................​..

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shababi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    April 28, 2016 4:20 PM
    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Town Receives Refugees but Lacks Resources

    A wave of refugees is pouring into the Kurdish town of Afrin in northern Syria as a result of fighting between rebel forces and Islamic State militants. VOA’s Amina Misto went to the town and reports local authorities are finding it difficult to cope with this influx of internally displaced people. Bronwyn Benito narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Build Human Tissue on Animal Matrix

    The question has always been, if a gecko can grow back its tail, why can't we regenerate our lost body parts? Well, maybe we can, someday. Scientists are moving towards the ability to rebuild fully functioning organs, and have made significant progress replacing muscles and other tissue.
    Video

    Video Containing Chernobyl Radiation Continues 30 Years After Explosion

    April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Hundreds were killed following the explosion and it's estimated that thousands more have died from cancers caused by the radiation. Henry Ridgwell traveled to Chernobyl and reports for VOA on the continuing efforts to decommission the site -- and on the fledgling plans for a new future in the vast exclusion zone.
    Video

    Video Frustration Builds Among Refugees Trapped at Macedonian Border

    On the Greek border with Macedonia, 12,000 refugees continue to wait. Since the route to the rest of Europe was closed last month, the makeshift camp at Idomeni has seen protests and tear gas. But while those here wait, their frustration grows — as do reports of people attempting to find new ways of continuing their journey. John Owens reports from Idomeni.
    Video

    Video Researchers: Bees Help Kenyan Farmers Fend Off Elephants

    Elephant crop-raiding continues to be a major source of human-wildlife conflict in Kenya, so one elephant researcher is helping to alleviate the problem near Tsavo East National Park with beehive fences, which use elephants’ natural aversion to bees to deter them from farms. VOA’s Jill Craig visited the area ahead of this month's Giants Club Summit, which will bring together dignitaries at Mount Kenya to find solutions to combat poaching, the No. 1 threat to elephants.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora