Bono to present Suu Kyi with award in Dublin

Bono is to present Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi with Amnesty International’s top honour when she visits Dublin next month as part of her first international tour in 24 years.

Suu Kyi is scheduled to visit Dublin on June 18 to be guest of honour at a concert called Electric Burma.

She was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1991, and Amnesty’s Ambassador of Conscience award in 2009.

She was unable to claim either award in person until now because she was under house arrest for 15 of the past 24 years and, even when free, afraid to leave Burma in case the country’s military junta barred her return.

Bono devoted a series of U2’s 2009 concerts to Suu Kyi, demanding her release from house arrest, and unveiled the Amnesty award at a Dublin concert that year. He said the June 18 event would be the first time he has ever met the 66-year-old pro-democracy activist.

“It’s so rare to see grace trump military might, and when it happens we should make the most joyful noise we can,” Bono said in a prepared statement.

“Aung San Suu Kyi’s grace and courage have tilted a wobbly world further in the direction of democracy.

“We all feel we know her, but it will be such a thrill to meet her in person.”

Suu Kyi was elected to parliament in Burma last month, took her seat on May 2, and launched an international tour on Tuesday starting in neighbouring Thailand.

She is also scheduled to address both houses of the British Parliament during her European tour next month.

Bill Shipsey, an Amnesty official organising the special concert, said that others taking part would include actress Vanessa Redgrave the Riverdance troupe, and folk-rock singer Damien Rice.

Bob Geldof will also be involved in the concert.

He praised Suu Kyi as a “heroine of dignity, integrity, courage and steely moral vigour [who] lost her freedom and her family in order to gain a nation.

“Ireland is ennobled by her visit.”


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