Saturday 18 November 2017

Plans to bring Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung Suu Kyi to Ireland

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center.
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center.

Lyndsey Telford

HUMAN rights campaigners are finalising plans for Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to visit Ireland next month.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who has spent most of the last two decades under house arrest due to her opposition to the military junta, is planning her first trip out of the Asian state in 24 years.

Ms Suu Kyi will travel to Norway and the UK in mid-June, but organisers are trying to arrange a one-day visit to Ireland during her stay.

The 66-year-old opposition leader was sworn into parliament in Burma at the start of May, along with 42 of her National League for Democracy colleagues.

The party won 43 of 44 seats they contested in by-elections in April. While the NLD will remain a small minority, its presence alongside the military-backed Government is considered symbolic.

Arrangements are also being considered for a possible benefit concert or public event in her honour in Dublin city centre should she visit.

Insiders said that one venue being considered for the event is the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in the Dublin docklands.

Ms Suu Kyi was awarded the Freedom of Dublin City in 2000.

A spokesman for Amnesty International, which is helping to organise the potential trip, confirmed plans are afoot.

"Efforts are under way to secure the visit," he said.

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