Fri 30 Sep 2011
Filed under: International
Myanmar’s (Burma) prime minister-in-exile Sein Win is to visit South Africa to accept an honorary doctorate on behalf of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, his spokesperson said today.Win would arrive tomorrow evening and stay until next Wednesday, spokesperson for the Free Burma Campaign Thein Win said. Seine Win would have a meeting with International Affairs and Co-operation Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim on Monday.
He would also attend a public lecture delivered by the founder of the Free Burma Campaign’s South African branch, Kiru Naidoothe, at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Monday.
The lecture, titled “Dilemmas in South Africa’s relations with Burma”, would include a live video broadcast with Suu Kyi. On Tuesday, UJ would bestow an honorary doctorate of philosophy on Suu Kyi. The conferral, at the university auditorium, would feature a pre-recorded video message from Suu Kyi.
She won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for democracy. The military placed her under house arrest in 1989, offering to free her if she agreed to leave the country. She refused and demanded a return to civilian government and the release of political prisoners.
Although she led her National League for Democracy to victory in the 1990 elections, the ruling military junta refused to recognise the results. The junta changed the nation’s name to Myanmar, but many democracy supporters, including Suu Kyi, still refer to it as Burma.
Suu Kyi spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest. Her house arrest was finally lifted in November 2010. After the 2010 elections, won by a party close to the ruling junta, military leaders turned over control to a nominally civilian government in March 2011.