Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will arrive in Dublin tomorrow. The human rights campaigner was under house arrest or in prison for 15 of the last 24 years until her release last November.
According to BreakingNews.ie, Burma's pro-democracy leader will deliver an open-air address to thousands of supporters and finally receive the Freedom of the City of Dublin, which she was awarded 12 years ago.
U2's Bono and fellow aid campaigner Bob Geldof will join her in a special tribute concert where she will be presented with Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience award.
“Every one of us who applauds her onto the stage on Monday night, proudly looking on as the Lord Mayor of Dublin grants her the Freedom of the City, is also sending a message of hope and solidarity to her supporters in Myanmar,” said Colm O’Gorman, executive direction in Amnesty International Ireland.
“We will be telling them that we stood with Aung San Suu Kyi when she was in prison, that she inspires us much as she inspires them.
“Now that she is free, we will continue to stand with her and to support the struggle for justice, freedom and human rights in Myanmar.”
On Saturday, Suu Kyi accepted the Nobel Peace Price she won while under house arrest 21 years ago. This is the first time she has visited Europe since 1988.
Suu Kyi, who will celebrate her 67th birthday of Tuesday, will fly in from Oslo and will be met by Foreign Affairs Minister and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore at Dublin airport. She will meet with Irish President Michael D Higgins before she attends a special concert at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in her honour – where she will also be conferred with an honorary degree from Trinity College Dublin.
Suu Kyi was awarded the Freedom of the City on March 18, 2000. The award was accepted on her behalf by her son Kim.
Mary Freehill, who was the Lord Mayor at the time, will tomorrow present a scroll commemorating the visit to Suu Kyi, who will sign the Roll of Honorary Freedom of the City.
“I am delighted that Aung San Suu Kyi is finally free to come to Dublin in person to complete the ceremony which began in March 2000,” she said.
Dublin Lord Mayor Andrew Montague said it was a great honour that Ms Suu Kyi is visiting Dublin.
“She is one of my heroes for leading a peaceful campaign to bring democracy to Burma at great personal cost,” he said.
“For over 15 years Aung San Suu Kyi has been separated from her family and held under house arrest as a result of her campaign.
“I am proud to welcome her to Dublin and proud to invite her to sign the Roll of Honorary Freedom of the City.”