Historic Speech of Aung San Suu Kyi to the British Parliament
London (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi this afternoon will give a historic speech to the British Parliament, meeting in joint session. The meeting will be held at three in the afternoon in Westminster Hall in London and represents an honor and a recognition of the work performed by the "Lady" over the years, in favor of democracy in Myanmar. In the past, only a small number of foreign leaders and Pope Benedict XVI have had the honor of speaking to both Houses gathered in joint assembly, in the room that dates to the 11th century; it is located in the oldest wing of the complex which today houses the two chambers of the Parliament of the United Kingdom: the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
Afterwards, the Nobel Peace Prize winner's schedule includes a one-on-one meeting with British prime minister David Cameron. Over the next few days, finally, she will travel to Paris, the last leg of her historic tour in Europe - the first in 24 years - during which she will have visited Switzerland, Norway, Ireland, England and France.
Yesterday, meanwhile, Aung San Suu Kyi received (pictured) an honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford, roughly 20 years after being awarded the honor. In her speech, the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) emphasized that "her memories" linked to the famous institution were of great help while in prison - the "Lady" has spent 15 of the last 22 years under house arrest - including long periods of "reading on the lawn."
The Nobel Peace laureate evoked "summer days like these, reading on the lawn at St. Hugh's," and "being in the library not looking at a book but out of the window." These moments, she added, "helped me to understand the people of Burma, who wanted to live a happy life and had never been given the opportunity to live one."
Aung San Suu Kyi said that young Burmese students were not able to enjoy university facilities like the prestigious London institute, because their university life has been "shattered". At the end of her speech, which received a two-minute standing ovation, the "Lady" greeted some fellow students from the time of her studies. On June 19, on the occasion of her 67th birthday, she met the Dalai Lama, who in the past has repeatedly participated in the campaign for her release.