Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Oslo Friday afternoon, 21 years after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.Aung San Suu Kyi announced in January that she wished to come back to Norway, and this weekend she is in Oslo for a Nobel seminar, and to thank Norway for the award she received 21 years ago. At the time of the award ceremony she was kept in house arrest in her home country, and her son Alexander Aris accepted the price on her behalf.
Head of the Nobel Committee, Torbjørn Jagland, and head of the Nobel Institute Geir Lundestad, greeted her at Gardermoen Friday. Liv Signe Navarsete, the minister of local government and regional administration was there to represent the government, who has officially invited her to come to Norway.
The Nobel Peace Price winner told reporters that she is happy to be back in Oslo for the seminar, 21 years after she received the award. “It’s a little cold here, but I think this will be very nice,” she said.
Aung San Kuu Kyi traveled straight from Gardermoen to Grand Hotel downtown, where she’ll be staying while in Oslo – a tradition for all peace price winners.
Several Burmese exiles were waiting outside of the hotel to greet her, including Nan Kyi Aye Shwe who arrived as a refugee to Norway in 2005. “We are here today to show her our support and respect,” she told reporters. “We want her to know that we are incredibly proud of her and what she has sacrificed for us.”
Aye Shwe has only seen Aung San Kuu in newspapers and on TV, but still feels a very close and personal connection with the famous democracy activist. “She gathers all people, regardless of their ethnic group,” Aye Shwe explains. “If I get to meet her I will thank her. Then I want to tell her that I hope that one day we can live in Burma the same way as we live in Norway.”
Aung San Kuu Kyi then attended a meeting with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at his official residence Friday afternoon. Afterwards there was an international press conference before the evening ended with a gala dinner at Akershus Fortress.
“Things look different. I see the world from a different view now after my experiences the past 25 years,” she told the press after Stoltenberg’s introduction.