London: Iconic Myanmar pro-democracy leader
and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver the 2011 BBC
Reith Lecture, an annual lecture series named after the first
director-general of the BBC, John Reith.
Due to the sensitive nature in which she lives, a BBC
team secretly went to Myanmar, recorded her two lectures and
smuggled the material out of the country for broadcast later
The BBC said that normally the Reith Lectures are
delivered in person in front of a live audience, but due to
the exceptional circumstances, Aung San Suu Kyi`s lectures
were recorded in Burma this week.
BBC controller Gwyneth Williams said it had been a
"tense" few days while the BBC team secretly made its way into
Burma and recorded with Suu Kyi.
The lectures will be played to public audiences at two
events to be held at BBC Broadcasting House in London on 20th
and 27th June.
Her two lectures will discuss the themes of dissent and
liberty and will be broadcast on BBC Radio from 28th June.
The lectures are part of a wider series, entitled
`Securing Freedom`, reflecting on global events of the past
The BBC said that former MI5 Director-General Baroness
Manningham-Buller will present three further lectures in
The BBC quoted Suu Kyi as saying: "When I was under house
arrest, it was the BBC that spoke to me - I listened. I am so
grateful for this opportunity to exercise my right to human
contact by sharing with you my thoughts on what freedom means
to me, and others across the world who are still in the sad
state of what I would call `unfreedom`".
Her first lecture will examine the notion of dissent, and
will draw on her personal experience as a campaigner for
The second lecture will explore the notion of democracy,
and the responsibility of the international community towards
authoritarian regimes, with reference to recent events in the
Across three lectures, Eliza Manningham-Buller will
assess the post-9/11 world, and will consider the role of
security intelligence, reflecting on the threats to freedom
and the means of countering them, as well as the implications
for foreign policy.
Manningham-Buller said, "I am honoured to share this
year`s Reith Lecture series with Aung San Suu Kyi, whose
selfless courage on behalf of Burma`s freedom should remind us
not to take our own freedoms for granted.
Aung San Suu Kyi`s lectures will be broadcast on BBC
Radio 4 and the BBC World Service on 28th June and 5th July.
Eliza Mannigham-Buller`s lectures will be broadcast in