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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Myanmar democracy icon receives honorary doctorate on a visit to Oxford

The Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday received an honorary doctorate which was awarded in 1993 from Oxford University, but that it could not receive because of house arrest imposed by the Myanmar authorities. The activist's visit to Oxford was remarkable because Suu Kyi studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE, its acronym in English) at the university between 1964 and 1967, and have lived until 1988 that English town. In an emotional ceremony held on the morning of Wednesday by the prestigious institution, Professor Richard Jenkyns pointed out that, despite the return of Suu Kyi Oxford represent "a public event," we can not forget that the Parliament now also returns to his former home, "a city full of memories." By using the Latin to grant an honorary doctorate in civil law, Jenkyns said that the presence of activist, who had not set foot on British soil since 1988, "speaks more eloquently than any language." "Here he studied and forged friendships, learned about the wonders of youth, here, as wife and mother, lived a quiet domestic life, until the love of his country and passion for the cause of freedom made it back," said Jenkins. The teacher also recalled how Suu Kyi "has been forced to leave behind her husband and children, and his return to his homeland turned into a kind of exile." "For many years felt the weight of the insulation, demonstrating patience and strength to a degree that is not easily imaginable," he added. Suu Kyi, who completed 67 years on Tuesday, had to return home in 1988 to care for her mother and could not go anymore because the junta has kept for many years under house arrest. In Oxford, Suu Kyi married in 1972 with Briton Michael Aris, who died of cancer in 1999. At the time, the activist was prevented from following the funeral of her husband in the UK. Previously, after learning of the illness of her husband, the Burmese military authorized the trip, but she chose not to go for fear of being unable to return to Myanmar. Regarding the visit to Suu Kyi, the British Foreign Minister William Hague described the activist before the House of Commons as "an absolutely inspirational figure" and warned that "there is still a long way to go, not only in Myanmar "but in terms of human rights worldwide. During its passage by the United Kingdom, the activist must reunite with Prince Charles, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and also with Chancellor Hague before pronouncing a historic speech before both houses of British Parliament. Suu Kyi, who ends his official visit on Friday, will remain a few days in Britain in private.

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