Bono Will Present Amnesty International Honor to Aung San Suu Kyi

U2 frontman will meet Burmese freedom fighter for first time after years of support

May 31, 2012 9:15 AM ET
Bono performs at the Apollo Theater in New York.
Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic

Bono will present Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi with Amnesty International's highest honor next month in Dublin, the Associated Press reports. Suu Kyi, who is heading out on her first international tour in 24 years, will visit Ireland on June 18th, a day after collecting her Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. She was previously awarded the Nobel Prize in 1991 and Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience award in 2009, but could not accept either in person because she was under house arrest for 15 years.

Suu Kyi was elected to Parliament in Myanmar last month. She took office on May 2nd and began an international tour on Tuesday, beginning with a stop in Thailand. Suu Kyi won the 1990 election in Myanmar, also known as Burma, but the nation's military refused to hand over power and detained her until November of 2010.

The U2 frontman will meet Suu Kyi for the first time at this event in Dublin. "It's so rare to see grace trump military might, and when it happens we should make the most joyful noise we can," Bono said in a written statement. "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."

Bono has been a longtime supporter of Suu Kyi, writing the U2 hit "Walk On" in her honor. Throughout the band's lengthy 360 Tour, the band closed out their main set by performing "Walk On" as fans came out on stage wearing masks of Suu Kyi as a show of solidarity and protest of her treatment by Myanmar's military. You can watch the band perform the song in tribute to Suu Kyi at their August 22nd, 2009 gig in Cardiff, Wales below.

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