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Olof Palme Prize awarded to Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has long been under house arrest in Myanmar.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2006 18:50 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has long been under house arrest in Myanmar, has been named winner of the Olof Palme Prize, organisers said on Monday.

The award is endowed by the family of the slain Swedish prime minister and the governing Social Democratic Party.

Suu Kyi was cited for being "an outstanding example of the efforts to attain democracy by the people of Burma, where respect for human rights, ethnic unity, and a life in peace remain only a dream," the organisers said in a statement.

Myanmar was formerly called Burma. The $50,000 prize is to be presented on February 28, the anniversary of the 1986 shooting of Palme as he and his wife walked home unguarded from a movie theater.

The organisers said Suu Kyi was awarded the prize for her "unyielding fight for a democratic Burma."

Last year's winners were three Russian human rights advocates, all critics of Russia's war in Chechnya.

Previous winners include former Czech President Vaclav Havel and Amnesty International.

"To her compatriots, she is known as the 'Iron Butterfly,' a name alluding both to her peaceful struggle and her courage and strength of character. Aung San Suu Kyi has devoted her life to Burma, and is a stubborn believer in the final victory of its peoples' will," the group said of Suu Kyi.

"To peoples around the world fighting oppression, she is an important symbol of peaceful opposition to repressive power," the group said.

First Published: Jan 30, 2006 18:24 IST