In the month of December alone, Aung San Suu Kyi and what she stands for, was formally and publicly recognized in four countries in three different continents.
The city of Rome in Italy awarded the Rome Peace and Humanitarian Award to Suu Kyi.
In the United Kingdom, she was awarded the Special Award for Lifetime Achievement in Politics, by the Political Studies Association.
And in South Africa, the University of Cape Town conferred an honorary doctorate in law to her. Fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu accepted the degree on her behalf. He said that despite her suffering and tireless efforts to lead her country, she remains an inspiration to the world. Tutu also called on the international community to impose sanctions on Myanmar like it was done to South Africa during the apartheid regime. An obvious admirer of Suu Kyi, in his beginning remarks, he joked: “I don’t have pin ups anymore – but I made an exception in [Suu Kyi’s] case. I have two of her pictures in my office. Yes, she undoubtedly is my pin up.”
Last but not the least, in the United States on December 17th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Suu Kyi. The Medal is the highest civilian honor given by the United States. In voting to award her with the Medal, Tom Lantos (Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee) said: “Aung San Suu Kyi is a hero of our time. She has devoted her life to the peaceful struggle for democracy and freedom for her people.”
What YOU can do …
The awarding of the Medal has yet to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. If you are a US citizen, call or e-mail your Senator to ensure that she receives this award (H.R. 4286). Click here to locate contact information of your Senators.
As Suu Kyi once said, “Please use your liberty to promote ours”
In October 2007, fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner His Holiness the Dalai Lama was the recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal. May the message on the Medal be an inspiration to us all.