Aung San Suu Kyi Shares Message of Peace in Honolulu | News
This morning to an audience of more than 300 people, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma lead a speech titled "Peace Takes Courage and Compassion", followed by a question and answer session with public and private high school students. This is the first visit to Hawaii for the opposition leader of Burma, the southeast Asian country also known as Myanmar. She is seeking to share her message of peace as well as gain an understanding of the island's unique culture and history. Her trip was co-hosted by the Hawaii Community Foundation, Rotary International, the East-West Center and the Myanmar Association of Hawaii.
Aung San Suu Kyi, also affectionately called "Dau Suu" loosely translated as respected aunt, was introduced by local philanthropist Pam Omidyar. As she regally took the stage Aung San Suu Kyi shared that she prefers a dialogue to a monologue. She joked that in a true dialogue there is an equal exchange, but in a monologue your audience could not even be listening or might even be sleeping.
The peace leader covered many topics from honesty and compassion to the vital need for listening and courage. "Honesty takes courage. Peace takes courage. Honesty and peace are closely related and to have peace we must learn about ourselves and each other and this takes courage."
As one would expect, she shared many insightful comments on her life, house arrests as well as her love for her people and her country. Much to the crowd's delight, Aung San Suu Kyi also related many humorous stories including one about her pet dog. "I have a little dog. Many say he is a bad dog because he bites people when they get too close to me. I say he is not a bad dog - he just bites!" Emcee Tony Silva, playfully asked the peace leader if she had ever heard of the dog whisperer? "Yes! My friends have even sent me his DVDs to train my dog not to bite them. My dog is honest. If only people could be more clear about their intentions like my dog we could get to peace sooner."
Suu Kyi, is the leader of Burma's opposition party, the National league for Democracy, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. She was held under house arrest by the country's ruling military junta for much of the last 21 years, with her longest detainment from May 2003 to November 2010. Suu Kyi was elected to parliament in elections held in April 2012.
For more information on the Pillars of Peace Hawaii program visit http://www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org