Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

City honours democracy campaigner

Dr Aung San Suu Kyi
Dr Suu Kyi has spent most of the past 20 years under house arrest

A pro-democracy campaigner, under house arrest in Burma, has been given the Freedom of Glasgow in her absence.

Dr Aung San Suu Kyi, 63, has spent more than half of the past two decades in some form of detention imposed by the country's military regime.

The leader of the opposition National League for Democracy was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Her representative, Dr Thuang Htun, accepted the award at Glasgow City Chambers.

Speaking before the ceremony, he said: "The fact that Dr Aung San Suu Kyi should be given the freedom of a city far from her home, at a time that she is denied even basic freedoms in her own country is a sharp reminder of the reality of today's Burma."

On learning that she would be given the Freedom of Glasgow, Dr Suu Kyi said: "It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it."

It is with profound respect and admiration for Dr Aung San Suu Kyi's unflinching bravery that the council has conferred upon her the Freedom of the City of Glasgow
Bob Winter
Glasgow Lord Provost

The award, which was proposed by Amnesty International and Glasgow Women's Library, was presented by Glasgow Lord Provost Bob Winter.

"It is with profound respect and admiration for Dr Aung San Suu Kyi's unflinching bravery that the council has conferred upon her the Freedom of the City of Glasgow," he said.

"This is tempered with frustration that she cannot be here today, in person.

"However, I am delighted that her loyal representative Dr Htun has been able to visit our city to accept the award in her absence.

Election win

"He goes with our very best wishes for Dr Suu Kyi, a shining beacon of hope in her country."

Dr Suu Kyi is the daughter of Aung San, wartime leader of Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League. He was assassinated in 1947.

She founded the National League for Democracy (NLD) in 1988 and was put under house arrest with the offer of freedom if she left Burma.

In 1990 the NLD won the general election decisively and once again Dr Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest.

The election result was nullified by a military junta.

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