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Published on Monday, 14 January 2013 16:58
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will visit the United States and South Korea late this month, an MP of her National League for Democracy told Eleven Media Group yesterday.
The Nobel Peace Laureate will visit the state of Hawaii to accept an award, MP Ohn Kyaing said, adding that Suu Kyi will follow this by attending a Special Olympics event in South Korea and receive a human rights award she was given in 2004.
“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will leave for Hawaii on January 24 to accept the Rotary Global Peace Award and address the forum,” he said. “Then, she will proceed to South Korea on January 28 to attend a Special Olympics festival.”
The Rotary Club is a global humanitarian organisation with more than 1.2 million members. It selected Suu Kyi for the annual award because of her commitment to democracy and human rights through non-violent activism, the MP said.
Suu Kyi will attend the three-day Rotary Global Peace Forum in Honolulu and will be the keynote speaker on January 26, its second day, Ohn Kyaing said.
She will fly to South Korean to receive the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, an award she won in 2004 while she was under house arrest in Yangon. The award was given by the May 18 Memorial Foundation, which commemorates the 1980 uprising in the southwestern city of Gwangju, considered by many to be a turning point in South Korea’s hardwon transition from dictatorship to democracy.
The uprising was suppressed by the military, but the brutal massacre enraged the country’s population and unified movements led by students, labour activists and religious figures, ultimately leading to the downfall of then-president Chun Doo-hwan.
Suu Kyi will also give a lecture at Chonnam National University and pay her respects to the civilians who were killed during the uprising at the May 18 National Cemetery.
The pro-democracy icon drew global media attention during her landmark overseas tours last year, when she extended her visits beyond Thailand to the European Union and the United States. She will return to Myanmar from South Korea on February 1.