Aung San Suu Kyi is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

We are assembled here today to honour Aung San Suu Kyi for her outstanding work for democracy and human rights, and to present to her the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991.

The occasion gives rise to many and partly conflicting emotions. The Peace Prize Laureate is unable to be here herself. The great work we are acknowledging has yet to be concluded. She is still fighting the good fight. Her courage and commitment find her a prisoner of conscience in her own country, Burma. Her absence fills us with fear and anxiety, which can nevertheless only be a faint shadow of the fear and anxiety felt by her family. We welcome this opportunity of expressing our deepest sympathy with them, with her husband, Michael Aris, and with her sons, Alexander and Kim. We feel with you, and we are very grateful to you for coming to Oslo to receive the Nobel Prize on behalf of your wife and mother.

Aung San Suu Kyi AC, born 19 June 1945, is an opposition politician and general secretary of the National League for Democracy in Burma (Myanmar). Aung San Suu Kyi was the third child in her family. Her name is derived from three relatives; "Aung San" from her father, "Kyi" from her mother and "Suu" from her grandmother. Suu Kyi won the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. In 1992 she was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding by the Government of India. She is still under detention in Myanmar, and has been for almost 14 out of the past 20 years. In the 1990 general election, Suu Kyi was elected Prime Minister, as leader of the winning National League for Democracy party, which won 59% of the vote and 394 of 492 seats. Her subsequent detention by the military junta prevented her from assuming office.

She is frequently called Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; Daw is not part of her name, but is an honorific similar to madam for older, revered women, literally meaning "aunt". Strictly speaking, she has no surname, but it is acceptable to refer to her as "Ms. Suu Kyi" or Dr. Suu Kyi, since those syllables serve to distinguish her from her father, General Aung San, who is considered to be the father of modern-day Burma.