Monday, May 28, 2012

Suu Kyi to receive honorary doctorate at Oxford

Monday, 28 May 2012 12:10 Mizzima News

When Aung San Suu Kyi returns to Oxford University in June, she will receive an honorary doctorate.

Aung San Suu Kyi is shielded by an umbrella at Pyapon Township on Friday, February 17, 2012, as she campaigns for NLD candidates. Photo: Mizzima

Oxford awarded the honorary degree in April 1993, but the pro-democracy icon has been unable to receive it in person until now. She will leave Burma for the first time in more than two decades this week, when she delivers a speech to the Asian World Economic Forum in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Suu Kyi has a series of international trips planned. She will visit Europe where she will deliver a speech at the International Labour Organisation in Geneva on June 14. On June 16, she will be in Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize she won in 1991 for her peaceful struggle for democracy in her country, followed by trips to Ireland and Britain. The pro-democracy icon is being courted by countries around the world, including the U.S., India and other countries who want her to visit in acknowledgement of her role in moving the Burma toward a democracy.

During her weeklong UK trip, she will deliver a speech to the Parliament. Prime Minister David Cameron extended the invitation for her to come to the UK on a visit to Burma last month. Before she was elected to the Burmese Parliament in April 1, Suu Kyi was unwilling to leave Burma for fear the ruling authorities would not allow her to return.

The Britain visit, which begins on June 18, will also give her the chance to be re-united with her two sons and her grandchildren, whom she barely knows.

Suu Kyi read philosophy, politics and economics at St Hugh's College between 1964 and 1967. After leaving university, she worked in New York at the United Nations and in Bhutan before settling in Oxford with her late husband, Tibetan scholar Michael Aris.

In July 1989, around a year after her return to Burma to care for her mother, Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest by the military, which feared her influence on the pro-democracy movement. She remained under house arrest for much of the next 20 years before finally being released in November 2010.

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