21 yrs on,Suu Kyi accepts Nobel Prize

Suu Kyi says nobel ‘opened up a door in my heart’,calls for national reconciliation in homeland

Written by New York Times | Oslo | Published:June 17, 2012 1:10 am

When she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991,while under house arrest in Myanmar,Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said on Saturday,she realized that the Burmese “were not going to be forgotten.”

When the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded her the prize,she said in her Nobel lecture here on Saturday,21 years later,it was recognition that “the oppressed and the isolated in Burma were also a part of the world,they were recognizing the oneness of humanity.” But “it did not seem quite real,because in a sense I did not feel myself to be quite real at that time,” she said. “The Nobel Peace Prize opened up a door in my heart.”

She said the prize “had made me real once again; it had drawn me back into the wider human community,” and it had given the oppressed people of Burma,now Myanmar,and its dispersed refugees,new hope. “To be forgotten,” Suu Kyi added,“is to die a little.” In a quiet,throaty voice on Saturday she asked the world not to forget other prisoners of conscience,both in Myanmar and around the world,other refugees,others in need,who may be suffering twice over,she said,from oppression and from the larger world’s “compassion fatigue.”

It was a remarkable moment for Suu Kyi,who turns 67 next week and is now a member of Parliament and the leader of Myanmar’s opposition.

The audience in Oslo’s City Hall,which included the Norwegian royal family,listened raptly,applauding often,standing to clap when Suu Kyi entered the hall and when she finished her speech.

Her comments on Myanmar were careful but considered. She called for national reconciliation and ceasefire agreements between the government and “ethnic nationality forces,” which she said she hoped would “lead to political settlements founded on the aspirations of the peoples,and the spirit of the nation.”

Thorbjorn Jagland,chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,praised her and thanked her “for your fearlessness,your tenacity and your strength.”

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