Canadian city honours Aung San Suu Kyi

Canadian city honours Aung San Suu Kyi
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 11:32 Mizzima News

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be honoured with a human rights plaque in a Canadian city on 1 July for her struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma.

Suu Kyi’s plaque will be placed on the Côte Saint-Luc Human Rights Walkway ‘dedicated to those men and women who, by their steadfast commitment to mankind, have held high the torch of human rights and let it light the world’.

The ceremony will take place as part of the city’s annual Canada Day celebrations.

‘Like others we have honoured, Aung San Suu Kyi put herself in danger to help bring about democratic change', Mayor Anthony Housefather said in a press release. ‘Several times during her long captivity, the military government offered her the opportunity to leave the country, but she refused to leave her homeland preferring instead to continue her long struggle for democracy and human rights together with her people’.

Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, was made an honorary citizen of Canada in 2007.  Canada is said to have imposed some of the toughest sanctions against Burma in order to exert pressure against the military.

The city noted that Suu Kyi struggled for democracy and human rights in Burma for more than 20 years. The military placed Suu Kyi under house arrest in 1989, offering to free her if she agreed to leave the country. She refused and demanded the return of civilian government and the release of political prisoners. In 1990, her party, the National League for Democracy, won a landslide victory in Burma’s first multi-party elections in 30 years, but it has never been allowed to govern. Suu Kyi has spent 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest. 

Since the walkway was inaugurated in Côte Saint-Luc in September 2000, the city in Quebec has honoured about a dozen people including Nobel Peace Prize winner Rene Cassin, anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman and Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who rescued 100,000 Jews from possible extermination by the Nazis during World War II.
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