Son Gets Peace Prize for Detained Suu Kyi

From Associated Press

The oldest son of pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi accepted the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for his detained mother Tuesday, calling it a reminder of the struggle for human rights in Myanmar and elsewhere.

"She would say this prize belongs not to her but to all those men, women and children who, even as I speak, continue to sacrifice their well-being, their freedom and their lives in pursuit of a democratic Burma," said Alexander Aris, Suu Kyi's 18-year-old son.

In Yangon, capital of Myanmar (formerly Burma), hundreds of students staged one of the most significant anti-government protests since the military junta crushed the pro-democracy movement led by Suu Kyi in 1988. Chants of "Release Aung San Suu Kyi" and "Down with dictatorship" rang across Yangon University.

Alexander Aris said he accepted the Nobel Prize for his mother "in the name of all the people of Burma." He was joined at the ceremony at Oslo City Hall by his brother, Kim, 14, and their British father, Michael Aris.

His mother could not accept the $1-million prize in person because Myanmar's military junta said it would not allow her to return if she left the country. Suu Kyi, 46, has been under house arrest since July, 1989, and her family has not seen her for two years.

Suu Kyi, daughter of Burmese independence hero Aung San, swept to political prominence after she returned to her homeland in 1988 from 20 years abroad. The junta refused to honor her party's overwhelming victory in 1990 elections.

She is kept isolated, and Myanmar's generals did not allow her to comment on the award.

"We must also remember the lonely struggle taking place in a heavily guarded compound in (Yangon) is part of a much larger struggle worldwide for the emancipation of the human spirit from political tyranny and psychological subjection," Alexander Aris said.

Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize for insisting on nonviolence in Myanmar's struggle for democracy and human rights.

The Nobel Committee postponed the traditional Peace Lecture until Suu Kyi can make it in person.

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