Suu Kyi to address UK Parliament in June

The announcement about Aung San Suu Kyi`s week-long visit starting from June 18 was made by British PM David Cameron`s aides in the US.

Updated: May 19, 2012, 17:07 PM IST

London: Pro-democracy icon and Nobel laureate Aung Saan Suu Kyi will address a joint session of both Houses of Britain`s Parliament next month during her first visit outside Myanmar in nearly 25 years, official sources said.

The announcement about Suu Kyi`s week-long visit starting from June 18 was made by Prime Minister David Cameron`s aides at Camp David in the US, where he is attending the G8 summit.

Before coming to Britain, she is expected to visit Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (announced in 1991).

Suu Kyi`s stay in Britain will most probably include a visit to Oxford, where she studied, married the late academic Michael Aris and lived for many years.
There is already much anticipation in the university town described as her "beloved Oxford".

Suu Kyi is likely to receive a doctorate from the University of Oxford that was announced in 1993.

A university spokesperson said: "We would be delighted to welcome her back to Oxford at any time. The University offered Aung San Suu Kyi an honorary doctorate in civil law in 1993, an award which is yet to be conferred for obvious reasons. We look forward to doing so as soon as she is able to visit Oxford."

Suu Kyi has not left Myanmar since she went there to visit her ailing mother in 1988.

It was feared that if she left Myanmar, she would not be allowed back in by the ruling junta.

She refused to leave the country even when her husband, Michael Aris, was dying in Britain in 1999.

In 2011, Suu Kyi delivered the BBC Reith lecture, titled `Securing Freedom`, which was recorded in advance.

As the largest aid donor to Myanmar, Britain is leading international efforts to make a strong political commitment to ensure the opening up of aid and trade benefits for all the people in Myanmar rather than a select few.

A Prime Minister`s spokesman said: "For decades, Burma has suffered under a brutal dictatorship. It is desperately poor, but it does not have to be this way. There is a government there that has started down the road to reform. The G8 needs to encourage that process so that we do not lose the opportunity for change in Burma."

PTI