On June 18, Bono will present Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi with Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience award at a tribute event in Dublin.
The concert, called Electric Burma, is being held in honor of her achievement and will also feature performances by Damien Rice, the Riverdance troupe, actress Vanessa Redgrave, and Bob Geldof. Bono has shown support for Suu Kyi for years, holding a series of concerts in 2009 in support of her release and dedicating all U2 360° Tour performances of the song “Walk On” in her honor. However, this is the first time he will meet the Burmese opposition leader, who has spent 15 of the past 24 years under house arrest.
Bono stated in regards to her release, “It’s so rare to see grace trump military might, and when it happens we should make the most joyful noise we can. Aung San Suu Kyi’s grace and courage have tilted a wobbly world further in the direction of democracy. We all feel we know her, but it will be such a thrill to meet her in person.”
Suu Kyi will attend Electric Burma as part of her first international tour following a long period as a political prisoner. In 1990, her National League for Democracy party achieved a strong victory in the country’s first multi-party elections since 1960, but the ruling military junta refused to recognize the results. Her next two decades were spent in house arrest or, while free, unable to leave Burma for fear of being barred from re-entry. She was then banned from the next elections in 2010, leading to an internationally-questioned election in which a pro-junta party took office. Suu Kyi was finally elected to Burmese Parliament in April of this year and has launched an international tour that includes Electric Burma, an address to the British government, and a stop in Oslo to collect the Nobel Peace Prize that she received in 1991 but was unable to accept in person until now.
The Ambassador of Conscience is the most prestigious award given by Amnesty International, and it is given annually to honor activists who have worked to promote and protect human rights. Previous recipients include Nelson Mandela, Peter Gabriel, and U2.
Source: Associated Press
For more information on the Ambassador of Conscience award, visit amnesty.org.