Suu Kyi Makes Historic Speech

Asks Britain for help making Burma 'true democracy'
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2012 9:18 AM CDT
Suu Kyi Makes Historic Speech
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi smiles after making an address to a joint session of both houses of the UK Parliament at Westminster Hall yesterday.   (AP Photo/David Parker, Pool)

(Newser) – Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday asked the UK parliament for help in bringing democracy to Burma, becoming the first non-head of state ever to address both Houses, reports Reuters. "We have an opportunity to reestablish true democracy in Burma. It is an opportunity for which we have waited decades," said Suu Kyi. "If we do not get things right this time right round, it may be several decades more before a similar opportunity arises again. I would ask Britain, as one of the oldest parliamentary democracies, to consider what it can do to help build the sound institutions needed to build a nascent parliamentary democracy."

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Just the second woman ever to address both Houses (after Queen Elizabeth II), Suu Kyi received a standing ovation when she entered Westminster Hall. On Wednesday, the Burmese democracy activist visited Oxford University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in 1969. Suu Kyi is in the midst of a 17-day tour of Europe, which included traveling to Norway last week to pick up her long-delayed Nobel Peace Prize. (Read more Aung San Suu Kyi stories.)

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