Photo by DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN/AFP/GettyImages
It took her 21 years but Burmese opposition leader finally picked up the Nobel Peace Prize on Saturday that she was awarded in 1991. Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest when she got the prize, said that in addition to turning the world’s attention to Burma’s plight, the Nobel also helped her break a crushing sense of isolation, reports the Associated Press.
"What the Nobel Peace Prize did was to draw me once again into the world of other human beings outside the isolated area in which I lived, to restore a sense of reality to me," Suu Kyi said in Oslo. The 66-year-old opposition leader, who was released in 2010 and elected to parliament in April, traveled to accept the prize as part of her first tour of Europe since 1988, points out the BBC.
Although her house arrest lasted a total of 15 years, she never left Burma during brief periods of freedom because she was terrified government officials would not let her return, points out Reuters.
The audience, which included the Norwegian royal family, gave Suu Kyi two standing ovations, first when she entered the hall and when she finished her speech, “which was at the same time modest, personal, and touching,” writes the New York Times. In what the Guardian describes as the most moving part of her speech, she also called on the world to not forget other political prisoners who remain behind bars.
“It is to be feared that because the best known detainees have been released, the remainder, the unknown ones, will be forgotten,” Suu Kyi said.