A GIANT 20-METRE banner was hung at Liberty Hall in Dublin’s city centre today to welcome Burmese democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi ahead of her visit next week.
Suu Kyi is due to arrive in Ireland on 18 June and the banner was erected by Amnesty International and Dublin City Council to mark the occasion.
The General Secretary of the National League for Democracy in Burma will receive an Amnesty International award from U2 frontman Bono on her visit to Ireland next month.
Tickets for the Electric Burma concert in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre next Monday evening have already sold out but Suu Kyi will join Lord Mayor Andrew Montague and Amnesty International chief executive Colm O’Gorman at a public event outside the venue immediately afterwards to sign the Roll of Honorary Freedom for the City of Dublin – something she could not do when the honour was conferred on her in March 2000.
Her visit, which is just one day long, will not be categorised as a state visit as she is not a head of state but is likely to include meetings with political leaders here.
Suu Kyi is travelling to Ireland directly from Oslo where she will deliver the acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize she was awarded in 1991 while under house arrest by the Burmese military junta.
She was released in 2010 and was elected to a reformed Burmese parliament recently for her party which gained over 40 seats in a by-election.
Having recently been granted a passport to allow her to travel abroad she left her country for the first time in 24 years last month.
O’Gorman today said there is already “huge anticipation building” around the visit. “We’re delighted that there is going to be an opportunity for people unable to make it to the concert to see her and more details of the public event will be announced in the coming days.”
The Lord Mayor added, “The visit of Aung San Suu Kyi to Dublin is a historic and important occasion. Her commitment to peace to gain freedom of the citizens of her country, with great personal sacrifice, marks her as one of the greatest leaders in the world.
“She is a worthy recipient of the Freedom of the City of Dublin and I am delighted that she can sign the Roll of Honorary Freedom in person with us next Monday. This banner will announce her visit to Dubliners and the world.”