The Tánaiste welcomes Aung San Suu Kyi to Ireland
Posted on June 18, 2012 at 05:19 PM
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore TD, today formally offered Aung San Suu Kyi a céad míle fáilte on her historic visit to Ireland.
Greeting her at Dublin Airport the Tánaiste said: "Ms. Suu Kyi is enormously admired in this country and her visit here is something which we have long hoped to see. I want to again pay tribute to those Irish human rights organisations and individuals who campaigned on her behalf and who helped highlight her struggle over so many years."
Following a reception with President Michael D Higgins, Aung San Suu Kyi will receive the Ambassador of Conscience Award on behalf of Amnesty International, before meeting with Dublin Lord Mayor Cllr Andrew Montague, where she will sign the Roll of Honorary Freedom of Dublin.
Speaking ahead of the event, Lord Mayor Montague said: "Aung San Suu Kyi could have taken the easy way out. She could have gone into exile as the Burmese Regime wanted. But she wouldn't abandon her people. She remained under house arrest for 15 years.
"There are many similarities between Ireland and Burma, We have both struggled for independence and democracy, and for a State based on human rights. The solutions and the way forward for Ireland lay not in violence but lay in respect for human rights and through dialogue. These are the key principles that Aung San Suu Kyi has embodied in the great leadership she has given in Burma."
MEP Emer Costello, who opened a book of solidarity for Aung San Suu Kyi as Lord Mayor of Dublin in 2009, said 'In the midst of the harsh regime of military junta, Aung San Suu Kyi believed in the people of her country, she believed in a better future for her country and she was determined to stand by the people of Burma in the struggle for democracy. She was awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin in 2000 by my colleague, Cllr Mary Freehill. It is a wonderful occasion for Dublin that she will sign the roll of Freemen of the City this evening, in the space which has been left blank for her signature for the past twelve years'.
Members of the public are invited to come along tonight to see Aung San Suu Kyi sign the Roll of Honorary Freedom of Dublin in Grand Canal Square at 8.30pm.blog comments powered by Disqus