Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi Formally Accepts Nobel Peace Prize 21 Years Later


Suu Kyi's marathon struggle has invited comparison to past Nobel winners Nelson Mandela and Andrei Sakharov - indeed, Jagland referred to both men today.

She knows that challenges remain - for her country, and for human rights the world over. "I am standing here because I was once a prisoner of conscience," she said today. "Please remember the often repeated truth that one prisoner of conscience is too many." Like Mandela, for all her struggles, she has no appetite for revenge. "What I want most," she said on her arrival in Europe Thursday, "is reconciliation and not retribution."

That comment - and today's moving ceremony - reminded me of the interview in her home, 23 years ago. "Civil disobedience has a great history," Suu Kyi said then. "That is why I mention Mahatma Ghandi, and Martin Luther King. Martin Luther King said to the people, 'I have a dream.' Well, in a way it is the same with us. We just want to bring our dreams to reality."

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