New York: Aung San Suu Kyi received a rock star welcome in Ireland on Monday, with U2 singer Bono performing for the Burmese democracy icon, after flying in with her on his private jet.
The 67-year-old Nobel Peace laureate took to the stage with the singer to receive a prize from Amnesty International at the rights group’s “Electric Burma” concert in a packed Dublin theater.
Suu Kyi was met with cheers and a standing ovation.
“We know there are many, many other places you could be and we understand the signal your presence here sends out and we are humbled, we are grateful,” the New York Post quoted Bono as saying.
Suu Kyi sat alongside Bono - who has since long supported her freedom struggle and dedicated the song ‘Walk On’ to her -- after the two travelled from Oslo, Norway, where they had co-hosted a peace forum.
“To receive this award is to remind me that 24 years ago I took on duties from which I shall never be relieved but you have given me the strength to carry out,” Suu Kyi said in reply.
“I have discovered how much more people care. I had not expected this. I had not known how much they cared. This has come as a surprise to me and a very moving one,” she said.
The concert opened with Ireland’s Riverdance troupe performing against an atmospheric set designed to look like a nocturnal beach scene.
Bono’s fellow rock star-activist Bob Geldof then took to the stage and said, “You actually honor us by being finally here with us.”
Suu Kyi received Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award, the rights group’s most prestigious prize, after performances from world artists that included Benin singer Angelique Kidjo and US rapper Lupe Fiasco.
She had won the award in 2009 but was under house arrest in Myanmar.